Secret Garden Coming to 2010 Flower Show

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A secret garden is growing at the 2010 Philadelphia International Flower Show. It is being planned and planted by longtime volunteers, former and current exhibitors, friends and PHS staff for Jane G. Pepper.

Pepper is retiring later this year from her job as PHS President, a post she has held since 1981. This will be her final Flower Show as President, having raised the stature of the Show internationally and guided the expansion of the Philadelphia Green program into a national model for urban revitalization.

So, behind pipe and drape on the Show floor, a group that calls itself Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club is creating a tribute garden that will not be unveiled until Feb. 26, the last night of set-up. The name of the gardeners’ group provides a hint of the display theme – the music of the Beatles, in keeping with Pepper’s musical taste.

“Everybody who collectively puts on the Show is doing something,” explained Midge Ingersoll, a former chair of the Flower Show committee.

The garden will not be the only tribute to the PHS president at the Flower Show.

Jane Pepper initiated the launch in 2008 of the PHS Legacy Landscapes endowment fund, which will ensure excellent horticultural maintenance of some of the city’s most treasured neighborhood and civic landscapes. PHS is committed to reaching the goal of $12.1 million by spring 2010, in concert with Pepper’s retirement.

The Legacy Landscapes campaign will culminate with the fundraising Preview Party on Feb. 27. Attendance at the dinner will be an opportunity for corporate and individual donors to help meet the $12.1 million goal and to honor Pepper’s legacy at PHS.

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