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This Year’s ‘Pop-Up’ Garden Puts a Beer Garden on South Broad Street

(PHS' pop-up beer garden in a formerly vacant lot near Broad and Spruce Streets.  Credit: Pat Loeb)

(PHS’ pop-up beer garden in a formerly vacant lot near Broad and Spruce Streets. Credit: Pat Loeb)

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society today unveiled this summer’s “pop-up” garden.

This year’s edition features a beer garden under a stand of crepe myrtle trees on a formerly abandoned lot on South Broad Street, right across the street from the Kimmel Center.

This marks the third summer that PHS has transformed an eyesore into an oasis (see previous stories).   And they do it so quickly, passersby are caught off guard.

“We work in the neighborhood,” said one visitor, “and we were surprised to see the pop-up garden pop up overnight!”

It actually took two weeks to cover over the gravel-strewn lot (owned by University of the Arts) with mulch, plantings, and seating — still a quick turnaround, and more remarkable for the materials used.

PHS president Drew Becher says the materials are leftovers from the Philadelphia Flower Show, which is run by PHS.

“All of the wood and stuff like that is from the crates,” Becher explained,”  so it is really a ‘reuse, recycle, look-how-beautiful-this-stuff-can-be…’ “

Becher recently took local media to task for hyping a botched snow forecast last March that he says cost the Flower Show millions, so we let him order his own weather forecast for the pop-up garden:

“How about ‘Sunny and bright, and showers overnight?’  How’s that sound?”

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