City Planter is a small, family-owned business.  We have deep roots in Northern Liberties. 


Peter Smith and Sue White

Peter has over 20 years of gardening and horticulture experience.  Before opening City Planter, Peter was a lead gardener for Mary Costello Horticulture,  where he maintained large properties in the suburbs of Philadelphia.  Now he applies his years of experience and knowledge to planting in containers, which is the best way to garden in smaller urban spaces. 

Peter is our Head Gardener and Designer. He is also responsible for selecting all of the outdoor plants for our gardening jobs and  our store inventory, traveling to nurseries in the tri-state area to source locally grown shrubs, perennials and annuals. 

In his copious free time, Peter enjoys hiking, camping, and building stuff.

Susan White is an artist, printmaker, teacher, parent, and gardener.   She is currently a Master Lecturer in the Fine Arts Department (printmaking) at The University of the Arts and in the Visual Studies Department at Drexel University where she teaches Printmaking and Drawing. 

She received a BFA in printmaking from Moore College of Art and Design (1990) and an MFA in Book Arts/Printmaking from The University of the Arts (1994).  Her artwork combines printmaking and site-specific installation with a formal interest in nature.  Her work can be seen on her website.

Other creative activites have included scenic art and display design for Macy’s Department Store and custom Screenprinting for designers and organizations.  Sue makes many items for City Planter including handmade soap and lipbalm (using herbs from her garden), macrame plant hangers and the Wild Things, animal/dinosaur planters.  She is also full time parent to Katsura (16) and Ilse (12) Smith who have the ability to bring her busy life to a screeching halt at a moment's notice.

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Julie Stone

Julie specializes in tropical plants.   She loves to teach people about the care and benefits of growing and living with plants and she gets especially excited about sharing her knowledge of 'air purifying' houseplants.

Julie is Northern Liberties' animal rescuer.  She has rehabilitated and released over 20 birds this year alone and currently shares her home with Sobaka, the brain damaged squirrel in addition to a menagerie of other animals.

When not at City Planter, Julie cares for her amazing daughter Raven (not pictured here), illustrates children's books, and rehabilitates every small animal or sick plant that comes her way. 

Julie manages Philadelphia Wildlife Connection, a Facebook group/page that is devoted to learning about the animals and plants that make up our Urban Landscape.

Peter and Julie are brother and sister. They have been working together for over 40 years.

Peter and Julie are brother and sister. They have been working together for over 40 years.

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Hannah Riotto

Soon to be writing for our upcoming blog, Hannah just loves plants….a little too much sometimes.

Hannah also loves to sew, she makes many of her own clothes and fabulous backpacks.

The Kids: Katsura, Ilse and Raven

They have all grown up in City Planter and have a great time helping out in the store.


Poka (Blue) and Sparkle (Yellow and Blue) 

They are our store birds.   Poka was found in a parking lot in South Philadelphia.  Sparkle was given to us by a customer who rescued her from a pet store, where she was too young to be for sale.  Be sure to say hi to them when you visit!