Archive for June, 2011

A Chat with the PHS President

June 30, 2011

It was roughly one year ago that Drew Becher assumed the role of president of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. In that time the “Springtime in Paris” Flower Show wowed more than a quarter million guests and a vegetable garden “popped up” on the vacant lot at 20th and Market streets.

Recently Pennsylvania Landscape & Nursery magazine interviewed Drew for its July/August issue. In the five-page spread Drew discusses everything from future Flower Shows to the ambitious Plant One Million campaign. He also shares his desire to make Philadelphia synonymous with great gardens and progressive horticulture. Click here to read the article.

PHS Pops Up: Hawaiian Headquarters!

June 13, 2011

The streetscape around PHS headquarters is undergoing a tropical transformation. Palm trees, exotic plants, and new window displays are being installed to get everyone in the mood for the 2012 Philadelphia International Flower Show,Hawaii: Islands of Aloha,” March 4 to 11 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

The Show will highlight the unique culture of each of the six Big Islands through flowers, plants, stories, entertainment and art. The palms will be removed when the weather turns cold, and reappear in March 2012 at the Flower Show.

Daytime visitors to PHS headquarters can also visit the McLean Library, which houses one of the largest horticultural book collections in the country, and enjoy free wireless Internet. Stop by—we’d love to see you!

Local Restaurants Support the Pop-Up Garden

June 13, 2011

Everyone is abuzz about the new PHS Pops Up garden on the vacant lot at 20th and Market streets in Center City Philadelphia. This garden raises awareness for City Harvest, a PHS initiative that provides fresh, locally grown food to those in underserved communities.

Six highly respected chefs are lending their talents to this cause. Joining the project are Daniel Stern of R2L, Guillermo Tellez of Square 1682, Chris Scarduzio of Table 31, Michael Schulson of Sampan, Marcie Turney of Barbuzzo, and Lynn Rinaldi of Paradiso, all of whom will create special dishes using the garden’s bounty and donate proceeds back to City Harvest.

Throughout the summer we’ll share delicious recipes from these accomplished chefs. In the meanwhile, check out their impressive bios after the jump. And thanks to the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC), Philly Homegrown, and the Center City District for their help in promoting City Harvest.


PHS Pops Up at 20th & Market Streets

June 13, 2011

We’ve hinted about it on Facebook for the last few days, but it’s time to make it official. Less than a month after the carousel animals came to Logan Square, PHS is unveiling its latest Pop Up place—a new garden at 20th and Market streets!

PHS has transformed a vacant lot in bustling Center City into a peaceful oasis, providing a welcome reprieve from the workday. Starting this week, the garden will be open on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons and everyone is welcome to visit.

Funding for this temporary green space comes courtesy of the William Penn Foundation, with additional assistance from the Brandywine Realty Trust and Independence Blue Cross. Six nearby restaurants are also participating by offering special dishes that use produce grown at the garden; proceeds will be donated to PHS for future greening initiatives.

The transformed landscape covers nearly 32,000 square feet and includes an herb and vegetable production area. The central goal for this downtown destination is to raise awareness for City Harvest, a PHS program that provides fresh produce for Philadelphians in need. Learn more here.  Visitors will also get to re-experience “écolibrium,” an exhibit of sustainable building and gardening originally created by Temple University Ambler for the 2011 Philadelphia International Flower Show.

The PHS Pop Up Garden will be open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon to 2 pm with free, on-site horticultural workshops. (Topics will include container gardening, cut flowers, organic pest control, and more.)  Fitness classes, tours, and other special events will be planned throughout the summer as well.

We’ll share more about this exciting occurrence throughout this week and all summer long. Don’t miss out!

Nominate Your Favorite Green Space!

June 10, 2011

Community green spaces come in many shapes and sizes. Parks, train stations, churches, schoolyards, traffic islands, and so on make a neighborhood welcoming and attractive.

Every summer PHS recognizes these green spaces and the people who care for them through the Community Greening Award. If you contribute to such a garden, park, or planting—nominate it! PHS is accepting nominations through July 15. Individuals can submit nominations as can garden clubs, civic associations, businesses, municipalities, and community groups. For more information, click here.

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Enter the City Gardens Contest!

June 8, 2011


1-2-3-4, we declare a hort war!

The City Gardens Contest is back for its 37th year. And while it is more of a friendly competition than a war, PHS expects hundreds of Philadelphia residents to participate and showcase their imaginative gardening skills.

From tiny tucked-away spaces to larger neighborhood parks and farms, the City Gardens Contest celebrates all types of urban gardens by allowing participants to compete in one of nine categories. To enter your garden, please fill out an online form by June 10.

Judges will visit the gardens and pick their favorites. Photos of the winning gardens will be showcased at the Awards Reception, where the best of the best will receive praise for their wonderful work.

For more details about the contest click here.

Inspiring Floral Artistry: Jouni Seppänen

June 6, 2011

After tours of Europe and Asia, renowned floral designer Jouni Seppänen is heading to the Philadelphia region.  Hailing from Finland, Seppänen is a modern artist who demonstrates innovative floristry through marvelous technical execution and inventive use of mono-botanical plant material.

PHS and Longwood Gardens are pleased to announce: Inspiring Floral Artistry – A Hallmark of Spectacular Design featuring Jouni Seppänen, a series of events that will focus on his spectacular-yet-simple designs.

A demonstration, floral lecture, and three hands-on workshops will enable participants to experience Jouni Seppänen’s underlying philosophy where simplification gives mastery to design. Meet a trend-setting superstar of the floral world and sharpen your design skills!

Space is limited and demand is expected to be high, so early registration is advised.  All events will be held at Longwood Gardens. Registration for each event includes all-day admission to Longwood Gardens. Click here for more details about the events and register online

“Philly Firsts” Film Recognizes Flower Show

June 3, 2011

Did you know that our City of Brotherly Love was home to the first digital computer in the world? Philadelphia also has claims to the first zoo, the first university, and the first hospital in the United States.

And who could forget Betsy Ross, who sewed the first American flag in 1777? There is nothing better than coming in first, and although we are not the type of city to brag, it is important to celebrate the rich history that has shaped our community and the nation as a whole.

On June 5 at 8 pm and 9:30 pm, PBS 39 will feature a local documentary entitled, Philly Firsts that will highlight 22 amazing firsts that occurred in Philadelphia. Alongside the first bank, library, and cheesesteak, you will hear about the first Philadelphia International Flower Show.

Find out how it all started back in 1829, and hear from PHS Flower Show Design Director Sam Lemheney. A preview of the film is below.

Video Shows Off Carousel Creations

June 1, 2011

Everyone in this video has a favorite carousel animal, what’s yours? See all nine and vote—you could win a fantastic prize.

Kids, we want to see your artistic interpretations of the creatures. Learn more here!

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