Rustic and Stylish, Naturally Beautiful

DIY Holiday Wreath

By: Jamie McFadden

Give in to your crafty side this holiday season. Let’s think beyond the usual and bring the outdoors in! Decorate your home using natural elements that still look elegant using wreaths, garlands, birch votives, greenery-swag and adorable handmade paper ornaments.

DIY Holiday Wreath

  • Base ring needed for the wreath. I purchased a faux green wreath base at a dollar store!
  • Cut several 8″ to 10″ lengths of greenery. I used Douglas Fir.
  • Gather greens in 6”-8” inch bunches and secure to the wreath base with florist wire. Alternate bunches inward and outward covering stem ends as you go. Keep adding stems until the wreath base is fully covered.
  • Now get creative with your decorations to reflect your own color scheme or theme and affix with floral wire or hot glue.

There are simple-subtle ways to bring that rustic flair into your home. All of these items and so much more are on sale NOW at the PHS Holiday Pop Up Store, 8514 Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill! ! Try incorporating birch and wooden votives to your tablescape.  rcp_141108_9467

This natural wood kindle bundle is perfect as a decorative addition or functional piece to your fireplace or fire pit!

Using craft paper and old books you can still create that rustic outdoor feel without bringing the outdoor elements in with you. Here are two super easy DIY crafts that are great with kids!

DIY Holiday Collage FINAL

Woven Heart How To:

  • Cut out the heart using a tombstone (I know irony) shape.
  • Weave together one blank piece of paper and one piece of paper from a book (we used a dictionary).
  • Use paper glue at the ends to keep paper from slipping apart.
  • Make a hole, thread a string and create a loop for hanging.DIY Holiday Ball FINAL

Paper Ball How To:

  • Cut 4 paper strips measuring 10 ½ x ¾in.
  • Place the strips on top of each other.
  • Make a hole in the middle of each strip. At least ¼in from each end.
  • Thread a paper clasp through the middle hole.
  • Fold the strips into a circle and thread a paperclip through where the ends meet.
  • Separate the strips to make a ball shape.
  • Tie a thread around one of the paperclips and make a loop for hanging.

Not feeling crafty but still want to bring the outdoors in? Let PHS take that burden off your shoulders! On December, 6th from 10am – 4pm join us for the PHS Meadowbrook Farm Open House! Enjoy holiday shopping for gorgeous greens and wreaths, fabulous poinsettias, creative centerpieces and the perfect hostess gift. One day only, enjoy 20% off poinsettias and greens (including wreaths, garlands and swags). PHS Members save 30%. Join on site and start saving right away! Kids can enjoy a free craft activity- making a gumdrop pop, make S’mores and enjoy a cup of cocoa at this festive holiday event.


Toast to the PHS Pop Up Garden

By: Jamie McFadden

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss

Pop Up GardenHere’s a toast to a new friend that we met in July who quickly became our best friend.  Although you started with a wee bit of controversy…  we were happy to join you all summer long.  Thank you for the memories:  the star-lit movie screenings, acoustic Tuesdays, Visit Philly’s Beer Garden Series and countless food samplings throughout the summer.  Cheers to you for just always being there when we needed an escape from the hustle and bustle. I speak for all 50,000 of your friends when I say I’m going to miss you dearly. Your absence will leave a vacant lot in our hearts.

You connected all of us to the South Street West Community. Each visit we made, each beer we drank and every pin we lovingly purchased, supported the very special  PHS City Harvest program. Thank you dear garden for all your beauty and thank you South Street West Community for welcoming PHS into your amazing neighborhood..  For this we are eternally grateful.

Luckily, for all of us we have ONE FINAL week with you, our beloved PHS Pop Up Garden.  Just seven short days to celebrate the garden and rehash a summer’s worth of memories. Blocktober Fest kicks off this  farewell tour on Saturday, October 11th followed by NFL Sunday, live music on Tuesday and a final goodbye on Sunday, October 19th.

Photo Credit: @theburchman

Photo Credit: @theburchman

Let’s all raise a glass, our phones and cheers to just one more week of beer, food trucks, garden selfies, acoustic tunes, hammock laying and just relaxing in the wonderment of the PHS Pop Up Garden. Visit the garden until October 19th and show your love for the garden that loves you back.

Just for fun, submit photos of the garden on Twitter and Instagram by tagging #PHSPopUpGarden and you will be entered to win two tickets to the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show!  And who knows, maybe the next great pop up is just around the corner.

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Family Fun on The Farm


By: Jamie McFadden

Start a new fall tradition: pumpkin launching at Meadowbrook Farm. As ominous as it may sound, using a giant slingshot to catapult the orange orbs through the air and into the pond below is great fun that only requires a good aim and a bit of luck. This year’s Fall Open House at Meadowbrook Farm, Saturday, October 11, 10am – 5pm will offer a cornucopia of ways to enjoy the season.

Scavenger hunts and hayrides throughout the surrounding woods are just a couple of the fun activities at the Open House.  Kids can also enjoy pumpkin painting, face painting, an obstacle course, and a tree climbing experience.

