Monday, November 11, 2013

Buy a Brick!

     The Friends of Ned Wolf Park have created a great way for supporters to leave their mark in the park as we continue to raise funds for the Terrace Wall Project.  With your donation of $100 or more, we can offer you a custom engraved red clay brick [three lines of type with up to 20 characters per line] to be set into the park's paved terrace. But your donation will, more importantly, allow us to remove and replace the carcinogenic creosoted landscape ties that are decaying and shifting after 40 years.  Once our fundraising goal is met, a new stone retaining wall, raised to bench height, will create a multipurpose gathering place at the heart of the park.   The image above shows the pattern of the bricks that we will be replacing at the Terrace's center.   And with each 12 ordered, we'll engrave and install a block of these commemorative bricks so it won't be too long before you can visit your custom brick which will enrich the terrace and move us closer to the construction of a new stone wall.

     Take a look at this rendering to get a better idea.  The dry-laid Wissahickon schist wall will be topped with Pennsylvania bluestone.  So even when there isn't a spontaneous or planned group activity in the park, the new seating wall will bring folks closer to the banked planting beds which we will refresh with even more dynamic plantings.  And that low wall will be useful when the park hosts
art exhibits or plant sales.   We can more comfortably present talks about the plantings or facilitate the T'ai Chi classes or any number of new potential uses for our park once a group can simply sit down and engage together.

There are only 192 bricks available, so we hope you reserve one now.  Just pick up a brochure from one of the park's information boxes.   You can then fill out the order form with your inscription, enclose your check payable to "The Friends of Ned Wolf Park,"  seal the edges, add a stamp and mail it.   These personally engraved bricks would make a great holiday gift alternative that will be visible for generations.  And your community contribution will be well spent, long remembered, and much appreciated!

Below is the full sized order form for a custom engraved brick.  In lieu of finding a brochure at Ned Wolf Park, you may copy and print this form to use to place your order.   After filling it out, you may send it with your check payable to Friends of Ned Wolf Park to:

Friends of Ned Wolf Park
c/o Mark Klempner
6923 Greene Street
Philadelphia, PA  19119

Monday, November 4, 2013

New Month, New Colors...

It didn't take too many days in to November to produce a cold snap which accelerated the fall colors at Ned Wolf Park.  The drift of Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum odoratum 'Variegatum') has taken on a lovely golden color, as the cherry trees above begin to yellow.

Check out the striking rusty orange tones of these glossy leaves.  This is a photo of our new Crape Myrtle, Lagerstroemia 'Biloxi'.  This multi-stemmed specimen was planted in the spring of 2013 near the tool shed.  Eventually, this cultivar should grow as high as 20' tall, forming a handsome vase shaped tree.  If you didn't notice it this summer, it has medium/light pink blooms in July and August.
These three pumpkins didn't grow in Ned Wolf Park, but were imported to help set the harvest mood for our "Autumn Afternoon" event on October 19, 2013. (See previous post).  They were positioned to be inviting when seen from the sidewalks and to offer a bit of whimsy to some areas that needed a visual boost.  We accepted the good possibility of having the pumpkins "disappear" as Halloween approached, but now are delighted to report that they remain in place to offer a burst of color as folks start walking through the park a bit quicker now that temperatures are falling and winds are blowing.  Let's hope they'll stay until every Thanksgiving pumpkin pie has been baked..........

And these purple asters (Aster novae-angliae 'Purple Dome') are still in full bloom in this semi-shaded location near the park's only backless bench.   In the background is the large shrub Euonymus alatus commonly called 'Burning Bush' for reasons I might have had to explain last week!
And there are two varieties of Toad Lilies, a.k.a. Tricyrtis, that are now showing their exotic spotted flowers.  This one, with purple speckled blossoms is planted behind the two benches closest to McCallum Street.  And another with paler, white blossoms with softer plum-colored speckles, is planted near the big tree close to the central paved terrace.  Even last nights near-freezing temperature doesn't seem to bother these unusual late bloomers.   Look for some divisions of these hardy perennial plants at our next plant sale!  Rumor has it someone has lots to donate.

I'll admit that this image doesn't exactly reflect what we grow in the gardens at Ned Wolf Park.  And the photo was heightened for artistic effect.   But a visit to our park can surely help transport you out of the everyday and bring a little seasonal magic into your day,

Thursday, October 31, 2013

More "Autumn Afternoon" photos

Our first Fall Festival, entitled "An Autumn Afternoon in Ned Wolf Park" took place on October 19th, 2013.  And there were some fun activities for all who arrived.  The day was seasonably cool, with a mix of sun and clouds, and many friends and neighbors streamed through the park from 1pm to 4 pm.  We sampled lots of seasonal treats like apples and cider from Weavers Way Co-op, donuts from Trolley Car diner and some homemade goodies from neighbors including popcorn and a variety of cookies.
Besides celebrating the fall season, the Friends of Ned Wolf Park wanted to celebrate having received two honors from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society:  1st Prize Small Community Park in the City Gardens Contest as well as a Community Greening award, given to places which "raise the horticultural bar" across the state of Pennsylvania.

