Archive for April, 2012

Horticourt Stories: Ray Rogers Showcases Exceptional Aloe

April 27, 2012

Ray Rogers, from Atlock Farm in Somerset, New Jersey,  has competed in the Horticourt at the Philadelphia International Flower Show since 1990. In this video profile, he shares his love of the aloe plants that he propagates and hybridizes in one of the many greenhouses at the farm. Of his Flower Show experience, Ray says, “It’s fun to exhibit at the Show. It’s fun to think that people are wondering who is the person behind it.”  Take a look at the video and you won’t have to wonder!

Meadowbrook Farm Presents Plants You’ll Love!

April 25, 2012

The Meadowbrook Spring Open House on Saturday, April 28 can provide you with phenomenal plants to make this year’s garden your best yet! Below are some essential additions to your garden that will delight and dazzle you.

Lotus Amazon Sunset:  This bold and fiery (yet delicate and ornate) plant is perfect for hanging baskets, containers, and window boxes.  It is also beautiful hanging over a low wall like in the photo on the right. We love this plant because it reminds us of the bold colors and exotic forms found at “Hawaii: Islands of Aloha,” while being perfectly suited for the local climate.

Euphoriba Diamond Frost: This ethereal plant produces masses of pure white bracts above finely textured, apple-green foliage. It can add stunning texture and color to your garden, and thrives in partial shade. As you can see in the picture, the Euphoriba Diamond Frost has intricate blossoms that add whimsy to any garden.

Next up is a very special HGTV mixed container that will make its nationwide debut at the Spring Open House. The planting pictured above is called “orange bliss.” It is part of the Expressions line and is only available at Meadowbrook Farm (while supplies last).

Additional plants for you to fawn over include Nemesia, Diascia, Cuphea, Solenia Begonia, Geraniums, and Verbena. Plant lovers, rejoice! And come on out to the Spring Open House this Saturday! Directions, hours, and additional info on tours and kids crafts can be found at www.meadowbrookfarm.org.

Through Laura’s Lens: A Look Back at Ka’Kua

April 23, 2012

What to do with myself when the Flower Show is over but it’s too early to set out my tender plants? Why, I assemble slide shows out of my 950-plus photos of the Show (the keepers out of the thousands I shot), and upload them to YouTube, of course!

Here’s one featuring the People’s Choice Award winner, Flowers by David: Ka’Kua (tattoo).

What would you like to see next? I probably have pictures of it!

Learn How to Grow at Junior Flower Show

April 20, 2012

For many years PHS has partnered with Temple  University Ambler for a special event called EarthFest—a spectacular Earth Day festival that in 2012 falls on Friday, April 27 (9:30 am – 3 pm). The aim of EarthFest is to have students, teachers, kids, and their parents explore important topics like the environment, sustainability, healthy lifestyles, and protecting and preserving the planet!

The Junior Flower Show (previously known as the Kids Grow Expo) is an essential component of the EarthFest celebration. Just like the “big-people’s” Flower Show in March, the Junior Show is a showcase for talented plant-lovers to show off their skills!  And you have to see the young people’s exhibits first-hand to fully appreciate their creativity. The theme for the 2012 Show is “H20: How to Grow.” This topic is meant to further our understanding of the importance of water as a natural resource.

So how do you get involved? Educators can work with their classes to create exhibits or attend as a field trip; check out the educators guide for details. Parents of toddlers and pre-schoolers should also make a plan to swing by. EarthFest is free and unforgettable! Click here to learn more.

Garden Clubs Present Plant Sales & Events

April 18, 2012

Garden clubs are a fun way to connect with local garden enthusiasts and plug into the horticulture scene in your area. Each spring many clubs hold plant sales and events, which are wonderful ways to meet club members and learn about involvement.

For example, why not stop by the Haddonfield Garden Club’s Annual Herb Sale?  The proceeds support the Garden Club’s many projects, and also help fund a special scholarship for a Haddonfield Memorial High School senior who plans to pursue horticulture as a profession.

Don’t forget the workshops and tours. In mid-May the Mount Airy Learning Tree offers its Hidden Gardens Tour of 10 gorgeous spaces—don’t miss it.

For a full list of sales and events (with dates, times and locations), click here!

Your Garden Can Look Like a Flower Show!

April 16, 2012

Did you know that Meadowbrook Farm grows many of the plants used by exhibitors at the Flower Show?

Now you can bring those same high-quality plants to your garden when Meadowbrook Farm celebrates spring with an Open House on Saturday, April 28 from 8 am to 6 pm.

