Liberty Gardens, Liberty Bell Center, Philadelphia

This is a Sculpture at the Constitution Center where our group was headed by limousine.

Independence Hall, on a really dreary Philadelphia day, started in 1732 and completed in 1753, is thought to be the birthplace of the United States. It was within its walls that the Declaration of Independence was adopted and where the Constitution of the United States was debated, drafted and signed. This is the rear of the building in the plaza where the Liberty Bell is housed in another structure.

Another view looking at Independence Hall.

This is the courtyard garden at The Liberty Bell Center

View seen from the limo ride of ships along the waterfront, just before the big downpour. The limo was moving very fast and the ships were hard to capture, so we settle for roses above and a tree below.

Big Sailing Ship

My Garden Fling started a bit earlier than most, here in Philadelphia.

While not a Fling garden, I find Philly a most fascinating garden city with some of the most beautiful landscapes around. I would vote for Philly to host a Fling in the future, because the city has so much to offer a visitor.

What you are seeing here is The Liberty Bell Center gardens. They are small, but nicely done.

My cousin and her grandson, just as the sun starts to peek out and make for a nicer day.

Philly Phanatic statue, don’t ask what he is, because I have no clue.

When I lived in PA, I did get to Philadelphia pretty often because our business had season tickets to the Flyers, 76ers, and Eagles. I was quite a sports fan, but have to say it waned living here near Buffalo. No offense to the local teams, but the team spirit always seemed greater in Philadelphia. But Buffalo does do tailgate parties pretty darn good. Many are fair weather fans though.

I went to the Constitution Center with my cousin and her grand kids (above in limo) for a half day. We went in style in a stretch limo and our driver was named Ruben, a driver my cousin knew well. A very nice guy, he was the utmost professional. Why a limo? My cousin travels to Philadelphia this way often. I guess it is better than finding a parking place and dealing with traffic. Anyway, it was a nice ride.

First stop was the Constitution Center on this rainy day.

The Founding Fathers in The National Constitution Center. These statues were life size, but our founding fathers were rather short. I was taller than many of them.

The Boss and his Corvette. This was part of the Bruce Springsteen exhibit we had tickets for, but did not see. The kids were getting bored.

We did see an original copy of the Constitution.

This is the Sculpture on Transportation that was on exhibit. A detail of it is in the first image of the post. We were not allowed photos in the center unless part of a photography group, which the guards though I was a part. Rather than getting found out as an interloper, I lowered the camera to my waist and shot like a photo ninja, hoping to get a good exposure and focus. Not bad huh, for shooting in the blind?

The garden outside The Liberty Bell Center

This is the Liberty Bell. Well, at least the Liberty Bell stunt Bell, one of 55 imposter bells. I do not know if this is the actual Bell housed in The Liberty Bell Center, but my cousin’s grandson said this is a duplicate. I tried to find out but no luck. No one was talking. Anyway, it is displayed in a glass enclosure in beautiful accommodations, real or not.

Originally, the Bell hung in the bell tower of the State House, Independence Hall, today (and shown at the start of this post), back in 1753. The abolitionists rang the bell as a symbol of liberty because it was inscribed with “Proclaim Liberty” (you can see that barely in the image to the left). Today, the Bell is a symbol of America’s Freedom. Everyone who studied American history probably knows this information and why the Bell is cracked, so I won’t get into all of the History.

Pennsylvania loves its trees. It means Penn’s Woods literally, and PA is very respectful of the natural spaces, although they are becoming less and less.

We went to lunch at the oldest restaurant in Philadelphia, The City Tavern, run by world-famous, Chef Staib. The restaurant was restored to 90 percent of original authenticity after it burned down in 1834. It was also called the Merchants’ Coffee House at that time, and was the political, social, and business center of the new United States. When it burned down, the merchants decided to build the Merchant’s Exchange across the street. It was later restored and rebuilt, which shows how important history is in this city.

Bar supply nook inside The City Tavern.

We dined in the same room that George Washington had his inaugural dinner. This restaurant was a favorite of many of the Founding Fathers.  Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, and Paul Revere all ate here.

This is the room where Washington dined, and so did we. In 1789, George Washington celebrated here with 250 Philadelphia bluebloods prior to his inaugural in New York City in this restaurant. My cousin purchased a book written on this restaurant and it included the recipes of Chef Staib. The food is all fresh grown and mostly authentic to the time period.

Lunch for the five of us, mine was the Crab & Shrimp Salad

Another place we stopped was at the Curtis Publishing Company to see the Favrile glass mosaic by Tiffany Studios. Entitled, The Dream Garden, it is based on a Maxfield Parrish painting, and the artist’s own gardens. It is very large at 15 feet by 49 feet.

Dream Garden Mural

Detail of the mural of over 100,000 glass pieces.

Ruben and his ride after he dropped us off at my cousin’s city home. I will show you the house my grandfather grew up in, owned by the Historical Society. The mansion was bequeathed to them by my cousin’s mother. Currently, it is used for private parties and tours. Shortly, I will show the place I spent my teenage years, then the home I had before moving to New York.

We will get to the large public gardens in PA next, starting with the Morris Arboretum, followed later, by some Fling images. Lots to post and more to come on where I grew up.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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30 Responses to Liberty Gardens, Liberty Bell Center, Philadelphia

  1. My aunt lives near Philly and I love the area. That mural is incredible!!! WOW!! I wish every city were as green as Philly. :o) Sounds like a fun trip.

