Eric Sternfels has shared pictures of Ned Wolf Park in Philadelphia before (A Garden Made by a Community), but he sent in these photos because he said it was clear that the May bloom bonanza needed documentation. He was clearly right! This park is lovingly maintained by local volunteer gardeners and is a marvelous space.
Paeonia ‘Flame’ (Zones 3–8) repeats the color tones in the park’s emblem, as recently painted on the party wall of the 19th-century twin house that adjoins the park. A fire in the 20th century left empty this site, which was a 1920s gas station and a city park in the 1970s. The park’s emblem is a hybrid of a traditional fleur-de-lis and a stylized leaf shape.
Here is a close-up of the Allium christophii (Zones 4–8) that intermingles with the ‘Flame’ peony.
A muted tone of the coral color repeats with Heuchera ‘Berry Smoothie’ (Zones 4–8), which pairs well with white Japanese roof iris (Iris tectorum ‘Alba’, Zones 4–9) and the richly marbled foliage of Helleborus × ericsmithii ‘Sun Marble’ (Zones 5–9). Smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’, Zones 3–9) is waiting in the wings for its moment to thrill.
More of the shade-loving white roof iris is paired with different blue hostas, Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Zones 5–9), and Carex siderosticha (Zones 5–8). At the upper left, you can see a Little Free Library box that offers free books to anyone visiting the park.
Mostly native plants surround one of the sophora trees (Sophora japonica, Zones 4–8): Pennsylvania sedge (Carex pennsylvania, Zones 3–7), Canadian wild ginger (Asarum canadense, Zones 4–6), Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides, Zones 3–9), and maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum, Zones 3–8).
Our clump of the Chinese ground orchid (Bletilla striata, Zones 5–9) gets bigger every year in equal parts sun and shade.
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