Plants in the Raised Beds
When Athena Tacha designed her landscaped park in 1991, the plan was for it to be the centerpiece of Franklin Town, surrounded by high-rise residential buildings and viewed from above. As noted in our articles here, Franklin Town, which was to have been a city-within-a-city and completed in ten years, ran out of money. Nevertheless, Franklin Town Park stood as the centerpiece of the surface parking lots that "Franklin Town" had become, just waiting for residents.
Residences have organically filled in most of the fifty acres that was to be Franklin Town. The name of the Park was changed in 2011 to Matthias Baldwin Park, to honor the man who had his locomotive factories spreading from Broad Street to 19th Street (and beyond).
Looking east on June 8.
There are 29 crescents making up the landscaped beds.
If you have ever wondered what a particular plant is, this page will tell you what the predominant plants are in each numbered crescent. We did a more extensive identification project for the trees in the Park, and that you can find here.
In the diagram below, north is at the top of the diagram (Center City is to the south). Each crescent will be noted in the text below with the species in that crescent. You can ignore the trees in this diagram, and go to our tree link, as some of the trees have been replaced since this diagram was put together. Also, some plants, like the yuccas, are spread around, the yuccas being placed especially at the tips of some crescents near the rock plinths.
This is a work in progress as of July 2021, so help us identify the plants if you can. Ignore the trees in the above diagram, as this is a 2008 map and has changed. Dates on photos are from 2020 except where otherwise noted.
1. Perennial hibiscus, perennial geraniums, rushes, day lilies (west), Stella d'oro lilies (east)
2. Echinacea (coneflower), Rudbeckia hirta (black-eyed Susan), yellow rose
5. Russian sage (salvia)
6. Yellow sedum
8. Red sedum
11. Plumbago (leadwort)
17. Lamb's ear
22. Lariope, pink rose
23. Black-eyed Susan, lariope
24. Creeping juniper, false indigo
27. Creeping juniper
28. Yellow sedum
29. Barberry, catmint
Looking southwest over crescent #1 on May 9, 2020.
The perennial geraniums are in front and the rushes behind. The bare spot seen here in 2020 was filled in with hibiscus plants, seen below, in August of 2020. These plantings were paid for by the Friends of Matthias Baldwin Park.
These 40 perennial hibiscus plants were placed in crescent #1 in August 2020.
They are also called swamp rose mallow, and are great for this wet area. They are cold hardy. In the spring they are cut down to the ground and fill out quickly with huge flowers.
June 8: Looking northeast down from the grasses in crescent #15 towards the red sedum in #8, the juniper in #7, the yellow sedum in #6, and the Stella D'oro lilies in #1.
Yellow sedum is also in crescent #28.
Juniper is in crescents #10 and 27.
June 9: Looking west at crescent #5 with Russian sage on right, abelia in #13 in middle, and yarrow in #14 at bottom left.
May 9: looking northwest at crescent #29 with the catmint in front and the barberry behind. The catmint is covered with bees gathering food.
May 9: looking north at crescent #26 containing cotoneaster in front, spirea in #25 above, and plumbago in #16 lying low to ground above the spirea. A clump of individual yuccas is on the left near the plinth.
Cotoneaster is also in crescents #12 and #18.
Plumbago is also in crescent #11.
May 24: false indigo admixed with juniper in front in crescent #24, lariope in #23 above that, yarrow in #14 above that, and abelia in #13 at top left.
June 8 looking northeast from right to left: Russian sage in crescent #5 at right, caryopteris in #4, grasses in #3, yellow roses in #2.
June 8 looking northeast: pink roses and lariope in crescent #22 and asters in #21 above.
June 3 looking northwest: lamb's ear on right in crescent #17 and spirea on left in #25.
Looking west on June 3: sundrops
June 10: one of many yuccas in the beds
June 10: euonymus in crescent #19 above and blue catmint in #20