May is considered the most beautiful month for Philadelphia gardens, and it’s no surprise that it’s also the most popular month for horticultural events of every kind. From plant sales to garden tours to educational symposia, there are literally hundreds of garden programs taking place within the next thirty days.
Although it would be impossible for most of us to pack them all in, I put together a list of some interesting upcoming local events to put in your calendar. If I’ve missed anything good, feel free to add on in the comments section below.
On Thursday, May 9 you can combine plant shopping with a trip to the beautiful countryside at the Herb Society of America’s 74th annual herb sale, at Historic Yellow Springs in Chester County.
Although it’s currently open to the public on a limited basis, the Arboretum of the Barnes Foundation’s plant sale is back for 2013. On May 11, visitors can stroll the gardens and purchase all kinds of plants from tropicals to trees. There will also be free kids activities and guided tours of the Arboretum.
Stay busy the whole week of May 11-18 during Love Your Park Week, a partnership between Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy. There will be volunteer opportunities, family activities, and educational programs at parks throughout the city.
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and the Cultural Landscape Foundation are sponsoring a Civic Horticulture Conference on May 17, examining the role of horticulture in the development of healthy cities.
All over Philadelphia and its suburbs on the weekend of May 18-19, the Cultural Landscape Foundation is sponsoring free expert-led landscape tours at more than two-dozen of our area’s most important cultural landscapes, from Fairmount Park to the estate of Andalusia, on the Delaware River in Bucks County.
For inspiration for your petite garden, check out The 35th Annual Society Hill Open House and Garden Tour, taking place on Sunday, May 19th from 1-5.
With a rich horticultural history in its own right, Morris Arboretum is holding a daylong symposium on Gardening With History on May 30.
And the season winds down on June 1, with the Hidden Garden Tour of twenty Northwest Philadelphia private gardens, a self-guided tour from 10 am-3 pm.
You might be exhausted when the month is over, and your own garden will reproach you for neglecting it to go gallivanting off, but these events and programs prove that Philadelphia, home to more and better gardens and gardeners than any other part of the country, is a great place in which to appreciate the art of horticulture.