Exhibits in Bloom
Garden-inspired museum exhibits in and around Philly.
This month, Philadelphia is starting to show signs of spring, as well as the annual Philadelphia Flower Show. Still not enough? Check out the below for some garden-inspired attractions in and around the city.
THE DREAM GARDEN
Detour to the lobby of the nearby office building to see a stunning mosaic by artist Maxfield Parrish. Sitting on the stone bench before Parrish’s depiction of a luminous Eden— crafted from 100,000 pieces of Tiffany glass— and listening to the gurgle of the accompanying fountain offers as serene a respite from the rigors of sightseeing as any “real” garden. 699 Walnut St.
PHILADELPHIA’S MAGIC GARDENS
For a mosaic experience, consider a tour of Isaiah Zagar’s Magic Gardens. As you walk around town, you’re bound to encounter the distinctive work of this artistic genius, but here at his South Street home and studio, the artist reaches an apex in an outdoor jumble of mirrors and tiles and bottles and wheels and, well, we challenge you to find your own favorites. The fun continues inside. 1020 South St.
THE ARBORETUM OF THE BARNES FOUNDATION
Just because its magnificent art museum has relocated to Center City, doesn’t mean there’s no reason to visit the original Barnes complex in Merion, PA, about eight miles away. Cultivated by Dr. Barnes’ wife, Laura, this 12-acre treasure acts both as a teaching tool and a pleasure garden. Highlights include a rare monkey puzzle tree, a honey locust tree from the late 19th- century and an astounding redwood. 300 N. Latches Lane, Merion Station, PA
The magnificent Brandywine Valley estate of Henry Francis du Pont is treasured as a house museum and decorative arts gallery. But the 60-acre garden is an excellent example of an exotic, non-native landscape expertly designed to look natural. See rhododendron, dogwoods, lilies, peonies and irises. 5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur, DE
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens