June 26, 2015 |
IT WAS 2011. Outside City Hall were rows of tents where many flavors of political persuasion could be found - anarchists, communists, Democratic socialists, libertarians. This was Occupy Philadelphia, or, as Dusty Hinz remembers it, a "great coming-out party for the general left. " Amid the monthslong protests, a splinter group of twentysomethings formed with a plan to sustain the protests' energy in a way that would bring real change to city neighborhoods. Dubbed Occupy Vacant Land, the group of guerrilla gardeners squatted on dozens of vacant, garbage-strewn properties.
October 19, 2013 |
Tend the vegetable garden. We've been lucky the harvest season has lasted this far into October. I'm still waiting to harvest the carrots and sweet potatoes, hoping they'll get as large as possible before frost. I've picked and enjoyed the various tomatoes daily. But when all the stems and vines eventually wither and die, gather them up and dispose of them to make sure that pest problems aren't left to overwinter in the garden. Put away the cages, tepees, and trellises. If you haven't done it yet, take notes about where you planted each crop so you can rotate them to different locations in the garden next year.
October 4, 2013 |
ON A RECENT sunny afternoon in Brewerytown, a white terry-cloth towel lay on the sidewalk, hiding the blood of an 18-year-old kid gunned down the night before. Along the narrow block, chalk circles drawn by homicide cops marked spots where the shell casings fell. A woman seated on a lawn chair on the sidewalk nearby looked up warily and called out, "You looking for a story?" She pointed out the cracked-open sunflower seeds, lots of them, scattered among the crime-scene chalk marks.
May 29, 2013 |
SURE, tightrope walkers and acrobats once perfected their balance in the vacant lot beside the University of the Arts on Broad Street near Pine. But usually, the gravelly lot stands empty, garnering nary a glance from passers-by. That will change today, when the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society officially opens its new pop-up garden, where visitors can watch artists perform, enjoy some brews and food from a beer garden and otherwise relax amid lush plantings. All sorts of art will be on display, including dance, theater, live music, photography, sculpture, design and other visual art (but, sadly, not the tightrope walkers and acrobats, who were Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts performers)
February 12, 1989 |
As you plan your vegetable garden, think beyond lettuce, tomatoes and string beans. Think about the onion. Last year, John Swan grew six varieties of onions in the garden that he and his wife, Ann, tend in Chester County. As an expert cook, Ann Swan welcomes this bounty to use in her kitchen year-round. Even now, the Swans still have a couple of large bags on hand in an outside closet to tide the family over until the '89 harvest starts in mid- July. John Swan used to start most of his onions from seed.
October 8, 2013 |
THE EVIDENCE of Khenti Pratt's dedication to her Powelton Village community garden is very visible. There's the award she won at the state Horticultural Society's City Gardens Contest several years ago. There's hundreds of dollars' worth of receipts for supplies and materials she and other volunteers have purchased. And then there are the plump butternut squash, tomatoes, okra and other vegetables still growing in the yard, nestled between rowhouses on Spring Garden Street near 36th.
April 7, 1997 |
Rena Ennis can nail a green thumber a mile away. Ok, five feet. It's all in the nails. The longer the fingernails, the bigger the odds they're not a green thumber. "When I see a woman with long, manicured nails, I know she is not going to come out and garden," said the 73-year-old grandmother. "You get a lady with fine nails, you know she's only going to look, not participate. " Ennis has been "digging and planting all over" her West Philadelphia neighborhood for 37 years, mostly as a volunteer with the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society's Philadelphia Green, an urban greening program designed to help residents spruce up their communities with various flowers, plants and trees.
July 5, 1987 |
My feelings about the garden are divided in July. In some ways I love it for the first beans, for the early tomatoes and eggplant, but sometimes I wish it wouldn't cry out for help on the hottest days of the year. There's a bonus in those hot days, however. They force the gardener out of bed early on the weekend to beat the heat, and I, for one, relish the quiet early mornings with just the dogs and birds as my companions. As you cruise around your garden early on a July morning, look at it with an eye to next year.
September 26, 1993 |
Any garden in good shape at the end of a hot, dry summer has to belong to an ardent gardener. In Marcia Spoor's case, she borders on the passionate side of ardent. With four children under the age of 10, it's amazing that she and her husband, Paul, can find any time to garden, but the two of them make a great team. He wields the tools; she digs and plants. Theirs is a corner lot in Folsom, Delaware County, and when the Spoors moved into the house 14 years ago, Marcia moved from houseplant lover to outside planter.
May 3, 1987 |
May has to be the best of months in the garden. The dogwoods are blooming, tulips and daffodils abound, the first lettuce is ready and by the end of the month there are peas for the table. Like April, this is a wonderful month to plant, because it should be cool, and we hope for adequate rainfall to avoid dragging out the hoses. In the flower garden, you can plant perennials anytime during the month. With annuals, plant the hardier ones, such as alyssum and petunias, at the beginning of the month.