BEAUTY IN THE FRIDGE

Revisiting Ned Wolf Park

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Today Eric Sternfels is taking us to visit a beautiful community-created garden in Philadelphia called Ned Wolf Park. He introduced us to this lovely garden before (A Garden Made by a Community ), and I’m excited to take a trip back.

A few years ago you featured an ornamental community garden in Northwest Philadelphia, in a neighborhood called Mt. Airy. As the spring has progressed, I’ve taken more photos of new features. Ned Wolf Park is just 50 feet by 150 feet, but it manages to pack lots of rich planting combinations in successional planting strategies. Because of the pandemic, the park’s gardens have become a more special destination for the community to meet and to practice tai chi or yoga.

pink tulips surrounded by green foliageThis is a tulip that definitely steps out of the ordinary. The pink petals of ‘China Town’ are each painted with a flame of green, and the foliage is outlined with white variegation. Here is an elegant standout paired with the silver-and-green leaves of Brunnera macrophylla (Zones 3–8).

Garden bench fronted by pink flowersIn front of this bench is a low mass of lavender-pink flowers from Cardamine quinquefolia (Zones 6–8), an unusual spring ephemeral that goes dormant and disappears after it finishes flowering.

Pale green and white tulipAnother unusual tulip, this is the variety ‘Green Star’.

Pale green tulipAnother view of the beautiful flowers of ‘Green Star’.

Dangling pink flowers shaped like heartsA bleeding heart (Dicentra eximia, Zones 3–9), with its nodding pink flowers and ferny foliage.

Large pink peony bloomThis spectacular tree peony (Paeonia suffruticosa, Zones 3–8) has a single layer of petals, the better to show off the dramatic dark eye in the bloom. (Learn more about tree peonies here.)

Japanese maple with burgundy new leavesJapanese maples (Acer palmatum, Zones 5–9) may never be as beautiful as when their leaves are just opening in the spring.

Spring blooms in the gardenGrape hyacinths (Muscari armeniacum, Zones 3–9) make a wonderful purple-blue backdrop to these melon-colored tulips.

A square stone patio surrounded by green plants and purple tulipsI love this view. There is something so peaceful and beautiful about this space, and the row of purple tulips is just the perfect complement to the art on the wall.

Purple tulip surrounded by purple leavesThe flower color of this tulip is perfectly echoed by the foliage of the heuchera (Heuchera hybrid, Zones 4–9) planted around it.

Have a garden you’d like to share?

Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

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