More than 400 visitors attended during Memorial Day weekend
From San Francisco to Hong Kong, folks from around the globe and the Philly area came together for Wyck house’s Celebration of the Roses Festival on Saturday from 11 a.m. through 3 p.m.
More than 400 visitors, some first-timers and others previous visitors or loyal volunteers to Wyck went to the festival, floated through the 200-year-old garden between activities, refreshments and vendors. While Saturday’s forecast warned of afternoon storms, it was sunny in Germantown through the afternoon so event attendees were able to enjoy the fragrant historic roses in the oldest garden in its original plan in the country.
Eight vendors set up shop and Attic Brewing served beer in Wyck’s South Lawn and the Woodlot while 2Street Sammies sold sandwiches near the West Walnut Lane entrance. Attendees explored tables housing Soaps by Alana, Brujologie, the Bearded Carver, CigarBoxPaperArts, Random Tea Room, Gowen Gardens, Design Your Own, and Jewelry Workshop. Wyck also sold plants.
Random Tea Room, who was making their debut at the Celebration of Roses Festival, sold a rose-themed Tulsi Rose tea in addition to other tea flavors and popsicles.
“It’s just kind of a match made in heaven to be here with my community today and saying hi to my fellow gardeners and Germantown friends,” said Rebecca Goldschmidt, the owner and visionary of Random Tea Room, who lives across the street from Wyck and is a member of Wyck’s Home Farm Club.
Behind the rose garden, visitors gathered information about Wyck’s history in tracking the weather with the American Philosophical Society, and learned about bees and insects from the Philly Bee Guild and Philly Insectarium.
Caroline Mallory, a volunteer at the Wyck garden and West Oak Lane resident, learned about how to support local honey vendors from the Philly Bee Guild while her grandchild and great grandchild explored and touched the spiders at Philly Insectarium’s table.
Mallory encourages Germantown residents, both children and adults, to visit the Wyck Garden, which she called “the best secret garden ever,” and see where food comes from in the garden.
“Now with everything, the price of food and everything going up, this is a phenomenal hobby to have,” Mallory said.
Andrew Eisenberg, who lives across the street from the Wyck House, has attended each Celebration of the Roses Festival with his family for the last five years excluding 2020, when there was no festival due to the pandemic.
“I’m disappointed that it rained so much last night and blew a lot of the petals off the leaves so the flowers aren’t as beautiful as they have been in the past few years. And some of them have dried out,” Sara, a Germantown resident said. “But there’s a nice attendance and I think that’s due to the fact that people have missed it.”
Although Raia Mintz, a new resident to Germantown, has lived across the street from the Wyck House, Saturday was Mintz’s first time there.
“I always see the gate open and I know you can come and pick flowers and stuff. And I have a three year old. So he likes flowers. He likes picking flowers for his grandma,” Mintz said.
Jeff Stellar, a King of Prussia resident, heard about the event from his friends, who found the Celebration of Roses Festival on a list of historic places. It was his first time at Wyck House.
Stellar, 36, who photographs landscapes and old buildings, was feeling great about being at the Wyck with his camera.
“I know that it was owned by the same generation of Quakers for most of much of its existence, which is pretty cool to have it in one family like that,” Stellar said about the Wyck House.
Wyck was the first historical site Chan, a tourist from Hong Kong visiting Philly with her Florida-residing brother, saw that was populated with people on her trip.
Chan was interested in Germantown’s history and looked for the top five historic sites to visit. She and her brother visited four of those places.
“This is the first place we see people in the site. So we are very happy,” Chan said.
Chan enjoyed the roses.