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!



PHS to Add Holiday Cheer to Downtown Philadelphia

December is the season of giving, so PHS wanted to give something special to the city of Philadelphia, its residents, and its visitors. The PHS Public Landscapes Design & Management team (you may remember PLDM from this blog post) collaborated with students from PennDesign to come up with a gift that would add holiday cheer to a prominent downtown destination.

The end result: birch wood ornaments. Made in three leaf-shaped designs (maple, sweet gum, and aspen), these ornaments will hang from trees on and around South Broad Street beginning December 8.

This section of Broad Street, often referred to as the Avenue of the Arts, is a natural location for the holiday display because PHS already maintains the large planters that dot its sidewalk. In fact, new winter-interest plants will be installed in the planters the same week the ornaments are placed in nearby trees.

PHS’s Anna Wik says, “We wanted to create something eye-catching yet elegant for those passing by. Whether they are walking to work or running from store to store holiday shopping, people appreciate a bit of beauty. This is also a way to bring attention to some of the steadfast tree species lining Broad Street.”

As they brainstormed the ornament idea, the PHS PLDM team and their student collaborators considered lots of looks and a range of color palettes. Ultimately the simple, monochromatic concept won out. “We kept coming back to it,” Anna explains. “So many things associated with the holidays are bright and flashy. This feels like a refreshing alternative.”

To see the ornaments for yourself, visit South Broad Street between City Hall and Lombard Street after December 8.

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PHS Pop-Up Store in Chestnut Hill Opens Today

This holiday season, visit PHS at our new Pop Up Store in Chestnut Hill for a festive shopping experience. Located at 8232 Germantown Ave (directly across from the Chestnut Hill Hotel), the store debuts on Wednesday, November 28 and will remain open through Sunday, December 23.

Our team was hard at work transforming the 400 square-foot space into a holiday retail haven, adorned with birch wood and green garland, accented with touches of glitter and mercury glass, and offering exceptional gifts for the garden, design, culinary, and Flower Show enthusiasts on your shopping list.

The 2012 PHS Holiday Pop Up Store will offer a variety of hand-selected holiday items for everyone on your holiday shopping list. Don’t miss glittering ornaments, cozy scarves, custom blended tea, gorgeous greens, jingling bells, and more! PHS expert staff will introduce you to great new items for the home, garden, and beyond, and give you great tips and tricks for how to get the most enjoyment out of your purchase.

Store Hours:
Wednesday 3 to 9 pm
Thursday, Friday, Saturday 11 am to 6 pm
Sunday 12 to 4 pm

Special Events:

A “Brilliant!” Celebration
Saturday, December 8 & Sunday, December 9
As Chestnut Hill celebrates Dickens Weekend, the Pop Up Store will entice Anglophiles with a British bash that features Beatles music, UK- themed merchandise, and cozy cups of tea. Join us as we count down the days to the 2013 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show, “Brilliant!”

Swag & Bow Nights: Wednesdays, 6 – 9 pm
The shop stays open late! Stroll the avenue and enjoy complimentary wine and freshly baked goodies at the PHS Pop Up Store.

Tea at Two: Sundays, 2 pm
Enhance your Sunday afternoon shopping experience with a spot of tea, sure to get you in the mood for the 2013 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show,” Brilliant!”