Sickels Street Garden – A Hidden Treasure

The Sickels Street Garden at the corner of Haverford Avenue and Sickels Street

One of the things I love about working at Sickels Street Garden is the way in which the plantings are arranged so that you are always presented with a “surprise” of color from the different blooms throughout the year. It’s almost like a timed energy injection for your eyes, so that as your eye leaps from one bloom to another, a surge of excitement is released, resulting in endless visual pleasure as far as your eye can reach.

Poor maintenance in the past made it difficult to enjoy this experience, but after a year (well maybe more) of planning and lots of work, It is great to see the results of all the effort that went into this space, and to make this exhilarating experience more tangible.
Purple asters


The asters we transplanted last summer along the back wall are now in bloom, showing off their bluish/purple daisy-like flowers. We started with 7, but the big, floppy-leafed plants have now almost doubled in number, and will need to be divided come next spring.

For the first time since I’ve worked on this site, we have been able to successfully disrupt the morning glory vine’s weedy growth enough to enjoy the purple blooms of the Russian sage throughout the entire garden.


Our crop of mums are still forming buds, but you can still enjoy some of the purple echinacea floral blooms, against the yellow backdrop of some late-blooming daylilies.

Along Haverford Ave, nested below the trumpet vine, you can spot a single hidden Kniphofia with its flaming blooms of orange & lime green.

And if you go a little further, the deep pink color of the turtlehead stops you in your tracks.



As you can see, there’s more than meets the eye at this small seemingly plain site. Hopefully you can get your shot of exhilaration before the season is out!

– Awinda Otieno-Pala

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