Archive for August, 2010

Join Us Tonight for a Mini-Vertical Gardening Workshop at Urban Jungle

August 31, 2010

Join PHS and South Philadelphia’s Urban Jungle for a vertical gardening workshop on Wednesday, Sept. 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Urban Jungle, 1526-30 E. Passyunk Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19147.

Come hear about the upcoming PHS Fall Garden Festival at the Navy Yard on Sept. 11. Don’t miss the Young Friends table in the PHS Tent.

Cost: $5 at the door

RSVP to Michelle Nicoletto at

PHS Young Friends are a vibrant group of adults age 40 and under who share a common interest in greening and the positive impact it has on the Philadelphia region. For more, check out and our Facebook page.

Rooted in Ireland

August 31, 2010

Photo Courtesy of Rooted in Ireland

We just heard from a little birdie that Tourism Ireland’s exhibit for the 2011 Philadelphia International Flower Show will highlight the oak tree in both ancient and modern times as well as the role the trees play in fairy-lore in Ireland.

The exhibit will also highlight the the loss of these trees and the program, Rooted in Ireland, that encourages the people of Ireland to replant these sacred trees.

We can’t wait to learn more.

Children’s Activities Coming to the PHS Fall Garden Festival

August 30, 2010

Healthy Soil. Healthy Plants. Healthy Animals. Healthy Kids. Healthy Planet.

That’s what we’re after so for the PHS Fall Garden Festival coming up on Sept. 11 at the Navy Yard, we’ve booked a great line-up of children’s activities, including:

Environmental Education

Don’t miss displays and activities by the Philadelphia Zoo on Wheels with live animals; butterfly gardening by Penn State Cooperative Extension; and an interactive area by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. Children can also learn about worm composting and rain barrels, and play a giant tree-themed board game.


Children of all ages can participate in the exciting Veggie Races, where they will build vehicles and race cars from fresh vegetables donated by Acme Markets, and then send them down a more than 10-foot-long track.

A Kids Challenge Area will be filled with physical activities to keep young ones busy. They can try the hula hoops, stepping stones, an eco-obstacle course, jump rope, bean bag toss, hop scotch, tic-tac-toe and rhythm ribbons.

The Camden Children’s Garden will host a coloring activity focusing on the “The Three Sisters,” the three main agricultural crops of some Native American groups in North America including squash, maize and climbing beans.

Subaru of America, partnering with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, will host pet adoptions and a pet tank-top decorating tent where owners can take home the tee.


Greensgrow Farmer’s Market, Sustainable Living Ideas, PHS Green Stop Coming to PHS Fall Garden Festival

August 19, 2010

Photo Courtesy of Greensgrow Farms

Visitors to the PHS Fall Garden Festival on Sept. 11 can learn about a variety of programs and organizations that focus on sustainable living at the PHS Green Stop. The tent will be located on the north side of the festival grounds at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and will house a series of information stations that address green solutions to today’s challenges.

  • PECO will provide information on its Smart Homes program and how to receive rebates by utilizing energy-efficient equipment and actions. The energy provider will also have free promotional items for visitors to its table.
  • The Neighborhood Gardens Association, a Philadelphia Land Trust, will offer information about its mission, which is the continuity and long-term preservation of community-managed gardens and green spaces in Philadelphia neighborhoods.
  • Greensgrow Farms, the Fishtown garden center, will provide information about its many educational programs. Greensgrow also will set up a bountiful farmers market at the Fall Garden Festival.
  • The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, which promotes biking as a healthy, low-cost and environmentally friendly form of transportation and recreation, will offer information about membership, resources, campaigns and upcoming events.
  • Waste Management will show visitors how to think of waste as a resource for renewable energy.
  • The Clean Air Council will offer information on how to reduce pollutants for a healthier environment.
  • The Sustainable Business Network will provide information on joining the organization and how to grow and find businesses that are socially and environmentally responsible.
  • The Philadelphia Water Department will offer information on ways to improve the water quality in the region, including innovative storm water management methods.
  • The Urban Green Partnership will promote its GreenFest Philly event, which will be held Sept. 12 on Second Street, between South and Pine Streets. The festival brings together a variety of green businesses and organizations, including PHS, for an entertaining and educational celebration of green living.

Softer? Edible? Debaucherous?

August 19, 2010

Succulents from MODA Botanica's Best in Show-winning exhibit from the 2010 Philadelphia International Flower Show now accent the coffee table in the floral designers' studio.

MODA Botanica’s Armas Koehler and Bailey Hale contemplated concepts for the 2011 Philadelphia International Flower Show recently while meeting with Show Designer Sam Lemheney.

Maybe something softer than 2010’s award-winning graffitied “container” gardens? Maybe something edible? Maybe something with a little well-placed debauchery, hinted the trio of Judith Campbell, Bailey Hale and Armas Koehler.

Regardless, the designers know what the final product will be.

“We want to bring world-class floral design to a world-class Show,” Koehler said.

World’s Fastest Pumpkin Carver Coming to PHS Fall Garden Festival

August 17, 2010

Among the host of children’s attractions and activities coming to the PHS Fall Garden Festival on Sept. 11, this one may make your head spin.

The world’s fastest pumkin carver, local resident Stephen Clarke, will be on hand to carve pumpkins at a deliciously fast rate.