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The salesyard will be bursting with festive fall color. Topping the list of fall must-haves is the 2014 Hot List show-stopper Digiplexis ‘Illumination Flame,’ in full bloom now. Plus check out a large selection of violas, pansies, cool-weather veggies, ornamental kale, specialty pumpkins, gooseneck gourds, and mini pumpkins. Fall is for planting, and Meadowbrook has a variety of fantastic perennials that are perfect for planting right now.

PHS Members always save 10% on plant purchases, and for one day only will save 20% on plant purchases at the Fall Open House. Anyone can benefit from these savings by joining or renewing as a PHS member on site that day and as a bonus, they will receive a $10 coupon (valid toward their purchase that day).

At 11 am, PHS will “flip the switch” on the new solar panels donated by Green Mountain Energy Sun Club. Solar now helps power Meadowbrook Farm greenhouses with renewable energy to help grow beautiful plants and flowers for the Farm and your garden.mb21

Make it a day and stay for lunch. Grab a bite from the food tent and dine in the estate courtyard, enjoy a craft beer and let the kids dance their lunch off with the live entertainment! Here is a list of activities.

Come experience the pure grandeur of PHS Meadowbrook Farm and stay for the Fall FUN!

Meet the PHeaSt Hyperlocal Growers

By:Jamie McFadden

It’s no surprise that the hyperlocal food movement is growing in Philadelphia like a community garden. With hundreds of gardens dotting the urban landscape and scores of new gardening enthusiasts moving into the city, now is the time to celebrate the joys of eating fresh and local. It’s almost time for PHeaSt!

This popular PHS event to be held on October 17 at The Navy Yard pairs great chefs with passionate local growers to curate Philadelphia’s most delicious. Funds raised at PHeaSt support the PHS City Harvest program providing fresh produce to those in need. Since 2006, more than 280,000 pounds of produce has been donated by local growers to local food cupboards.edit40

At PHeaSt you will see and taste the great variety and quality of hundreds of beautifully prepared dishes filled with locally-sourced and organically grown fruits and vegetables. Chefs are busy now coming up with recipes that incorporate sweet potato, onions, spinach, butternut squash, lettuce, swiss chard, mustard greens, bitter melon, microgreens, arugula, bok choy and tat soi. Last year’s most popular dish was Herb Crusted Short Ribs with Root Vegetable Hash and a Caramelized Onion and Fig Jam!

The City Harvest growers are urban farmers and community gardeners who are dedicated to delivering the best product to help their community strive for healthy living.

Click here to buy tickets and see a full list of participating restaurants. We are proud to announce this year’s line-up of great growers for PHeaSt.

Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative (UNI)

The Urban Nutrition Initiative (UNI) is a program of the Netter Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania that engages, educates and empowers youth, University students, and community members to promote healthy lifestyles and build a just and sustainable food system. UNI impacts hundreds of young people a year through their programs in gardens, schools and community centers around West Philadelphia.

Chester County Food Bank

The Chester County Food Bank provides food to nearly 70,000 people every month through programs including a backpack initiative that provides food to students in need, raised garden beds at schools and community centers throughout the county, and by gleaning fresh fruits and vegetables from 36 farms throughout the county. They also propagate thousands of seedlings at Springton Manor for partner sites that grow and donate produce back to the food bank.

Earth’s Keepers

For Earth’s Keepers, being able to provide affordable, healthy, organic produce to everyday community residents is a way of giving back to the community and the environment. These growers educate young people and their families on how to provide proper nourishment for their bodies and care for the planet. Earth’s Keepers run on-site weekly farmer’s markets, summer programs, and after-school programming with people in the Kingsessing neighborhood of West Philadelphia.

East Park Revitalization Association 

Founded in 2003, EPRA supports a healthy Strawberry Mansion neighborhood by focusing on youth development, environmental improvement, and comprehensive health promotion. EPRA maintains three gardens in the neighborhood, whose vegetables and fruits are sold weekly at a Farm stand, donated through Food Banks, and harvested and eaten by neighbors. EPRA and PHS still collaborate with Strawberry Mansion High School to maintain the Strawberry Mansion Community Food Resource Center.

Farm 51

Fall might actually be the favorite part of the growing season at Farm 51. If you plant early enough, you’ll set yourself up for many months of harvest. For Farm 51, providing a portion of fall crops to PHeaSt is a way to meet and work with talented chefs, see the creativity of the chefs and what they choose to do with the seasonal produce. It completes the circle from seed to serving.

Germantown Kitchen Garden 

The Germantown Kitchen Garden was established in 2007 by Matt McFarland and Amanda Staples, a husband and wife team. The Germantown Kitchen Garden sells high quality organically grown fruits and vegetables through a weekly CSA, as well as two restaurants in their East Germantown neighborhood. They joined PHS City Harvest in 2009.

The Lower Moyamensing Civic Association

LoMo partnered with South Philadelphia High School to create SPHS Gardens as both a school and community garden. SPHS engages students, teachers, and neighbors in the prices of growing, maintaining, selling and enjoying organic vegetables, fruits and herbs. Gardening has been integrated into the curriculum of the culinary arts, biology, math, special education and ESOL departments at South Philadelphia High School. SPHS is currently working towards the goal of a green roof garden on campus.

