Memorial Day Weekend Specials at Meadowbrook Farm

Memorial Day weekend marks the official start of grilling season! Why not add some veggies and herbs to your garden in order to expand your summer BBQ menu?

Shop Meadowbrook Farm this weekend for some fabulous specials, including 20% off hanging baskets and all edibles (veggie starts, herbs and fruit trees). PHS Members save an additional 10%! And, starting at 1 pm on Saturday, sample savory dishes whipped up by the Meadowbrook staff.

Memorial Day Weekend Hours:
Saturday, May 26: 8 am-6 pm
Sunday, May 27:  10 am-5 pm
Monday, May 28: closed

Let’s start the season of summer food and blooms!

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Show Us Your Stuff: City Gardens Contest now Accepting Nominations

If you are an urban gardener, consider signing up for the City Gardens Contest, an opportunity for PHS to shine the spotlight on all the amazing green spaces cultivated and cared for by Philadelphians!

Each summer the PHS City Gardens Contest sends elite judges to all corners of the city. Home gardeners may enter front-yard or back-yard flower and/or vegetable gardens, or gardens grown exclusively in containers. Community gardeners may participate by entering their vegetable and/or flower gardens, parks, or garden blocks.

The deadline for entering the contest is June 10. Judging occurs in July and August, and winning gardens are recognized at a presentation in the fall. Click here for more information and to fill out the entry form.

Tall Topiaries at Logan Square

As part of the recent City in Bloom event, PHS oversaw the installation of giant “lollipop” plantings in Logan Square!

Taking a nod from traditional British topiary, these orb-like elevated plantings consist of Coleus ‘Sedona’ and orange lantanas. The PHS Public Landscape Design and Management team had the idea, and Tom Reber and Bernie Pettit from Meadowbrook Farm were commissioned for construction. Both men had experience with planting and caring for hanging baskets—although this project is on a much bigger scale!

Black iron pipe (meant for plumbing work) was fashioned into a globe-like shapes and covered in coconut fiber. Each sphere was then filled with about six bags of soil. Next, the men cut slits into the coconut fiber and plugged in the plants.

As you can see from the photos, the plantings aren’t exactly bursting with color yet, but Tom Reber says the recent warm temperatures will lead to a brilliant pop of orange in a week or so.

When you are in Center City, enjoying everything about With Art Philadelphia, admire these whimsical additions to the Parkway landscape.

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Friends Hospital Celebrates 200 Years with Botanical Art Show

Friends Hospital is celebrating its 200-year anniversary by hosting a series of events that horticulture enthusiasts will be sure to love. The Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation is presenting, “A Living Legacy: Contemporary Botanical Art,” June 1 – 29, 2012, featuring the work of the Philadelphia Society of Botanical Illustrators and the watercolor class of PHS in the Scattergood Building on the Friends Hospital grounds.

Founded by Quakers in 1813 as the nation’s first free-standing psychiatric hospital, Friends Hospital has been in continuous operation at its 100-acre site in northeast Philadelphia since its inception. The property features an extensive collection of specimen trees, azaleas, and native plant species.

Horticultural therapy was one of its early innovations and, as such, the hospital will host a series of brunches and teas with noted 18th century Quaker botanist, John Bartram. Brunch topics include  “John Bartram and the Quaker Botanists” on June 2 and “John Bartram: Physician’s Gardener” on June 9.  Tea topics are “John Bartram’s Horticopia” on June 2 and  “John Bartram: The King’s Gardener” on June 9. Prices are $25 for brunch and $15 for tea; proceeds benefit the Living Legacy Garden restoration campaign.

For more information about the art show, teas, and brunches—and to register—please contact Carol Delgado at 215-831-3000 or cdelgado@scattergoodfoundation.org.

PHS Teams Up with Whole Foods Market

If you’re a regular shopper at Whole Foods Market, you’ve likely participated in the Nickels for Non-Profits program, in which customers receive a five-cent credit for each reusable bag they bring. Those credits can then be donated to local causes, and now PHS is one of them! Check out this fun video in which CBS Philly news anchor Ukee Washington spends the day working at Whole Foods and PHS gets a shout-out!