Clarke has earned the Guinness World record multiple times, including in 2006 at Universal Studios in Orlando when he carved a pumpkin in 24.03 seconds as part of “Food Network Challenge: Guinness World Records Week.” He has also earned records for carving one ton of pumpkins in 3 hours, 33 minutes and 49 seconds as well as 50 pumpkins in one hour.

Joining Clarke will be nurseryman and renowned sand sculptor Chuck Feld. Feld, owner of West Chester’s Sand Pounders, a professional sand sculpting firm, began sculpting sand over 20 years ago to cure boredom on the beach. He’s placed five times in the North American Sand Sculpting Championships, and is one of only 60 Master Sand Sculptors. We can’t wait to watch this true artist at work (pumpkins trump sand in September:)

Of course, children will be able to paint their own pumpkins throughout the day.

Stay tuned for more announcements about children’s activities and special features coming to the PHS Fall Garden Festival.

J. Downend Prepare a “Tour de Force” for France-Themed Flower Show

August 17, 2010

Jim & Tom

“When we tell people we’re working on the Flower Show, they usually say, ‘So soon?’ I always feel like we should have started long ago!”

So says Tom Morris of J. Downend Landscaping Inc. But he needn’t fear! Members of the Flower Show team met with Tom and Jim Downend recently and were bowled over by their ideas for the March 2011 Show.

We don’t want to spoil any of the surprises, but here’s one teaser: Lance Armstrong will surely be a fan of this display. OK, want one more? The Downend team hopes to force some trees that have never been featured at the Show before. (You’ll have to attend the Show to see what species!)

When not sketching for the Flower Show, the Crum Lynne, PA, company is plenty busy with their year-round landscaping services. For nearly 30 years J. Downend has designed, installed, and maintained quality landscapes for homes and commercial properties.

While their excellent work speaks for itself, Tom says that exhibiting at the Flower Show adds to a business’s credibility. And Downend’s freshmen year was an all-around success. The group earned the PHS Award for Excellence in the Newcomer Landscape Division. You may remember their exhibit, titled “No Passport Required,” which highlighted plants of foreign origin that are now popular in America.

Will their 2011 exhibit surpass the self-imposed high standard? The Flower Show is months away, but at PHS we think we’ll see the J. Downend team doing a victory lap around the Convention Center this March!

Click here to follow J. Downend Landscaping on Facebook.

Shop Meadowbrook Farm at the PHS Fall Garden Festival

August 13, 2010

Shop Meadowbrook Farm at the PHS Fall Garden Festival on Saturday, Sept. 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Navy Yard.

Meadowbrook (where plants are forced for the Philadelphia International Flower Show) will feature a selection of perennials for fall planting, and succulents, alpines, tropicals and indoor plants.

Also, shop for fall wreaths and mats, candles, pottery and fall scarves.

Experts will be on hand all day to answer questions and help you choose the right plants for your home or garden.

PHS members can enjoy a 10% discount on all plants. Meadowbrook Farm, a garden center and gift shop located in Abington Township, is an affiliate of PHS.

Fashion Forward

August 12, 2010

Check out the blog of Philadelphia International Flower Show Exhibitor Beautiful Blooms. Owner Donna O’Brien is gathering inspiration for her floral display.

Does it smell like Chanel No. 5 around here?

Hunter Hayes Plans “En Plein Air”

August 12, 2010

A recent design by Flower Show Exhibitor Hunter Hayes Landscape Design at Bala Cynwyd's Corinthian Condominiums, a project generated from the Flower Show.


Hunter Hayes' Lauren Hilburn and Hunter Hayes

Leaning over a drafting table, Lauren Hilburn looks at a sketch that depicts a cobblestone path, row of trees, waterfall, and pockets of perennial shade plants. 

“When designing a garden, it’s important to create vantage points from multiple angles,” she says. “So if you look through the trees, you find something across the way.” 

But Hilburn isn’t talking about a typical, outdoor garden. No, these are the plans for Ardmore-based Hunter Hayes Landscape Design’s upcoming exhibit for the 2011 Philadelphia International Flower Show, “Springtime in Paris.” 

“Think En Plein Air, or open air paintings,” says Hilburn. Inspiration is both highbrow (the glorious Jardin de Bagatelle) and plebeian (the city’s famous street artists) and will uplift the landscape company’s own specialties, including hardscaping, planting design, and water features. 

“I want to create little windows into the garden,” Hilburn says. “Wouldn’t it be neat to create perspectives in a painting?” 

During a recent visit, Flower Show Designer Sam Lemheney shared his drawings of the Show’s main features, including a Parisian park, a carousel-themed stage, and six showcase gardens interpreting different styles of Paris–opulent, romantic, gourmet, underground, medieval and avant garde. 

Flower Show Designer Sam Lemheney and Hunter Hayes

Invited back for the third year in the landscape division, Hunter Hayes says he is looking forward to the Show, in part, because it is good for business. 

“It’s been great for us. The show has helped build our business and our name,” he says. “The show has not only helped customer-wise but relationship-wise in the industry.” 

A fall design at the Corinthian Condominiums

A recent design by Hunter Hayes Landscape Design at a Plymouth Meeting, Pa. home.

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