Garden Photo of the Day

Gardens of a Philadelphia Townhouse

An amazing display in a small area

I am Rich from Philadelphia. I am sharing some images from the gardens of our 1812 Federal-style townhouse. There is a front yard, which is located in the middle of a 10-plus block business district, and a “backyard,” most of which runs parallel to our home. I have endeavored to create a series of garden rooms that best match the light conditions of each area. The publicly viewable front yard includes a white-and-silver-themed perennial shade garden as well as a vibrant bed of rotating annuals. The backyard includes a formal courtyard with a triangular-shaped boxwood border, a perennial border, and a kitchen garden. Multiple water features and a diversity of shrubs, trees, and other plantings and accents contribute to a serene scene for birds, pollinators, and humans.

White and purple tulips mix with emerging shade perennialsWhite and purple tulips mix with emerging shade perennials in front of a Belgian fence of English ivy (Hedera helix, Zones 5–9).

silver and white-themed shade gardenThe white and purple tulips give way to a silver-and-white-themed shade garden that includes goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus, Zones 3–8), bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis, Zones 2–7), brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla, Zones 3–8), lambs’ ears (Stachys byzantina, Zones 4–8), geraniums (Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Zones 5–8), Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra, Zones 5–9), and hostas (Hosta hybrids, Zones 3–9).

garden bed with tropical plantsOnce the tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths fade, I transition the other side of the front yard to tropicals, which thrive in Philadelphia’s hot, humid summers.

small boxwoods surrounding tulipsA highlight of the backyard courtyard is the triangular boxwood border, seen here with Greigii tulips.

a mourning dove at a garden fountainA mourning dove has a drink at the courtyard fountain.

flowering trees and shrubs in a courtyardStandard lilacs (Syringa pubescens, Zones 4–7), deciduous azalea (Rhododendron hybrid), and boxwood (Buxus sp.) topiaries in the courtyard garden.

Right outside of our kitchen are four raised beds that are laid out in front of the garden shed. The main vegetables I grow are tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants, and the main herbs I grow are basil, parsley, rosemary, chives, and thyme. I have also grown carrots, radishes, lettuce, Swiss chard, pole and bush beans, garlic, and oregano.

raised beds next to a fenced garden bedTo the left of the raised beds is a full-sun flower bed that includes Coreopsis, liatris (Liatris spicata, Zones 3–9), yarrow (Achillea millifolium, Zones 3–9), Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia, Zones 5–9), daylilies (Hemerocallis hybrids, Zones 4–9), Echinacea, and garden phlox (Phlox davidii, Zones 3–8). Four ‘Degroot’s Spire’ arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Degroot’s Spire’, Zones 3–8) separate the courtyard from the raised beds.

garden bench plantersAt the back of the house is a quiet, relaxing seating area with raised planters, a fountain, and apple trees.

You can view more images on my Instagram page at @phillygarden

 

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Comments

  1. Cenepk10 06/15/2021

    Beautiful, Rich ! Gorgeous job organizing so much in a small space. Really love what you’ve done!

    1. User avater
      phillygarden 06/15/2021

      Thank you!

  2. Garden1953 06/15/2021

    Just gorgeous!

    1. User avater
      phillygarden 06/15/2021

      Thank you!

  3. sandyprowse 06/15/2021

    Holy Smokes! My hear is racing. I was sorry when it came to the last picture. I have never seen anything like it. What a paradise. Well done and Bravo to you Rich. Amazing. Love what you have performed in the gardens of your home.

    1. User avater
      phillygarden 06/15/2021

      Thank you for the kind words.

  4. User avater
    treasuresmom 06/15/2021

    Well done.

    1. User avater
      phillygarden 06/15/2021

      Thank you.

  5. User avater
    user-7007816 06/15/2021

    What a beautiful oasis you have created. Well done!

    1. User avater
      phillygarden 06/15/2021

      Thank you!

  6. User avater
    SimpleSue 06/15/2021

    I agree with "user-7007816"...I love a "garden oasis" in the city/business district, it's all the convenience of city living and all the wonders of nature side by side.
    Also you've made beautiful vegetable gardens blend in with the aesthetic of your ornamental gardens....love the "garden rooms" that adapt to the light conditions of your property.
    Well done!

    1. User avater
      phillygarden 06/15/2021

      Thank you, Sue! I checked out the photos of the woodland garden at your previous home in Oakland (Pittsburgh). It looked amazing!

  7. BTucker9675 06/15/2021

    Wonderful... when may I move into your lovely garden shed. I'll weed and deadhead to pay the rent! Thank you for sharing your beautiful garden.

    1. User avater
      phillygarden 06/15/2021

      Ha! Thank you for the kind words.

  8. Rebeccazone7 06/15/2021

    This is utterly gorgeous. I'm such a fly by the seat of my pants gardener, that I can't imagine the amount of time it took to plan it all. Also, it reminds me that as gardeners, there's always something that works, but doesn't seem to go....like the blue trellis. It is very striking.

    1. User avater
      phillygarden 06/15/2021

      Thank you for the kind words.

  9. runfortheroses 06/15/2021

    So much to like here! I particularly dig the triangular boxwood border with tulips. Formal, in the best possible way. Well played

    1. User avater
      phillygarden 06/15/2021

      Thank you, James! I just checked out your photos from the other day. Great use of natives and I enjoyed the wave-themed gate and fish bench. Nicely done!

  10. bsavage 06/16/2021

    Beautiful!

    1. User avater
      phillygarden 06/17/2021

      Thank you!

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