Let Little Imaginations Grow with Summertime Stories

Schoolchildren outsideThere’s so much to do this time of year, but we know it can sometimes be a challenge to keep little ones busy! PHS is featuring storytime programs in the air-conditioned McLean Library, located on the first floor at PHS headquarters, 100 North 20th Street in Philadelphia. Children ages 2 to 6 (with their adults) are invited to the library to learn about gardening and the natural world through books read by storyteller Hasha Salaman.

And new for summer 2013, join us outside for storytime at the recently refurbished Sister Cities Park along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 18th Street. When at the park, kids can also play in the bubbling fountains, sail a toy boat in the pond, or run barefoot in the grass under the shade trees.

Hour-long sessions at both locations will be held at 11 am on the dates below.

June 5 in the McLean Library
June 13 at Sister Cities Park
July 10 in the McLean Library
July 11 at Sister Cities Park
August 8 at Sister Cities Park
October 9 in the McLean Library
November 6 in the McLean Library
December 4 in the McLean Library
January 8 in the McLean Library

There’s no need to register and there is no fee! Just bring a blanket, maybe a snack (when visiting the park), and meet us for a delightful hour of engaging stories. For more information, contact Priscilla Becroft at pbecroft@pennhort.org or 215-988-8772.

Preserve Your Gorgeous Garden in Perfect Pictures

I’m a firm believer that we can all create beautiful images of our gardens, regardless of the type of camera we use. Sure, a bag full of lenses, filters, and expensive digital equipment plus a computer with the fanciest editing software will help, but you can also make pictures that look lovely straight out of the camera.

On June 12 at 5:30 pm, I will host a workshop in the PHS McLean Library to discuss how to photograph your gardens. After a brief introduction (and some wine and cheese!) and a slideshow of some of my favorite shots from my gardens and the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show, we’ll venture out to Logan Square to try some of my tips for better pictures. While I don’t want to give it all away in this post, here’s one tip I want you to try this weekend:

Change your perspective.

That’s it. Look at your garden differently by standing on a step stool, kneeling on the ground, or shooting from an upstairs window. By varying your perspective, you literally see your garden differently and your pictures will be more interesting. Imagine lying on your back, breaking the “rules” by shooting toward the early morning sun streaming in from behind your just-opening peonies. Now that’s an interesting picture! Sometimes it’s just being in the right place at the right time to see the perfect kind of light, drops of dew on a petal, or butterfly on a blossom. For example, as I sat on my porch one morning–camera in hand–the scene below happened. I didn’t want to make too much noise or movement, but was able to get a few quick shots of this unlikely pair at the platform feeder.

If you’d like to participate in my workshop, you can register here. Don’t forget to bring your camera along. The fee is $18 for members and $23 for nonmembers. I look forward to meeting you!