Gardens, Philadelphia, PA, USA (photos)

I took a wide variety of photographs during 2006 and most were located in the maze of neighborhoods that makes up the city of Philadelphia. These are two of my favorites.

The rose was a single bold and brilliantly beautiful flower hanging just over the edge of a chain-link fence marking the perimeter of a yard that would be considered to small to garden almost anywhere in the Midwest. In Philadelphia, it was considered positively expansive and the owner clearly loved growing flowers. Sometimes a garden will make passersby stop for a moment and just stare. This was one of those places and, honestly, that is a sincere and serious tribute to the gardener (whom I never met) because in east coast cities, fast moving traffic is one of the (very) few things that actually make people stop moving and pay attention.

The corn-like stalk was located in the meridian between the sidewalk and the road. It was surrounded by a smaller collection of flowers which made for an elegant and purposely simple design. It was pretty and surprising both because of the location and the effort placed into arrangement. It was memorable because I, literally, stumbled across it.

(I say corn-like because at the time this photo was taken, just like now, I looked at this plant and thought ‘is that corn?’ It looks awfully similar, yet different, but I can’t put my finger on why, exactly.)

I had tripped over a section of tree roots and the broken section of sidewalk previously covering them. The stumble brought me face to face with a small flower that must have been planted in the base of the tree because it was not a wildflower (I think it was a tulip) but was so out of place it was difficult to believe the location was anything but random. Shortly after I looked up from roots and out-of-place not-wild flower, I found this living flower-arrangement placed directly between the unbroken sidewalk and a parked car. I honestly don’t remember if the corn was right next to the tree or a short walk down the block, but the tree stumble was the reason I started to notice flowers and beautiful wild things in unexpected places – something that is far to easy to miss in large cities.

I suspect there are some who will read this and insist that I wasn’t in the right Philly neighborhood for garden viewing, and that may be true – but this is my honest description of my own experience of the place. Please feel free to respond with your own.

(C) Adora Myers 2014

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