Archive for the ‘Gardening & Horticulture’ Category

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!

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!

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.

Through Laura’s Lens: “We’re from the Government…”

March 7, 2012

…and they’re here to help us to build a cleaner, greener city, celebrate splendid gardens, and sustain our native wildlife. Let’s take a look at three important agencies and the work they do.

Photo of model of City Hall

Picture Philadelphia's City Hall surrounded by new green plantings, completing a green belt stretching a mile and a half up Benjamin Franklin Parkway to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Photo from set-up week.

The Philadelphia Water Department challenges us to walk through Center City and re-think the cityscape using models of iconic buildings and whimsical succulent plantings representing parks, trees, and green roofs.

Kids love the skyscrapers that are only a bit bigger than they are, and grownups appreciate the interpretive signage. Learn how a greener city will not only please the eye, but help to purify our air and water.

Picture of Philadelphia Parks & Recration Exhibit

Imagine an event catered by Stephen Starr on a green lawn with a vista of reflecting pools and sunken gardens. That's Fairmount Park!

Philadelphia has the country’s largest municipal landscaped park—Fairmount Park. For the 2012 Show, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation has recreating its gardens outside the Horticultural Center in the Centennial District, just a five-minute walk from the Please Touch Museum. The real gardens provide the perfect backdrop for a garden wedding or other event—and with culinary superstar Stephen Starr as the resident caterer, the food and drink are sure to please.

In order to create this exhibit, the Horticultural Center staff forced many of the plants in their greenhouses before turning their attention to their spring and summer plans. Be sure to visit Fairmount Park as soon as the weather warms!

Closeup of plant at Flower Show's EPA exhibit

Sarracenia flava, yellow pitcher. One of our region's native wetlands plants, on display at the EPA exhibit.

The U.S. Department of Environmental Protection (Region III) invites us to set up camp along a native woodland paradise and listen to the tranquil sounds of a cascading brook as it emerges to form wetlands. This exhibit is a labor of love for EPA staffers who grow many of the plants themselves to stretch their exhibit budget.

There’s a lot to learn at the Flower Show—in addition to these three, there are exhibits from more than a dozen schools and plant societies. Make sure you budget ample time to see all they have to offer.

Flower Show Exhibitors Encourage Relaxation & Creation

March 5, 2012

Each exhibit at the Flower Show offers something distinct, but here are two that focus on fun!

The tranquil lagoon by Burke Brothers lures the viewer in with its inviting lounge and sandy shores. Called an “executive surfer’s retreat,” the designers want you to imagine that a busy executive has taken a moment away from his stressful life to enjoy a relaxing afternoon surfing.

The white sand that blankets this exhibit does more than evoke the beach theme; designer Vivianne Englund-Callahan said, “The sand really makes the color of the plants pop, more so than dark mulch.”

When you’re there, be sure to enter the raffle to win the executive’s surfboard!

On the other side of the PHS Gift Shop you’ll find the interactive MODA botanica display. This incredibly colorful exhibit was inspired by the “crazy patterns of Hawaiian shirts,” says Bailey Hall, who co-designed the exhibit with Armas Koehler.

Constructed of hanging, stacked translucent panels decorated with flowers and greenery, the display invites visitors to turn cranks to move the panels and create their own “lauana,” or flower patterns. Don’t be shy; try it!

“At the center of the display is a fun tablescape, an example of what we can do in party and event planning, from extreme to playful,” said Bailey.

Fabulous Free Gardening Events at the Show!

March 4, 2012

Pumped up about orchids, improving your garden, or visiting Hawaii?

Did you know that there are FREE gardening lectures and presentations at the Flower Show, with topics ranging from flower arranging, container gardening, landscaping, gardening on your deck, pest control, Ikebana, growing orchids, and more. Much, much more.

No matter what your level of experience or special interest, there is something for you to learn and love!

The Flower Show is very proud to offer presentations from celebrated speakers including Phillip Watson, Melinda Myers, Rebecca Cole, Charlie Nardozzi, and Art Wolk.

You can plan your visit by checking out the schedule.

Also, we encourage you to get the Flower Show app so you can have the Show schedule in the palm of your hand! This is a brand new feature that is sure to help you make the most of your visit!

What a fun chance to take home some inspiration!

Horticourt Stories: Mrs. “Dodo” Hamilton

November 9, 2011

Frequent Show-goers likely recognize the name Mrs. Samuel M.V. Hamilton. If you’ve spent time in the Show’s Horticourt section, you’ve seen this name listed beside beautiful plants and equally beautiful blue ribbons. In this video, Mrs. Hamilton—who friends call Dodo—explains why she comes back to the Show year after year. She also describes how her passion for horticulture was inspired by former PHS presidents Ernesta Ballard and Jane Pepper.

For past installments of Horticourt Stories, click here.

Great Gardening at Hortulus Farm

July 26, 2011

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Located in Wrightstown in Bucks County, Hortulus Farm is both a retail nursery and one of the most spectacular properties in the Philadelphia region. Designed and owned by Renny Reynolds and Jack Staub, this rural paradise includes immaculate gardens, stunning vistas, and hundreds of gorgeous plants available for sale, including the numerous trained “standards” that are a Hortulus trademark.

Recently, PHS president Drew Becher visited Hortulus along with Flower Show designer Sam Lemheney and PHS VP of Operations Barrett Robinson (photo left to right: Sam, Drew, Jack, and Barrett). Hosting was Jack Staub, who showed not only the gardens and nursery areas, but also his stunning library–a converted barn, actually–that contains rare books, artwork, and sculpture. Elsewhere on the property the guests enjoyed sights of pheasants, doves, a happily grazing country horse, and a large blue heron that has been a regular visitor for years.

To learn about visiting Hortulus Farm, click here or call 215-598-0550. You can even enjoy more benefits by becoming a Friend of Hortulus Farm. Find out more online or, better still, when you visit this fabulous horticultural getaway yourself.

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.

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