The divine Bette Midler was a special guest of the 2010 Philadelphia International Flower Show on Wednesday, March 3, where she took a tour of the major exhibits and offered rave reviews (“This show is brilliant!”).
Drew Becher, president-elect of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and Flower Show designer Sam Lemheney led Bette on a guided tour of the Explorer’s Garden and the displays devoted to Singapore, South Africa, New Zealand, Brazil, the Netherlands and India. She also strolled through the innovative exhibits designed by MODA Botanica and Schaffer Designs, and stopped for a brief consult with landscaper Peter Romano.
Since 2006, Drew has served as executive director of the New York Restoration Project, the program founded by Bette Midler to improve the quality of life in underserved New York communities through greening and beautification. Drew will become president of PHS when Jane G. Pepper retires in June.
Bette was in Philadelphia on Wednesday to see the Show, at Drew’s invitation, and to meet with leaders of Philadelphia Green, the PHS urban revitalization program whose mission parallels the goals of the NY Restoration Project. Philadelphia Green transforms communities through neighborhood park restoration, mass tree plantings, creation of community gardens, beautification of vacant lots, storm water management initiatives, educational programs and maintenance of treasured public landscapes. Bette and colleagues from New York exchanged ideas on urban greening with the Philadelphia Green directors in meetings later in the day.