Get ready to fill your car with gorgeous hanging baskets, cool combination planters, Americana geraniums, heirloom vegetable and herb starts, and even some funky terrariums. Looking for that perfect Mother’s Day gift? Delight her with a beautiful spring scarf or some colorful jewelry found in the gift shop, which also features pottery, baskets, and garden accents selected to complement your home.

For event details and directions, click here, and remember that PHS members always save 10% on plants. Meadowbrook Farm is located at 1633 Washington Lane, Meadowbrook, PA 19046; phone 215-887-5900.

Happy planting!

Petals Lane Makes a Splash at First Flower Show!

April 13, 2012

In its debut year, Petals Lane made a memorable contribution to the 2012 Flower Show! Its exhibit was distinct, vibrant, and told a story…all the best ones do. As you may remember, the focus of the display was an opulent table set for a party. It depicted the intimate gathering held the night before a wedding, and awed us all with the ephemeral beauty of the scene.

Michael Phinney of Petals Lane tells us the best part of the Show was connecting with people. He says, “The interest visitors had in the plants and the creative process is what made the exhibit successful in our minds.”

It sure was! He goes on to say, “We heard comments from people saying ‘we heard on the train ride that we had to see this exhibit.'”

Now that spring is here—the season of weddings, showers, graduations, and get-togethers—it stands to reason many of these admirers might become clients of Petals Lane. If you’re planning an event or considering home renovations, reach out to your favorite Show exhibitor!

And in case you didn’t see the Petals Lane’s exhibit this year—or if you would like to relive the magic—here are some photos from shutterbug Laura Blanchard.

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Plant some Flower Show in Your Garden

April 11, 2012

The Flower Show can overwhelm the senses, so you may have missed the special edition seed packet at the Flower Show Shop. Full of hardy hibiscus seeds, this tropical treasure was created by The Hudson Valley Seed Library.

Picture of Hudson Valley seed packet

Pretty enough to frame after you've grown a piece of horticultural history.

Philadelphia’s own John Bartram collected the parent plants in the 1700s and grew them in his nursery (which is a pleasant 15-minute bike ride from my house). He sold the seeds and plants to many gardeners, including a guy named George Washington (perhaps you’ve heard of him). Just think, you get history and horticulture in one little pack of seeds!

I bought a packet and will be soaking and sowing over the weekend. If they fare well, I will probably donate several plants for the plant dividend at the PHS Fall Garden Festival.

The folks at Hudson Valley Seed Library have put together a lot of information about the seeds and their history here. If you’d like to buy a pack or two, click here.

More Than a Tree is Growing in Brooklyn!

April 9, 2012

Celebrate spring with a trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Brooklyn Museum! The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is hosting a trip on Wednesday, May 23 from 8 am to 6 pm, and the fee ($110 for members, $120 for non-members) includes bus travel, entrance and tour fees, and snacks and wine.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden contains 52 acres of specialty garden areas, plant collections, and conservatories with more than 10,000 taxa of plants. The world-class collections and gardens include cherry trees, a Japanese hill and pond garden, a Shakespeare garden, and more. The Steinhardt Conservatory houses one of the oldest Bonsai collections in the country, as well as aquatic house, tropicals, orchids, and a desert collection.

The Brooklyn Museum, adjacent to the Botanic Garden, is the home of the collection left by Laura Barnes, the wife of Dr. Albert Barnes and founder of the horticulture program at the Arboretum of the Barnes Foundation. The Museum has amassed one of the largest and most diverse collections in the United States, ranging from the ancient to the contemporary and encompass virtually all the world’s principal cultures.

Limited to 36 participants, this day in Brooklyn promises to be a springtime delight. Click here to register, or contact Carol Dutill for more information.

Subaru Sponsors Springtime Festival

April 6, 2012

Can’t get to Washington, D.C. to see the cherry blossoms? Be awestruck with their beauty a little closer to home at the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia now through April 21. The Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia hosts this event, which strives to encourage a better understanding of the cultural, social, and educational customs of Japan and the United States.

The Festival benefits the JASGP Community Tree Planting Project, an ongoing effort to beautify Philadelphia by planting and maintaining cherry trees in area parks. In the spring of 2007, the JASGP finished planting 1,000 cherry trees to supplement the 1,600 flowering trees donated by Japanese government as a gesture of friendship in 1926.

Be sure to keep an eye on the Festival’s schedule of events for when the PHS Plant One Million project will make an appearance. Subaru of America, a sponsor of the Philadelphia International Flower Show for more than 10 years, is the title sponsor of this event and we couldn’t be more proud.


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