THE GARDENS Explore the gardens of Pittsburgh's park system!
From August Wilson Park to the Frick Environmental Center, there are so many gardens to explore in Pittsburgh's park system.
Notes From Your Gardeners Take a behind the scenes look inside Pittsburgh's parks from the view of our Horticulture and Forestry team!
Learn the ins and outs of Pittsburgh's parks by exploring the resources below!
Did you know...? Team Selections - Summer Flowering Bulbs
Plant these underground structures in the spring and enjoy colorful blooms through the summer! Learn about some of our favorite plants below.
Gladiolus are an old-time favorite. I fondly remember my grandpa being very proud of his Gladiolus! These are a tender summer bulb, which means they need to be dug up, or purchased, every year and replanted. The bloom time is brief on theses beauties. To prolong the bloom time you can stagger plantings in two-week intervals. This is a popular plant for flower arrangements as well!
Did you know...? Team Selections - Favorite Shrubs
Let's focus on our favorite shrubs, which we classify as 'woody plants'. They are typically smaller than trees and usually have multiple trunks.
Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia) - This native has a heavenly scent emanating from its prolific blooms, living up to its common names - 'summersweet' and 'sweet pepperbush'. The flowers attract a variety of pollinators and the seed pods that follow provide winter interest and a food source for birds. This plant prefers part shade, but can tolerate full sun if the soil does not dry out. The foliage adds fall interest as it changes from green to bright yellow and orange. It's perfect for wet areas and can even tolerate salt exposure. It will spread by suckers so give it room to naturalize or prune these off to keep it contained. There are many cultivars out there, but my favorite is the eye-catching pink of ‘Ruby Spice.’
Blueberry (Vaccinium spp.) - The obvious appeal of blueberry plants is their tasty fruits. If you can beat the birds to them that is. Netting can be used around them to prevent birds from stealing these treats, or if you are like me you can just enjoy all your new bird friends while appreciating everything else this shrub has to offer. The flowers that precede the fruit are cute and really pop against the blue-green leaves and reddish twigs. Bright red fall foliage, attractive twig color, and growth habit all add interest for all four seasons. There are many species and cultivars to fit site conditions, whether it’s a large woodland area or a pot on a patio. They are adaptable from the sun to shade but will yield more fruit with more sun exposure. Their most demanding requirement is acidic soil, so plant them near your other acid lovers like azaleas and hydrangea that want the same type of soil.
WE ARE ALL IN. ARE YOU?
Parks do not exist without people. We restore parks for your joy and well-being. Pittsburghers need spaces where fathers can play catch with their sons, couples reconnect, family’s picnic. Parks, in return, do more than we realize. They clean the air, filter stormwater, lower stress…provide a natural sanctuary in forests of steel and glass surrounded by rivers of asphalt. Like anything alive, if neglected a park will suffer. And ultimately perish.
We believe in the power of parks. We are all in. Are you?
Your Parks Matter
Parks thrive when they have sun, soil, rain…and you. You ensure programs are offered, trees are planted, capital projects are funded, flowers are tended to, research is pursued. There is nothing the parks can’t do with you behind them.