Archive for the ‘Horticourt’ 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!

Through Laura’s Lens: What’s Six Feet Long with a Fourteen-Syllable Name and Hundreds of Flowers?

March 8, 2012

Why it’s Nopalxochia phyllanthoides ‘deutsche kaiserin’—one of Mrs. Samuel M. V. Hamilton’s favorite plants. (Mine too, although I don’t expect mine to look like this any time soon.)

Photo of Nopalxochia phyllanthoides

Bursting into bloom just in time for the Flower Show is the fabulous Nopalxochia phyllanthoides 'deutsche kaiserin'. See how the strappy leaves almost reach the ground.

This glorious plant, also called Cereus phyllanthoides, Epiphyllum phylanthoides, orchid cactus, or pond-lily cactus, was discovered in April 1801 in the trunks of old trees near the small village of Turbaco, a few leagues south of Carthagena.

It first flowered in Europe in May 1811 in the garden of the Empress Josephine and in another botanical garden in France. It became a popular parlor plant during Victorian times, probably because the winter weather encouraged it to bloom.

Close-up of Nopalxochia blooms

A closer look at the flowers, from a just-opening bud at lower right to a fully-open flower, upper left.

It takes cool temperatures to make this beauty bloom, but in the summer it can tolerate temperatures as high as 100F, as long as it doesn’t get direct sun.

Like all epiphytic (tree-dwelling) plants, it doesn’t like wet feet, although it does like to be kept fairly moist. Too much water makes the roots rot, as I found out the hard way. Take cuttings after the plant has bloomed, let them dry a bit, and root them in vermiculite or other medium that drains well.

There are other epiphytic cacti with knock-out blooms, some as large as your fist. Meadowbrook Farm has a number in its cactus greenhouse and will sell you a cutting, or even start you a plant. You can also learn more about these remarkable plants by joining the Philadelphia Cactus & Succulent Society or visiting its booth at the Flower Show.

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.

Horticourt Stories: Trevose Horticultural Society

August 11, 2011

Meet the members of the Trevose Horticultural Society and join them at a club meeting. Learn how they first got involved with the Flower Show and watch as the “Dynamic Duo” teach some of the other members how to prepare a Show-ready plant.

Horticourt Stories: The Shipley Sprouts

May 27, 2011

In this video, hear from the Shipley Sprouts Horticultural Club. The program produces a number of student entries and these teenagers are fierce competitors!

Horticourt Stories: Walt Fisher

April 15, 2011

Walt Fisher learned how to force bulbs when he was 13 years old and working at a greenhouse during the war. Now he is a well-known Flower Show veteran sharing some of his Show secrets.

Have you ever thought about entering the Flower Show?

Horticourt Stories: Lydia Allen-Berry and Alexis Berry

March 29, 2011

Lydia Allen-Berry got her daughter, Alexis, involved in the Flower Show at a young age. Now this mother-daughter duo co-exhibit and share the sights, smells, and excitement of the annual Philadelphia International Flower Show.

Have you ever thought about entering the Show? As Lydia says, try it once and you’ll get “bit by the bug!”


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