Archive for the ‘Meadowbrook’ Category

Roasting Marshmallows, Holiday Greens, and More

November 11, 2010

Mark your calendars for the Meadowbrook Farm Holiday Open House coming up on Saturday, Dec. 4, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Meadowbrook Farm, 1633 Washington Lane,  Abington Township, Pa., 19046.

The event is free and open to the public.

Enjoy tours of the decorated estate house of the late Mr. & Mrs. J. Liddon Pennock, join in on children’s activities including roasting marshmallows, and shop in a redesigned store by Philadelphia International Flower Show exhibitor Groundswell Design Group at this festive event. Christmas trees, terrariums, succulent gardens, a holiday marketplace full of crafts and treats, and a great selection of poinsettias, cut greens and gifts will be for sale. Learn tips on how to decorate your own home this season.

PHS Members enjoy a 10% discount on plant purchases at Meadowbrook Farm. For more, please visit

Have you been fascinated by the intricate “floral” jewelry at the Philadelphia International Flower Show?

October 18, 2010

Join PHS for a free Jewelry Workshop this Saturday, October 23 from 10 a.m. to 1  p.m. at Abington Township’s Meadowbrook Farm.

The 2011 Show’s  Jewelry Class chairs will discuss how to create and enter jewelry designs made from natural plant materials. An assortment of tools and materials will be available for participants to experiment with different techniques.

The workshop is free and open to all. No experience is required. Please bring a bag lunch. Contact Michelle Dean; 215-988-8827 to reserve your place.

By the way, Meadowbrook’s grounds and house will be gorgeous with changing leaves this weekend. Check out the nursery and plants galore, of course.

For more information about the 2011 Show, “Springtime in Paris,” please visit here.

Topiary Sailboats, Walking on Water and More

October 8, 2010

Flower Show Chair Melinda Moritz, PHS President Drew Becher and PHS Senior Vice President of Business Development Kate Wilhelm

We had a great time last night catching up with major landscape and floral designers  for the 2011 Philadelphia International Flower Show, “Springtime in Paris,” at Tyler Arboretum in Delware County.

We heard tid bits about plans for major exhibits including a little Parisian opera, topiary sailboats, “walking on water” and more.

Drew Becher with Celebrations Design Group's Tom Covello and Dan Krall. Celebrations Design Group will be exhibiting for its third year.


Exhibitors Tom Morris from J. Downend Landscaping, Peter Irwin from Irwin Landscaping and PHS Shows Operations Manager Bob Felke. Both J. Downdend and Irwin will be bringing their best to the Show in 2011.


Tyler Arboretum's Robert Herald, Betsey Ney and Regina Barella


Longtime Flower Show participant Jane Pollock, PHS's Betty Greene and Pat Musolf, and Suzanne Ries

Great Pumpkin Rising for Meadowbrook Farm’s Fall Open House

September 20, 2010

Visitors celebrating the season at Meadowbrook Farm’s upcoming Fall Open House will encounter a natural wonder: a 500-pound (and growing) pumpkin!

Brandon Huber, a Philadelphia International Flower Show blue-ribbon winner, Temple University student and Meadowbrook Farm employee, is carefully nurturing this great pumpkin before he enters it in the Pumpkin Madness Festival at Delaware Valley College on Oct. 9.

Join us Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Meadowbrook Farm Open House, 1633 Washington Lane, Meadowbrook (Abington Township), Pa. 19046. Meadowbrook Farm, a garden center and gift shop, is an affiliate of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. Visitors can see the pumpkin by taking a hayride during the Open House.

Enjoy the grounds and autumn décor of this historic estate garden and nursery as well as shop for great seasonal plants and gifts. A children’s activity, hayrides, refreshments (popcorn and cider), gardening lectures, and tours of the estate house and private gardens — all free– will also be available. For more information on Meadowbrook Farm, please visit

PHS to create “Living Room” for National Park(ing) Day

September 15, 2010

More green, less gray. That is the message the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society will share by joining several other organizations and businesses throughout Philadelphia for Park(ing) Day on Friday, Sept. 17.

Park(ing) Day is an annual, one-day event that has spread nationally and internationally to bring attention to the joys of urban parks by transforming city parking spots into temporary green spaces. The goal is to reclaim parking spots and transform them into engaging, people-friendly public spaces for one day a year.

Starting at 9 a.m., staff members PHS will transform two parking spots in front of the PHS building at 20th and Arch streets into a “living room.” The green room will include couches made of sod-covered hay bales, a sedum coffee table, a moss-covered floor lamp and a chalk rug where visitors may fill in the rug design with colored chalk. The park will be up and running during business hours and all materials will be recycled, composted or repurposed.

