Buzzworthy News at Penn State Extension Philadelphia's Demonstration Gardens in Fairmount Park!

The Penn State Extension Philadelphia Master Gardeners are particularly busy this year as their Edible Landscape Garden in Fairmount Park expands through a three year plan, that will more than double the current garden space from 1400 square feet to 4900 square feet.

Master Gardener Lois Fischer in the Edible Landscape Garden

Master Gardener Lois Fischer in the Edible Landscape Garden

Edible Landscape Garden

The design for the new expansion area has been created by fellow Master Gardener Chris Mattingly, with assistance from Master Gardener Committee Chair Lois Fischer. The expanded garden will consist of wheelchair accessible pathways, trellises for vegetables such as melons, squash and pole beans, as well as an updated area for seating and additional planting space. Lois (2003 Graduate) shares that, "this has been an exciting project for Master Gardeners, and we’ve worked very hard and have been very successful".

Funding for supplies of the expansion are supported by the Fairmount Park Conservancy, Philadelphia Department of Parks & Recreation, and the Newberger Family Foundation. They continue to search for funding of $3,000 to complete the final phase in 2019 for updated seating, and more planting space. The Edible Landscape Garden was originally designed and built in 2004 to show various cultivation practices, such as succession planting, integrated pest management and water conservation.

Certified Pollinator Habitat Garden

In addition to the Edible Landscape Garden, Philadelphia Master Gardeners also sponsor and manage the Certified Pollinator Habitat Garden at Fairmount Park from March through November. During these months, a small team of Master Gardeners plant new perennials and shrubs, as well as weed, dead head, and give tours to visitors on site. Fellow Master Gardener Howard Goldstein explains, "we continually evaluate each plant to see what kinds of insects feed on them, and at which time of month the insects feed on particular plants. There are about 48 native perennials and 12 native shrubs in the garden. Because they are native, we only water them when they are first planted to ensure that they get well established".

An extensive brochure which details the color of the flower and time of year that it blooms is available for visitors at the Pollinator Garden. This garden was designed to educate visitors about the life cycle of butterflies, bees and wasps, as well as provide food, shelter and water so these important species can flourish.

About Penn State Master Gardeners

The Penn State Master Gardener volunteer program supports the outreach mission of Penn State Extension by utilizing unbiased research-based information to educate the public and our communities on best practices in sustainable horticulture and environmental stewardship. After completing training, Master Gardeners help Extension serve the gardening public by answering questions, speaking to groups, writing gardening articles, working with youth, gardening in the demonstration gardens, participating in a range of citizen science research programs, and in many other ways.

Volunteer Opportunities

As these two demonstration gardens are volunteer run, opportunities for maintaining the garden may become available throughout the year. Interested individuals can send an email to:

Learn more about the Penn State Extension Philadelphia Demonstration Gardens in Fairmount Park.