By Meisha Johnson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –– If you want to get a bit of farm life in the city, The Horticulture Center in Fairmount Park has a ton of garden inspiration right in our backyard.

This spot on the west side of Fairmount Park is blooming with plant life, both inside its greenhouse full of tropical plants, and outside in the Pennsylvania summer sunshine.

Julian Grant III has worked at the Horticulture Center for 17 years. Now he’s grounds crew chief. “The public comes. I get to teach them. I teach classes. That’s why I love it so much,” Julian said.

Julian gave a tour of some of the different gardens on site. “Where we’re at now is called the Hummingbird Garden, and we have various flowers and plants that attract the hummingbirds. Right here, that’s the honeysuckle. Hummingbirds love them. Here is what they call a dwarf burning bush,” another hummingbird favorite.

Meanwhile, Lois Fischer, a Penn State master gardener and volunteer, works all summer at the Edible Landscape Demonstration Garden.

“It’s a Penn State Master Gardener project,” Lois said. “The point is to show the homeowner in Philadelphia or the renter or the resident of Philadelphia what they can grow to eat in small spaces: herbs, and behind you are peppers, sweet and hot.”

This year, they built new raised beds, “We’re growing squash and tomatoes and beans and okra and cucumbers,” Lois said.

Some days, art classes of all ages visit. “They do various paintings throughout the gardens,” Julian said.

“This is our home,” Lois said. “This is my summer place. I love it here.”

Meisha told Julian, “It’s an incredible place. You’re very lucky to work here.”

“Thank you. I appreciate that,” he said.

“I like our studio in the morning, but not as much, not as much as this,” Meisha said.

The Horticulture Center of Fairmount Park is at 100 N. Horticultural Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19131. Find out about upcoming events at https://myphillypark.org/?s=horticulture+center  or call (215) 685-0096.

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