Glenwood Green Acres, Philadelphia

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    Glenwood Green Acres
    18th Street & Glenwood Avenue, North Central Philadelphia

    "I knew I needed a hobby to keep me busy and get me out of the house, and here was this big eyesore across the street—the perfect place to start a garden."— James Taylor (on his "second career" as a community gardener)

    Regarded as one of Philadelphia's largest and most dynamic community gardens, Glenwood Green Acres can be found in North Central Philadelphia's Susquehanna neighborhood. In 1984, a fire caused an entire complex of warehouses to be demolished along the 1800 block of Glenwood, and the residents across the street soon imagined starting a garden on this four-acre site.

    At first, Philadelphia Green was concerned that this large tract of land was simply too much for the group to handle, and initially supplied only enough materials for a three-house lot. But by the garden's third season, nearly 90 plots were flourishing. Philadelphia Green has since provided fencing, a watering system, a trellis, patio, benches, additional plant material, and technical support.

    In 1990, the slope along 18th Street was transformed into a hillside garden, set among boulders and overlooked by a pergola. In 1997, the Neighborhood Gardens Association/A Philadelphia Land Trust (NGA) preserved the garden as permanent open space by purchasing the property from the City's Sheriff Sale. In exchange for NGA's taking care of the site's legal aspects, the residents need only continue what they have been doing all of these years—nurturing an active garden.

    Glenwood Green Acres has won numerous prizes in the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's City Gardens Contest. The garden serves as a destination for Philadelphia Green-sponsored tours and as a location for horticultural workshops. It has hosted intergenerational projects on the heritage of southern agriculture, as crops of tobacco, cotton, and peanuts are still grown there.


    My friend Tom has a small garden here.

    ebroskie1234, jacqui 006 (catching up), and 21 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. davidhuiphoto 60 months ago | reply

      great composition

    2. darren bryden 60 months ago | reply

      Fantastic success story Tony, we could use more of this! I often wondered about the security of one's crops in a community garden. I guess people respect the effort enough to not steal from the gardens?

    3. Thibaut Lafaye 60 months ago | reply

      belle image couleur

    4. billnbenj 60 months ago | reply

      Great shot,Tony.Excellent composition,superb perspective down that path,and the colours and shapes of those houses are terrific.

    5. james.voves 60 months ago | reply

      I remember back during the war, the big war, WWll people would have Victory gardens in their backyards. We grew, corn, lettuce, radishes, carrots and of course tomatoes. How old am I? well the iceman delivered 25lb blocks of ice a few times a week and the phone man came to our house and collected the nickels from the box in our kitchen. White Castles were 5 cents, news papers 2 cents and gas 15 cents a gallon. I bet you don't remember any of that, And no TV

    6. GlennCantor (theskepticaloptimist) 60 months ago | reply

      Great photograph, with the brightly colored houses in the background. Urban community gardens are really important, at so many levels.

    7. Tony Fischer Photography 60 months ago | reply

      Thanks Glenn- and everyone - I am so in agreement with you!

    8. Majorlight 60 months ago | reply

      Fantastic....absolutely fantastic. I never knew the origin of the 'victory garden'....
      and what an amazing comment.....just to round things off...wonderful! The new generation takes a lot for granted....simply because we don't know what we don't know.....thank you for putting your experience out there....glad I came across it.

    9. ebroskie1234 60 months ago | reply

      uplifting and gorgeous place! You get a larger sense spatially with the foreground contrasting with the multicolored large houses in the background!

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    10. BKHagar *Kim* 60 months ago | reply

      LOVE the all-colors houses!! Good eye!! Nice compo!!

    11. jacqui 006 (catching up) 60 months ago | reply

      Like it!!

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    12. NorJon - All Rights Reserved 52 months ago | reply

      What a great neighborhood scene. Love the colors, the perspective- everything's great! Very pleasing to look at.

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    13. Relo Rick 52 months ago | reply

      I used a copy of this image in an article published at
      Just what I was looking for. Appreciate you sharing!

    14. --stpn; 15 months ago | reply

      I wonder how it had worked, if you had 9 moths of ugly weather in a year.

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