Sketchy Evening With Grave Gardens - Atlas Obscura
Free iron-on Atlas Obscura badge when you preorder our new kids’ book. Shop now.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Sketchy Evening With Grave Gardens

Cradle Grave gardens, Shrub drinks, and sketching at The Woodlands.

Join Atlas Obscura, Woodlands Grave Gardeners, Quaker City Mercantile and illustrator Ben Leech for a fun sunset tour of Wooodland's Grave Gardens. We'll enjoy Shrub drinks and channel our inner sketch artist.

In 2016, Woodlands Grave Gardeners began planting historically appropriate flowers and ornamental plants in Cradle Graves, or “Tombs in the French Style” in The Woodlands Cemetery. The gardens can be found scattered throughout the 54-acre cemetery, which functions as a one-of-a-kind 18th-century English pleasure garden, 19th-century rural cemetery, and a modern green oasis for its neighbors in bustling University City and West Philadelphia. 

We'll take a tour of Grave Gardens from a few of the 150+ volunteers that maintain them and enjoy Shrub drinks graciously provided by Quaker City Mercantile. Illustrator Ben Leech will also join us for tips on sketching the landscape as you explore. All levels of sketch artists are encouraged to attend, including those who are totally "green." All attendees will be provided with a moleskine sketchbook and pencils for the both the event and to save as a keepsake.

Ben T. Leech is an illustrator, writer, and historic preservationist. He has taught architectural history, archival research, and building documentation at the University of Pennsylvania, Franklin & Marshall College, Temple University, and Philadelphia University, and is a regular contributor to Hidden City Daily. From 2010 to 2015, he was advocacy director for the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia. He recently founded Archivolt Press and published 36 Views of Philadelphia, a postcard book of his architectural sketches. His first solo exhibition, works on paper inspired by the architecture of Paul Cret, opened at the Woodlands Cemetery in November 2017.


  • Must be 21 years or older for drinks.
  • We'll provide all attendees with a keepsake moleskine sketchbook and pencil.
  • The event is entirely outdoors so please dress appropriately for the weather.


Email John Pettit at

Stay connected! Subscribe to the Atlas Obscura Society Philadelphia newsletter and join our Facebook group for a first glimpse at upcoming events.

Advance ticket sales only. All ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.