Clockwise from upper left:

  • As some folks browse through the small collages made by Eric Sternfels, alongside his tabletop lighting sculptures, the park was entertained by the Quarter to Four Trio:   Dave Graves on accordion, Daniel Boemcke on guitar, and Stephen Kadlecek on violin. 
  • Syd Carpenter and Kate Hochner flank the whimsical sculpture that landed in Ned Wolf Park on the morning of the event.  This piece by artist Curtis Coyote is part of a series entitled "Things I Wish Would Happen in My Backyard", and having it happen in Ned Wolf Park may be the next best thing for kids of all ages in Mt. Airy.
  • Another musical performance clearly enjoyed by the crowd was singer/guitarist Richard Drueding who serenaded the assembled visitors to kick off the day's activities.
  • The sidewalk along W. Ellet Street now has some subtly painted outlines of letters spelling out "NED WOLF PARK", an irresistible opportunity to do some coloring in with sidewalk chalk.   Although the rain has washed some of that exuberance away, we hope our neighborhood's children continue to bring chalk to draw in or out of these lines.
  • Here's the Ned Wolf Park Design Committee setting up the baskets of spring flowering bulbs that were for sale at the event:  Eric Sternfels, Janet Novak, Yvonne Haskins, and Syd Carpenter.   Our committee helps steer the aesthetic character of the park, especially focused on plantings in the gardens beds.   Three of the eight types of bulbs for sale were added into the park to add some pops of color next spring.....look for a future blogpost featuring them.  Let us know if you'd like to join this committee and we'll send you an email when next we meet.

  The Autumn Afternoon event drew not only our Mt. Airy neighbors but some visitors from outside our zip code.  Here are Jay Flaherty, Diane Newbury, and Lucretia Robbins - all great gardeners - who were impressed with the recently improved sunny garden beds with perennials still producing abundant flowers and grasses displaying showy seed heads.

The events were not all spectator sports.  Between live music performances, a bit of recorded folk dancing music and one helpful and welcoming instructor brought folks onto the Terrace for a bit a fun.  It's nice to see neighbors leaning on one another, isn't it?

Special thanks to Mark Klempner who took all these photos and captured the fun-filled day!!!

Sidewalk Chalk

The sidewalk along West Ellet Street has been painted with block letter outlines spelling out NED WOLF PARK so children & playful adults can chalk up some creativity.  Here's the inaugural coloring that was part of the Autumn Afternoon proceedings on Saturday, October 19th.  Alas, a bit of rain later that night washed away the colors but left behind those latex paint outlines painted in a subtle warm gray.  So, anyone who wants to come by and liven up the sidewalk with a new chalk display, we welcome your energies!


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sightings at Ned Wolf Park

Last Saturday, October 19th was Ned Wolf Park's Autumn Afternoon event.  Here are a few photos taken just after the festivities:
"Things you wish would happen in your backyard" is a sculpture series by local artist Curtis Coyote.  And this rocket is the first in that series......who knows where the next in the series will land? 

While the "Purple Dome" Asters start to lose color, the orange "Rhumba" chrysanthemums are coming into their own.  And in the island planting bed behind, you can see the pink haze of "Pink Muhly Grass", botanically known as Muhlenbergia capillaris.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Join the party! At Ned Wolf Park on the afternoon of Saturday, October 19, we'll have lots of family fun!

  • Sip cider & savor seasonal treats (including a special seasonal donut from the Trolly Car Diner)
  • Listen to local musicians
  • See artwork made by your neighbors
  • Buy spring-flowering bulbs
  • Create sidewalk art
  • Dance!

Rain date, Sunday, October 20.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Garden Lecture and Plant Raffle

Join us on Tuesday, May 14 at 6:30 PM for a highly interactive lecture about plants to grow in the shade. Janet Novak and Eric Sternfels will be hosting this Garden Lecture at NWP. It's timed to be included as one of the City's Love-Your-Park-Week events.

We'll talk about at least 10 lesser known shade perennials and we'll have a pot of each plant to raffle off at the end of the evening. We hope you can attend!

Monday, February 25, 2013

2013 Ned Wolf Park Plant Sale

Ned Wolf Park's biggest fundraiser is our annual plant sale.  This year we've scheduled our annual sale of perennials, shrubs, annuals & miscellaneous garden stuff for Saturday, May 11th from 10 am to 1 pm. Mark your calendar now!

Volunteers are needed both on the day of the sale and during the prior month when we hope to collect plant divisions from some generous neighbors who've donated great plants in years past.  With enough volunteer support we can collect even more plants than ever before. Proceeds will go toward annual park maintenance as well as the Terrace Wall Capital Campaign. 

If you can help by donating plants or volunteering your time (before or during the plant sale), please contact plant sale coordinator Eric Sternfels at or call him at 215.248.5533.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Planned Improvements in Ned Wolf Park

At the Winter Meeting of the Friends of Ned Wolf Park held in January 2013, it was decided to move forward with the Terrace Wall Capital Campaign.  We're working to raise funds to remove all the creosoted landscape ties that were installed when Ned Wolf Park was created in the 1970's.  Now that those timbers are rotting and becoming more hazardous, we are seeking to replace them with durable stonework, including local Wissahickon schist and Pennsylvania bluestone.
We've already amassed the funding to build Phase I, which would replace the steps with bluestone treads and schist risers.  And we're working with the City of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department to get that done this year.  But we need to raise funds for the terrace wall, which we've designed to include a functional bluestone cap which would act as continuous seating around the central terrace.  If you'd like to contribute to our Terrace Wall Capital Campaign, please contact Friends of Ned Wolf Park treasurer Janet Novak at