Park(ing) Day was founded by Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, in 2005 to raise awareness of the need for green spaces in urban environments. Philadelphia celebrated Park(ing) Day for the first time in 2008 with over 25 installations for relaxing, cycling, creating art, education, and socializing. For more information on Park(ing) Day, please check or


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.

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.

Gold for the Garden: PHS Names Gold Medal Plant Winners

August 11, 2010

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has chosen four outstanding woody plants as the 2011 winners of the Gold Medal Plant Awards.

Since 1979, the Gold Medal program has honored and promoted woody plants of exceptional merit. Nominations for plants come from home gardeners, garden designers, horticulturists, landscape architects, nursery owners, propagators—just about anyone who loves trees, shrubs, and vines.

The winners are chosen for their superb eye-appeal, performance and hardiness in the growing region of Zones 5-7. Three are native cultivars to the eastern United States; the fourth, a tough shrub from Europe, is an absolute must for winter interest. They are also judged for their beauty in many seasons, whether it be their foliage, flower or structural form.

When home gardeners acquire a Gold Medal winner, they can be assured the plant will exhibit standards of excellence for hardiness, disease and pest resistance, and ease of growing when planted and maintained as recommended.

The 2011 winners were announced by Joe Ziccardi Jr., PCH, manager of the PHS Gold Medal Plant Award program, at the Woody Plant Conference held in July at Swarthmore College.

For a complete listing of plants with profiles and sources, go to

The 2011 Gold Medal winners are:

Photo Credit: Novalis

Diervilla sessilifolia Cool Splash ‘LPDC Podaras’
(Southern Bush Honeysuckle)

Native to the southeastern United States, Southern Bush-Honeysuckle is a low-growing deciduous shrub. Vigorous and adaptable, it spreads by suckers into a reliable mass. Cool Splash tolerates all light conditions but performs best in full sun, where its variegated glossy leaves develop vivid tones of green and cream. “It’s the only readily available variegated form of this under-utilized shrub,” says Gold Medal Committee chair Steve Mostardi, of Mostardi Nursery in Newtown Square, PA. The plant’s small yellow flowers, borne on new wood, huddle together from June to August. Perfect for massing or the perennial border, it grows 2 ½ feet high and 3 ½ feet wide and benefits from a moderate spring pruning. Hardy in Zones 4 to 7.



Photo Credit: PHS

Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Slender Silhouette’
(American Sweetgum)

‘Slender Silhouette’ is a very narrow, low-maintenance cultivar of the American sweetgum tree, growing 50 feet high and only 4 feet wide. Unlike the species, ‘Slender Silhouette’ produces little fruit (those brown spiky orbs), which when dropped lands in a small, easily cleaned-up area. The tree’s dark green glossy leaves turn yellow with a tinge of red in the fall. This is a great park or allée tree, but you can use it anywhere you need a narrow tree. It prefers moist soil and space for root development. Hardy in Zones 5 to 9.

Photo Credit: PHS

Taxodium distichum var. imbricarium Debonair ‘Morris’
(Pond Bald cypress) 

Heidi Hesselein of Pleasant Run Nursery in New Jersey describes Debonair ‘Morris’ this way: “A particularly beautiful deciduous conifer with interesting green pendulous foliage that strikingly contrasts with its formal, pyramidal habit.” With lovely bronze fall color and a dramatic winter silhouette, Debonair flourishes in most landscape situations, especially those with moist soil. It grows to 60 feet high and 20 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 5 to 9.




Photo Credit: Richard Bitner

Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’
(Blood twig Dogwood)

This is a truly superior winter-interest plant. A large deciduous shrub, it spreads by suckers to form a dense clump. In the fall, its leaves turn greenish-purple and then drop to reveal spectacular stems that provide an intense display of yellow, orange, and red hues from late fall to early spring, especially when placed in front of a dark backdrop. “It looks as though it’s lit from within,” says Richard Hesselein of Pleasant Run Nursery. Full sun and a hard spring pruning will produce the best stem colors. Abundant clusters of white flowers appear in mid-May. It grows about 8 feet high by 10 feet wide. Urban-tolerant and adaptable to almost any soil condition (except wet), ‘Midwinter Fire’ looks great in the shrub border, in masses, or in containers. Plant it in full or part sun. Hardy in Zones 4 to 7.

A TV-Eye View of the Flower Show

May 17, 2010

The 2010 Philadelphia International Flower Show is just a distant memory — with lots of photos. But you can relive the saturation television coverage now.

From the early February press conference, through opening day, through closing, the TV reporters seemed to be everywhere every day. This roundup of highlights from national and local coverage includes interviews with exhibitors, PHS staff, and designers (see how many times reporters can mispronounce “Lemheney”). To view, go the Flower Show Press Room, click on “Press Clips for the 2010 Show,” and repeat: “Passport to the World” … “Passport to the World”…

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