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PAH Honored for Its Green Spaces

The Washington Square West Civic Association and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) have recently honored PAH and other individuals and groups dedicated to creating and maintaining open green spaces in the Washington Square West neighborhood. PAH was specifically honored for its commitment to the courtyard behind the President’s House as well as the historic Physic Garden. A formal event was held June 20, in the PHS Pop-Up Garden on Broad Street between Spruce and Pine Streets. 

PAH Green Spaces Photo

Shown in the front from left to right from PAH are:  Lead Horticulturalist Samuel Royer, Gardening Group Chair for the Physic Garden Kate McGrann, Associate Director of Engineering Services, Christopher Reitz, Physician Liaison and Community Relations Coordinator Matthew Menard, and Director of Engineering Services, Jeffrey O’Neil.  

PAH takes great pride in the appearance and maintenance of its gardens which can reduce stress through interaction with nature. Come each spring, the wisteria in front of the center of the Pine Building and the azaleas along the front of east and west wings are in their full glory. Both the azalea bushes and wisteria vines are estimated to be over 100 years old.

To the far right, behind the azaleas is the Physic Garden. The physicians approached the Board of Managers to create the Physic Garden in 1774 to provide them with on-site ingredients for medicines. The idea was approved, but due to continuous financial struggles the project was delayed for over two centuries. The Physic Garden was finally made possible by the ten member clubs of the Philadelphia Committee of the Garden Club of America and the Friends of Pennsylvania Hospital in 1976, as a project to honor our nation’s bicentennial. The plants in the Physic Garden were selected as a collective representation of herbs, trees, and shrubs grown for medicinal purposes in America in the 18th Century. Volunteers from local garden clubs in Philadelphia continue to maintain the garden to this day.

The Physic Garden, The Pine Street Garden, as well as the other gardens on PAH’s campus – like the one found between the Garfield Duncan Buildings and the Harte Memorial Building – are open to patients, visitors and staff of the hospital year-round. 


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