Four Secret Gardens with Open Gates

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May 31, 2017 –

pink roses

“This garden is a darling plot of land adjacent to the historic Wyck House in the heart of Germantown. Walk down the avenue between Walnut and High streets on any given sunny day between early summer and fall, and you’ll likely smell the garden before you actually see it. The sweet, billowing fragrance of more than 50 cultivars of fresh roses waft over the fence and into the neighborhood.”

Read Brittany Barbato’s entire GRID article  here:


Brittany Barbato is a Philadelphia-based writer, photographer, and videographer whose work uses individuals’ stories to inspire action on key issues such as poverty, healthcare, education, and the environment. Having served as a communications and digital media professional for both nonprofit and corporate organizations, she’s witnessed how content focused on folks who are finding solutions can forge real pathways for building stronger communities.

Plan the Perfect Floral Photo Op in Philly

Garden Collage Magazine logo

May 7, 2017 –

Photo courtesy Garden Collage Magazine
Photo courtesy Garden Collage Magazine

“If you’re looking for a spot to shoot your own engagement photos, graduation portraits, or just want to ramp up the florals in your Instagram/Snapchat, check out Wyck House in Philadelphia, PA.”

“Located in the Northern area of the city, Wyck House boasts the oldest rose garden in original plan America, and in the Spring the space is overrun with roses, which makes for a delightfully-fragrant and visually-dazzling experience. (Peak times of year are May and June.) Unlike a traditional rose garden– where roses tend to be confined to their quadrants– the roses of Wyck House grow in great masses, trailing up terraces and winding across walls, for a petaled spectacle that looks as though it was transported out of an idyllic corner of the English countryside. With benches tucked in between trailing branches, the gardens have a pervasive sense of backyard discovery, a quiet sanctuary on a busy street.”

Read the Nora Mueller’s entire article here:




Oak Tea Caddy

This oak tea caddy with a bronze lock is a true treasure of the Wyck collection. Atop the lid is a metal plate that states, “Made from one of the old oak trees at Flushing L-I under which George Fox preached the gospel A.D. 1672. JBH.” Upon looking inside, a handwritten note explains, “Presented to Jane Bowne Haines (II) on her 17th birthday July 18, 1886 by her Aunt Jane Reuben Haines, the daughter of the original owner of this box, Jane Bowne Haines (I).” Owned by three generation of Wyck women, this remarkable piece is on display in our back parlor. For more information about George Fox in Flushing, check out this 1862 article from Harper’s New Monthly Magazine:  Harper’sNewMonthly.GeorgeFoxJBH box


Meet Martha Keen, our new horticulturist!

Martha Keen by tulips

Martha Keen, wMartha Keen by tulipshose favorite plant is the “funny looking” spineless prickly pear (Opuntia ellisian), is Wyck’s new Horticulturist and Landscape Manager. Growing up, Keen lived on a CSA Farm in Nebraska where she surrounded by plants and agriculture, sparking an interest in horticulture. However, she never expected her passion would become a profession. In college, she studied the Classics at St. John’s College in Sante Fe, NM and worked the normal nine to five jobs after graduation. Eventually, Keen followed her heart and found work in horticulture.

The first eight years of her career she worked in Nebraska, New York and New Mexico gardening and cultivating her craft. Her first big job was at the Landscape Architect office for Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY. At Prospect Park, she did historic and restoration work, similar to what she’s doing at Wyck.  Keen decided to go back to school to fill in the gaps of her horticulture knowledge and receive formal training in her field. She was enrolled in the two year Professional Gardener Program at Longwood Gardens, which is only offered to 10 people per year, before coming to Wyck. At Longwood Gardens, she learned everything can always be better and when one approaches a garden, especially in the Spring, it can be difficult to prioritize what’s important. Keen noted that being the only horticulturist at Wyck can be difficult at times since everything she does needs to be done with great sensitivity towards the extensive history of Wyck as well as the integrity of the historic garden. Her main goal is to preserve the snapshot of a certain period in gardening.

Keen’s advice for young professionals starting their career is to be bold and reach out to people you admire, respect or want to emulate. She, like many others, recognizes that people will be flattered and willing to help young professionals if asked for their advice. Keen also advises that people should pursue a job that will make them happy. She said, “Be excited about your work because you spend so many hours of your life at work. It should be something you really believe in. Pursue your own bliss and happiness. Live to work instead of work to live.” Keen noted all her best decisions came from following her heart, even when it wasn’t the most sensible choice.

The favorite part of Keen’s job is the diversity in her work. While some might find tending to plants routine, Keen explained that every day is different -no two days are the same in the garden.

“Wyck is special because there’s always more to be discovered. Whether it’s the family’s history or written records that are still being unearthed, or plants coming up now that might have been doormat before. It’s an enchanting place with a wonderful history that really champions women,” Keen said.

Wyck is happy to have such a talented horticulturist as part of the family. Keen works every day in the garden and farm preserving the beauty and history of Wyck. While Martha is busy in the Garden most days, people will get to meet her on May 27 at the Celebrate the Roses Open House for her lecture, Language of Roses.

Article by Mia Cherrier, communications intern, La Salle University.  May 4, 2017