    • Your aunt may be near where I lived. I was 40 miles away where we lived in my teens and 60 miles away where I grew up and later married. It always is fun touring around Philadelphia. Too much to see.

  2. Andrea says:

    It is lovely to know the other side of Donna and her famous ancestors, both as a people and in the family. But i observed something, exactly in the 3rd photo, the tree is so cramped by concrete at its base. I thought this thing only happens here when only few people are concerned with plants and environment. I really hate it here because most of the city landscapers do not do their job well, nor ask those who know. But of course we are so much different in system than your country, where it is easy to correct something wrong! Thanks also for the tour, and those dishes are so yummy-looking!

    • Some people of accomplishment in the family for sure. My uncle worked with Einstein. Now that is an amazing family fact. My great great great something or other, (relatives said grandfather but tracing lineage back to the 1700s, it is hard to see the direct route), was George Frideric Handel the composer. On arriving to America, the spelling of the name was changed. And on my mother’s side was Ernest Ludwig Kirchner the artist. So there was some interesting characters. My brother holds many pattens and has his own accomplishments too. Me, not famous, but I like it that way.

      That tree was a bit confined was it not? It still looked quite happy. The permeable paving helped quite a bit.

  3. Lovely tour of Philly. We were in the Philly area a couple years ago…we had a Philly Cheese Steak. Yours looks a lot better!
    Love those lush hostas.
    Your ninja photo is great!! I once took a ninja shot of Spandau prison while Hess was still alive. The other guy on the bus got in trouble for trying to get a shot, ha!! Not quick enough.

    • I envy you seeing Spandau while Hess was alive. The history there was quite gruesome, but none the less it still is history. Being all German, I always wanted to see the country, mountains, cities and countryside. To think, my grandparents came from there at that time. So much no one ever spoke of.

  4. Wow, that food looks great (and oddly untouched). I live outside of Philadelphia (my mother would never let us call it Philly) and I have never been to the City Tavern. The Constitution Center is one of the best museum complexes that I have ever visited—well worth a trip. The public plantings all through PHL are wonderful thanks to the PA Horticultural Society’s PHL Green efforts.

    • I know some consider substituting Philly for Philadelphia a bit brash. I mostly call it by the proper name, but when Philly cheese steaks and the Philly Fanatic became popular the colloquial stuck I think. You must dine at the Tavern. I have been to many well known restaurants, like Tavern on the Green in Central Park,NY, the Brown Derby in LA, and Chicago has too many to name as an example, and the The City Tavern was one of my favorites. The food was excellent and considering the chef is so well known, the prices were somewhat reasonable. And the wait staff, all college educated historians. What a treat.

  5. cathywieder says:

    Donna, thanks so much for the informative and inspiring tour!! We are definitely going to have to visit that tavern (as well as the other historical sites!). Your photographs are fabulous, as always, and I enjoyed reading about your family and your visit to each landmark.

    • It is a must see place. I was as much intrigued by the architecture as the entrees. Our waitress was a historian, as were other staff members. She really knew the history of the place and time too. I found her fascinating.

  6. Bom says:

    Thank you for the informative tour. You made me smile at your comment of short founding fathers. We got to visit Mt. Vernon on our trip and we noticed the same thing about George and Martha. Judging from the supposedly authentic food pictures, your founding fathers ate well so height must not have been due to nutritional deficiencies. Wonderful shots all around, yes, even those shot from the hip.

  7. mdphotographers says:

    Wow thanks for taking us on this trip. I may be taking my family to Philly to your some of the same spots you visited later this week.

  8. Barbie says:

    Thank you for the nostalgic trip. The gardens are so green and well tended and the waterfront view is amazing – reminds me of Cape Town’s waterfront. But the trees are my best!!

    • It was so stormy when we drove by the ships. I would have liked to have Rubin stop to get some really good shots, but the kids really wanted to get home. I have been trying to get to your blog, but I can not from either my site or Blotanical. Your link must be broken, the page gets a 404 code.

  9. John says:

    Looks like you had a great trip, and in a limo to boot! Very cool indeed. Looking forward to the rest of the pictures and stories from the remainder of your trip.

  10. I love Parrish and that mural is wonderful!

  11. Masha says:

    Thank you for the tour! I always wanted to see the big East Coast cities, but my visits so far have been confined to the insides of airports :(. You must have had a wonderful time.

  12. Finally able to get to blogs and what a wonderful post in my hometown…I saw and touched the Liberty Bell where it was housed in the 70s. I know we had to climb in a tower…we toured Betsy Ross’ house and many old cemeteries…love the history of Philly where I was born.

  13. Malinda says:

    Beautiful – I’ve never been to Philadelphia. It’s on the list to take the kids. I also wanted to let you know that I’ve changed blog names and you can find “The Potager Page” at http://www.Inthelightof Finally back to reading and blogging!

  14. Thanks for taking us along, Donna. Your narrative and photos are so vivid that I feel like I was there!

    • Thanks for commenting. I wanted to let you know to skip the older posts and comment on the newest one if you can. Your site is so funny and entertaining that I want others to click to see it. It gets lost on an older post.

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