The Washington Square West Civic Associationand the PennsylvaniaHorticultural Society (PHS) have recently honored PAH and other individuals andgroups dedicated to creating and maintaining open green spaces in theWashington Square West neighborhood. PAH was specifically honored for itscommitment to the courtyard behind the President’s House as well as thehistoric Physic Garden. A formal event was held June 20, in the PHS Pop-UpGarden on Broad Street between Spruce and Pine Streets. 

PAH Green Spaces Photo

Shown in the front from left to right fromPAH are:  Lead Horticulturalist Samuel Royer, Gardening Group Chair for thePhysic Garden Kate McGrann, AssociateDirector of Engineering Services, ChristopherReitz, Physician Liaison and Community Relations Coordinator Matthew Menard, and Director ofEngineering Services, Jeffrey O’Neil.  

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

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

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


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