Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

I recently visited Philadelphia, PA for a hand crafted wholesale market to find new artists for my shop/gallery. One afternoon after we were finished at the market, we decided to walk to South Street since it was a beautiful 70 degree, sunny day. In February, 70 degrees? It was amazing! I have been to Philadelphia many times but had never been in this area of the city. We stumbled upon Philadelphia’s Magic Garden which was created by artist Isaiah Zagar.

There is a really good article (with more good photos) on the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation site if you’d like more information about the renaissance of this blighted area of Philadelphia. We weren’t able to tour the gardens as we hadn’t bought a ticket in advance and the tickets were all sold out. But there were amazing mosaics up and down the street and there is a map on their site where you can see more than 200 of Zagar’s public artworks. If you click on the little dots and blue stripes, you can see photos of those murals. There is a link to the full size photo at the bottom of the box that pops up. Here’s a couple of good ones from the Magic Gardens: photo from above, photo from the front.

There were lots of people out and about but it is really hard to describe the scope of these artworks.


They are beautiful and really eye catching.

Can you imagine being up at the top of this building working on this mosaic? And they were in really good condition. No damage or grafitti that I saw.

I took tons of photos to show my friend Deb Stika who does mosaics. (You can click on any of the photos to enlarge them and see the details a bit better.) I also put in a request to have her mosaic the front of my store. She said she would for a “small fee”.

So if you are in Philadelphia, this is a really great place to spend an afternoon, strolling down South Street and looking at all the art on display. Make sure to get your tickets in advance if you want to see the Magic Garden.

Don’t forget that it’s your last chance to sign up for the Free Motion Machine Stitching on Felt online class that starts March 17th. You don’t need any free motion stitching experience, the class begins with the basics. The registration closes tomorrow. Come join the fun!


6 thoughts on “Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

    1. Yes, there was many, many hours of work put into the mosaics. The sunshine and warm weather was absolutely fabulous. Still have nearly 5 feet of snow piled in front of our house 🙂

  1. Thanks for the tour Ruth! You really got lucky with the weather, they been getting hit pretty bad with blizzards this winter.

  2. “PMG is open today, however due to snow and ice the outdoor sculpture garden is closed” It looks like you chose the right day to go! I can’t even imagine how much work went into those, I planned to mosaic a garden wall inspired by Gaudi, I did one, small 3′ x 1′ test area where my pots go, and changed my mind.

    1. Yes, I did time it perfectly actually. Of course, I was there for something else entirely so it was just dumb luck. I can understand changing your mind. The result is gorgeous but the work is extraordinary!

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