It's been hot for a week and we're past Memorial Day, so summer has officially begun in Philadelphia, calendar be damned. With "summer" now underway, we can look forward to all of the cool stuff that comes with the season, including trips downashore, John's Water Ice, and PHS Pop Up Gardens. This year, PHS will again operate two gardens, coming to the Viaduct Rail park for the first time, and enjoying a third go-round on the 1400 block of South Street.

Outside the garden

Last night, the South Street garden had a sneak preview night and we made an appearance and snapped some photos. Isn't it great when a work event leads directly to free beer and snacks and some live music too?

Though the location is becoming old hat for PHS at this point, this year's garden represents the efforts of new partners and new operators, giving it a different feel than last year or the year before. Karen Regan from Tallulah & Bird designed the garden, creating new seating arrangements and incorporating a diverse mix of plant life. Also, there's a stage this year, providing a clear space for performances and events. Khyber Pass Pub takes over the food and drink program this year, and it seems like the garden has two bars this year which will improve the flow during busy times. As they have in previous years, Jamaican Jerk Hut will again participate. After all, they're permanently located next door and their food is delicious.

Wide shot of the garden

Bar area

Another bar

Band on the stage

A couple of booths in the back

Part of the seating area

The garden officially opens on Friday. Operating hours will be Monday – Thursday: Noon – 10pm; Friday: Noon – Midnight; Saturday: 2pm – Midnight; Sunday: Noon – 10pm.