Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens


Wonderland/ H. Novak

This past weekend, I was delighted that my godmother came to visit me. We had fun exploring the city —feasting, shopping, and going to museums. (More reviews to come). This was a treat —a respite amid the hectic weeks of mid-terms.


H, K, and umbrella/ photo credits to a kind stranger

Surprisingly, the weather (which had been a lovely 77 degrees and sunny all week long) took a turn for the worse, and Saturday morning was cold and drizzly.  Yet rain in Philadelphia does not stop the city from living, and “umbrella watching” is as entertaining as people watching. Umbrella fashions have undergone a revolution; the sea of color bobbing along Broad Street is much more interesting than the typical black and navy blue.  Armed with an umbrella (Greene Street Consignment Shop on South Street is a good place to buy them), we explored the Magic Gardens.


The Automatic Impulse/ H. Novak

The Magic Gardens is an extensive two-level “garden” made completely of mosaic (and seemingly whatever else came to hand) by artist Isaiah Zagar. Zagar’s mosaics, which cover many walls in Philadelphia, add vibrance to the city, and some are still in the process of being created.


Kate/ H. Novak

Considering that Zagar has made over 200 mosaic works throughout Philadelphia, hunting down each of his creations would be a challenge. As the enthusiastic guide at the front desk told us, the Magic Gardens took Zagar fourteen years to make! This is not surprising —as you are walking through this work of art, you will marvel at the attention given to each portion of mosaic, each piece of pottery placed with care. From clay dolls to bicycle wheels, colorful glass bottles to broken plates, everything finds a place in the gardens.

(The gardens are also an ideal backdrop for an artsy selfie.)

N.b. the gardens are primarily outside, so if there is heavy snow or rain, the gardens are not an ideal choice.


Look. See./ H. Novak

Remember to bring your student ID —after discount the entry price is $8.

1020 South St, Philadelphia, PA/ Google Maps