J. Downend Prepares Pearl Harbor Memorial for 2012 Show

With December 7 marking the 70th anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor, J. Downend Landscaping has been in the news for its in-the-works Flower Show exhibit that will commemorate the “date which will live in infamy.”

According to the newsworks.org article, “[Tom Morris’s] scaled-down re-creation of the USS Arizona Memorial will be a heady mix of patriotism, tragedy, and floral beauty. The construction will be floating in a pond inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center, surrounded by royal palms, fragrant plumeria, and white peace lilies.” Read the full story here.

Pretty amazing. To read more about J. Downend Landscaping’s thought-provoking piece, dubbed “Remembrance,” check out this article in the Delaware County Daily Times.


What’s New in the Library in December

December is traditionally a month of giving, but at the McLean Library, every month is a month of borrowing and lending.

Here’s a list of just a few of the titles that are new in the library for December—take a look!

American Eden : From Monticello to Central Park to Our Backyards : What Our Gardens Tell Us About Who We Are
By Wade Graham
From Frederick Law Olmsted to Richard Neutra, Michelle Obama to our neighbors, Americans throughout history have revealed something of themselves—their personalities, desires, and beliefs—in the gardens they create. Rooted in the time and place of their making, as much as in the minds and identities of their makers, gardens mirror the struggles and energies of a changing society. Melding biography, history, and cultural commentary in a one-of-a-kind narrative, American Eden presents a dynamic, sweeping look at this country’s landscapes and the visionaries behind them.

Bioshelter Market Garden : A Permaculture Farm
By Darrel Frey
To ensure food security and restore the health of the planet, we need to move beyond industrial agriculture and return to the practice of small-scale, local farming. Bioshelter Market Garden: A Permaculture Farm describes the creation of a sustainable food system through a detailed case study of the successful year-round organic market garden and permaculture design at Pennsylvania’s Three Sisters Farm.

High Line : The Inside Story of New York City’s Park in the Sky
By Joshua David
The High Line, a new park atop an elevated rail structure on Manhattan’s West Side, is among the most innovative urban reclamation projects in memory. The story of how it came to be is a remarkable one: two young citizens with no prior experience in planning and development collaborated with their neighbors, elected officials, artists, local business owners, and leaders of burgeoning movements in horticulture and landscape architecture to create a park celebrated worldwide as a model for creatively designed, socially vibrant, ecologically sound public space.

Apartment Gardening : Plants, Projects, and Recipes for Growing Food in Your Urban Home
By Amy Pennington
No yard? No problem. Learn how to grow squash on windowsills, flowers in planter boxes, and cucumbers on trellises: every inch of your home offers an opportunity for something planted, pickled, or preserved.

Tomatoland : How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit
By Barry Estabrook
Investigative food journalist Barry Estabrook reveals the huge human and environmental cost of the $5 billion fresh tomato industry and the price we pay as a society when we take taste and thought out of our food purchases.

Maybe I just have a heretofore-unexamined love of investigative journalism about tomatoes, but that last one sounds especially intriguing to me. But really, they all sound pretty fascinating—so come on down to McLean Library and check ’em out! Literally. See you there.

PHS Annual Report for 2011 Now Online

PHS’s Annual Report for 2011 is now available online—and what a year it’s been! Just a quick glance through the report reveals how much PHS has managed to accomplish in a year, from an amazing Flower Show that transported visitors to a beautiful Springtime in Paris to the spectacular success of the Pop Up Garden at 20th and Market streets.

The report highlights PHS’s education programs—such as Tree Tenders and Garden Tenders–-greening initiatives—such as Plant One Million and City Harvest—and, of course, our contributors! If you’ve contributed to PHS in the past year, we want to thank you, so page through the report to see your name in print. We couldn’t do it without you!

PHS Pops Up for the Holidays!

Remember back in October when we said PHS would “pop up” again after we closed the PHS Pop Up Garden at 20th and Market? Well, we weren’t just lying to make you feel better. (Would we lie to you?) We’re popping up again just in time for the holidays, this time over at the Comcast Center at 17th and JFK, with our first-ever Pop-Up Shop!

Located in the lower lobby, the Pop-Up Shop will be decked out for a Hawaiian holiday (as a preview of the 2012 Flower Show). We’ll be selling Flower Show tickets, plus a selection of PHS merchandise for the gardeners on your shopping list. The ultra-popular Plant One Million “Gift of a Tree” can also be purchased on site.

Shoppers can also enter daily drawings to win fantastic prizes from stores at The Market & Shops at Comcast Center. Curious? Intrigued? Excited? The Shop will pop open on December 12 and run through December 16. So make sure you pay us a visit between 8 am and 2:30 pm. Afterward you can check out Comcast’s Holiday Spectacular (which lives up to its name).

If you don’t think you’ll be able to make it to the Pop-Up Shop, you can still give the gift of PHS on our website. Have fun and ho-ho-ho!

New Study Finds Green Space Linked to Reduced Crime Rates

Trees, gardens, and grass may be pretty, but did you know they might actually keep you safe, active, and happy as well?

It’s true. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania recently found that neighborhoods in which blighted, vacant lots have been cleaned and greened report lower crime rates than neighborhoods in which vacant lots have not been improved. The study has been reported on by both The Atlantic and the Philadelphia Inquirer, both of which highlight the efforts of the PHS Philadelphia LandCare program to improve vacant lots citywide.

From the Atlantic article:

Vacant lot greening was associated with significant reductions in gun assaults across all four sections of Philadelphia in the study and with significant reductions in vandalism in one section. Greening was also associated with the reporting of significantly less stress in one of the sections of the city and with more exercise in another. Cholesterol numbers were lower to a statistically significant degree for the greened areas across all four city sections.

The Inquirer also touts the job-creating benefits of greening programs like LandCare, which engages “the landscapers and community groups [in] mowing grass and pruning trees.”

It’s all just one more reason to start a community garden, Plant One Million, and keep supporting PHS‘s goal of making Philly as green (and safe) as it can be. And thanks to the everyone in the Philadelphia Green department for all they do!

Photo Slideshow of Inspiring Design

The latest issue of Green Scene features a profile on landscape designer David Fierabend of Groundswell Design Group, whose unique and innovative garden designs positively light up the pages. Below, check out a slideshow of teaser photos from one of Groundswell’s recent projects, a stunning re-imagined greenhouse.

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Photos by Top Kat Photo Inc.

Intrigued? Impressed? Amazed? If you want to learn more about Fierabend’s singular perspective on design, check out the newest Green Scene… by becoming a PHS member!

PHS members receive a host of amazing benefits in addition to the bi-monthly Green Scene, like free tickets to the Flower Show, participation in the Subaru VIP program, and circulation privileges at the McLean Library. Click here to find out more about joining.