Gardening Tips for Philadelphia Rowhomes

Some Philadelphia rowhomes include small front yards and garden plots. West Philadelphia. Mount Airy, and Chestnut Hill (just to name a few) all boast some pretty stunning gardens. But many neighborhood homes have little to no greenspace. However, renters and homeowners in these dense urban areas can easily integrate a little more green into their homes and blocks. Vegetation brings considerable benefit to the residents and visitors of a city. Trees, in particular, create enormous value. In addition to added stormwater control, air pollution reduction and summer cooling effects, trees can add actual cash value to a property. A recent study revealed that street trees add approximately $7,000 to the value of a home (and increase the rent value by $21 per month).

Planted Containers on a Philadelphia Street

Street Trees

Because trees add so much value to the residents of a city, Philadelphia wants to plant as many as possible. Tree Philly, an innovative horticultural program, has given away nearly 18,000 trees since the program launched in 2012. Residents with private yards can request a free tree during semi annual tree giveaways in April and October. And residents and business owners can request a street tree throughout the year. In exchange for the free tree, Tree Philly asks residents to care for their tree and water it with 15-20 gallons per week during the first two years. Pretty fair trade, we think.

Containers

If you don’t need or can’t use a street tree, windowboxes can magically transform a standard brick rowhome into something vibrant and exotic. Greensgrow in Fishtown, and Urban Jungle in Passyunk both sell window box units as well as full service installation. For the DIY-er, remember to consider the amount of sunlight your rowhome receives throughout the day. Homes with southern exposure can nurture the growth of many plants, but for shadier or north facing streets, a variety of plants will work. In windowboxes, consider petunias, sweet potato vine and impatiens. For curbside container gardening, Amanda Staples of Germantown Kitchen Garden recommends “oak leaf hydrangea, creeping phlox, red twig dogwood, and Pennsylvania Sedge” We think any of these would probably look great in front of your rowhome this summer. Good luck getting your garden growing!

Rose Bush in East Falls
Winter Container Garden