Nationalities Service Center’s Growing Home Garden

Growing Home Gardens, located in South Philadelphia, provides a safe and peaceful space for recently resettled Bhutanese and Burmese refugees in South Philadelphia with a place to garden as a community.  The program seeks to improve refugee diets by providing nutritious produce indigenous to their ethnic backgrounds; offer refugees a therapeutic outdoor space in which to build community, reconnect to their agricultural roots and engage in regular exercise; and provide refugees with a steady food source to supplement their limited food budgets.

Southwark / Queen Village Community Garden

Southwark / Queen Village Community Garden (SWQVCG) provides a space for public gardening, creating and connecting communities and nurturing bio-diversity. SWQVCG estimates that 255 families in the surrounding neighborhood share their harvest. In addition to 67 garden plots worked by 74 gardeners, the garden has flower beds, a wide variety of irises, an herb garden, a grape arbor, an orchard and berry patches. The garden is the last open space of its size (over 18,000 square feet) in the neighborhood.

Summer-Winter Garden

The Summer Winter Community Garden, located in Powelton Village, is one of the oldest community gardens in Philadelphia. The garden is run entirely by volunteers for the benefit of its members. The Summer Winter Community Gardens provide sustenance, beauty and a sense of calm within its confines. Gardeners maintain their own plot and also help maintain common space, including the borders and paths, by participating in weeding and other maintenance needs, and regularly provide food for Philadelphia’s hungry.

Weavers Way Coop Farm

Weavers Way is a cooperative food market open to the public and has become an integral part of the rich fabric of Northwest Philadelphia today. The Co-op Principles are the basis of Weavers Way’s value system—working toward a better Earth and making a shopper happy with a friendly smile.  Weavers Way Coop Farm provides high-quality, fairly priced foods and a broader understanding of their importance to its members and community. Weavers Way Coop Farm has an ongoing commitment to serve and forge a bond between local sustainable food producers and the co-op community.

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Time for PHeaSt 2014!


It seems everyone has a foodie story to tell these days from tales of a great restaurant meal to handy new mobile apps with lots of great recipes to tips from a favorite cooking show.  Our stories connect us to one another and enrich our lives.

On October 17th, 12 local growers will join 23 fabulous chefs to share with you the flavors and the stories from this year’s growing season at PHeaSt.

This one-of-a-kind party is held in the completely transformed PHS Warehouse at The Navy Yard.  If you think you’ve seen and tasted it all, this event is for you. Savor small plates from the region’s finest restaurants, sip playful cocktails and craft beers, and fill up on gardening tips from these knowledgeable local growers.


We invite you to enjoy PHeaSt and help change the story around food insecurity for so many. Ticket proceeds from PHeaSt support PHS’s City Harvest Program. To date, City Harvest growers have donated more than 280,000 pounds of fresh produce to those in need.


Click here to buy tickets and see a list of chefs and growers.


GROW IT… At the PHS Fall Festival

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By: Jamie McFadden

Shop It… Eat It… GROW IT

There’s a lot to see, do and learn at the PHS Fall Festival. Foodies, fall lovers and gardeners alike will find the Festival filled with great sights, shopping, plants, entertainment, kids activities, a fun Beer Garden and great garden experts.

If you are a PHS Member, you will enjoy one of most exciting benefits of membership, the Plant Dividend Tent. Here, row after row of blooming potted plants, more than 5,000 in all, are snapped up by queues of eager PHS gardeners. Members pick from a huge selection of perennials, trees, shrubs, bulbs and so much more. Not a member yet? Sign up onsite at the Festival for benefits that include tickets to the upcoming Philadelphia Flower Show, garden visits, your free plant plus an bonus plant to take home.

Plant Dividend Tent

Throughout the grounds, you’ll find displays from a dozen area Plant Societies that will inspire attendees and address the many gardening interests that abound in the Delaware Valley. Look for the colorful entries in the harvest competition. Garden Giants, gourds and bounty by the basket displays form a cornucopia of the local growing season.

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Indulge your gardening passions at the PHS Shop where a beautiful assortment of unusual plants for fall are offered for a great price.

Here’s a sneak peek of blooms for sale:

  •  Digiplexsis – Finally! Flower Show fans will remember the digiplexsis from the 2014 PHS Hot List and we are excited to offer this blooming beauty at the Fall Festival. Digiplexis comes in super-bright colors and is a vigorous, superior plant that will be perfect addition to your fall garden.
  •  PHS Gold Medal Plants –Oxydendron aboreum, Fothergilla ‘blue shadow’ and Mahonia baelei!
  •  Ornamental peppers, ornamental cabbages, ornamental kale, small mums and great fall vegetable starts

The PHS Fall Festival is free and parking is complimentary. Open 10am – 5pm, Saturday, September 20 at The Navy Yard. The weather outlook is sunny so bring the whole family and start the season just right. Follow the fun of the PHS Fall Festival on Twitter:@PHS_Gardening, Facebook: and Instagram: @PhilaFlowerShow