Also! Through our partnership with Whole Foods Market’s Nickels for Non-Profits program, PHS will have a presence at three participating stores between Friday, May 18 and Wednesday, May 23:

 Friday, May 18: Marlton, NJ

Monday, May 21: Plymouth Meeting, PA

Wednesday, May 23: Callowhill store in Philadelphia

At each store we will promote City Harvest and hand out info on our programs and events. We hope to run in to lots of PHS members shopping!

PHS Receives National Award From Arbor Day Foundation

Wow! We are happy to announce that PHS is the recipient of a 2012 Arbor Day Award for its outstanding contribution to tree planting, conservation, and stewardship! PHS was one of 16 individuals and organizations recognized at the annual awards ceremony at Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City, Nebraska.

“PHS is honored to be the recipient of the 2012 Excellence in Urban Forest Leadership Award from the Arbor Day Foundation,” said Maitreyi Roy, Senior Vice President for Programs and Planning, PHS. “The organization is committed to restoring and caring for the tree canopy in Philadelphia and beyond, and our Plant One Million project and Tree Tenders® program have played a critical role in making that a reality.”

“Because of the leadership and vision of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, volunteers in Philadelphia and throughout the country have a renewed spirit and appreciation for the importance of community trees,” said John Rosenow, founder and chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation.

Since 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has recognized the inspiring and life-changing work of leading environmental stewards and tree planters through the annual Arbor Day Awards. Award winners from previous years include the late Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, veteran newsman Bill Kurtis, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and Mary Kay, Inc. This year, in addition to honoring Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley with a Vision Award, A Legacy of Partnership Award was also presented to the United States Forest Service.

We want to thank everyone involved with PHS for making this award possible, and all our members for your constant support and enthusiasm!

Home Runs for Trees is a Game-Changer

Plant One Million is teaming up with the Philadelphia Phillies and ARAMARK to bring you Home Runs for Trees, a match made in Philadelphia heaven!

For each home run hit by a Phillies player during the 2012 regular season, Plant One Million will plant a tree to support the one-million goal. The trees will be planted in parks, municipalities, and watershed areas throughout the 13-county region at the end of baseball season.

Home Runs for Trees is a natural fit for the Phillies, whose ongoing Red Goes Green campaign encompasses clean energy, recycling, and volunteerism. ARAMARK, a Philadelphia-based leader in professional services, also has a demonstrated commitment to environmental stewardship.

The Home Runs for Trees partners gathered at Citizens Bank Park on April 30 to officially launch the campaign. PHS president Drew Becher said, ““With every homer hit by the Phils, the landscape will get a little greener and our air and water a little cleaner.”

Other attendees included David Montgomery, president of the Phillies, and Marc Bruno, president of ARAMARK Sports & Entertainment. Even the fan-favorite Phillie Phanatic came to help plant and water the ceremonial kick-off tree of the campaign.

Keep up with the Home Runs for Trees campaign by following Plant One Million, the Phillies, and ARAMARK on Facebook and Twitter. Look for the hash-tag #HRs4trees.

Hot Plants for the Spring Garden at Meadowbrook’s Open House

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 on the lower right, the Euphoriba Diamond Frost has intricate blossoms that add whimsy to any garden.

Next up is a very special HGTV mixed container that will debut at the Spring Open House. In fact, Meadowbrook is the first retailer in the country to sell the HGTV line. (The second location, in West Virginia, won’t have it until May.)

The planting above, called “orange bliss,” is part of the Expressions series and consists of ipomea, petunia, verbena, and euphorbia.

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.

Save the Date: Love Your Park Week

Get ready for Love Your Park Week, eight days dedicated to cleaning, greening, and celebrating Philadelphia parks from May 12 – 19, 2012.

Whether you’re interested in service projects, fun events, educational programs, family activities, or tours, there is something for everyone. And with 100-plus participating locations,  you won’t have to travel too far either. Find out what fun is in store at your favorite park! And click here for volunteer opportunities.

Also, don’t miss out on the “Show Us Your Love” essay contest. The deadline is Thursday, May 10.

There are great prizes for runners up—but the grand prize is really special! A Yo Philly! Party in your favorite park with water-ice, soft pretzels, and a DJ spinning the sounds of Philadelphia. Wow!

So…how do you love your park?

LOVE Your Park Week is a collaborative initiative between the Fairmount Park Conservancy, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.