January 31, 2015 |
In June, Jenny Rose Carey left Temple University-Ambler, where she had headed up the arboretum for almost a decade and taught horticulture for two years before that. She was eager to travel and write a book about early-20th-century gardens in Philadelphia, one of her many interests. And for a while, she did both, writing and visiting family in England (she's from Kent), and exploring the flora of the American West. Then, in December, surprising news: Carey would become the new director of Meadowbrook Farm in Abington Township, which J. Liddon Pennock Jr. bequeathed to the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society upon his death in 2003.
January 19, 2015 |
It's a given in the gardening world that wintertime is for resting, recharging, and reimagining our next - and best - garden ever. But, increasingly, the off-season is for learning. The Philadelphia region, which immodestly but accurately touts itself as "America's garden capital," with 30 public gardens, arboretums and historic landscapes within 30 miles of the city, offers scores of classes, workshops and programs to keep you in the game till spring. You can find the whole collection at www.americasgardencapital.org . On Jan. 24, for example, a panel of Barnes Arboretum School graduates will present an hourlong program on careers in horticulture at the Barnes Foundation on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
November 22, 2014 |
On the vast front lawn of Abraham Lincoln High School in the Mayfair section of Northeast Philadelphia, small groups of students are scattered about, planting a dozen fledgling trees. In each group, one kid has a shovel. Another tamps down the dirt. A third pounds stakes into the ground to keep the tree straight. One more is at the ready with a hose. Wait a minute. It's November. It's 35 degrees out here! But it's not too late to plant trees - the soil is still warm - and the kids, Lincoln's ornamental-horticulture students, are into it. They're a relatively rare breed in 21st-century high schools, where plant-related instruction - if it exists at all - is more likely to be about healthy eating and growing fresh vegetables.
September 24, 2014 |
Frances Grace Murphy Cooper, 96, formerly of Springfield, Delaware County, a skilled gardener and horticultural volunteer, died Monday, Sept. 1, of renal cancer at the Philip Hulitar Inpatient Hospice in Providence, R.I. Born in Rutherford, N.J., she was the second of six children. The lively Murphy household moved to various places before finally settling in Philadelphia. During the Depression, the family's candy business kept it afloat. The children worked the streets "with boxes like the cigarette girls in Las Vegas" selling chocolate and nut candy made by their mother, Ella Schneider Murphy, in her kitchen.
August 2, 2014 |
Do not get Allen Lacy going on the subject of Bradford pear trees or forsythia bushes unless you want to get an earful. He considers them common and overplanted, and you won't find a single one in the Linwood Arboretum in Linwood, N.J., which Lacy created five years ago and somehow manages to keep going with his septuagenarian wife, Hella, a half-dozen volunteers, a surfeit of optimism, and hardly any money. Lacy calls it "the smallest arboretum in the world," but its wish list may be the largest.
April 14, 2014 |
Deer and plants: As any suburbanite knows, it's a marriage made in horticultural hell. But Chuck Feld thought he was in the clear. Although 30 deer regularly cruised through Birmingham Gardens, his four-acre wholesale nursery in West Chester, thousands of boxwoods he was cultivating remained blessedly untouched. Feld's "box," as it's known, may have defeated the deer, but it was helpless against a new scourge: boxwood blight, which first showed up in Europe in the mid-1990s and in Connecticut and North Carolina in late 2011.
March 2, 2014 |
Every Philadelphia Flower Show has a vibe that gets communicated in a one-word answer to this question: What'd you think of the show? Here's the word on 2014: Different . In random interviews at Friday's preview for members of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, which produces the show, visitors again and again described it that way. This show is, quite literally, different. The theme this year is ARTiculture, the nexus of art and horticulture, which is a complete departure from the themes of recent years.
February 24, 2014 |
Talk to 10 people who've been to Philadelphia Flower Shows past and you'll get 10 different opinions. You like those edgy videos? Other folks hate 'em. Chasing blue ribbons for your pampered succulents? Plant competitions bore the next guy silly. Sometimes, it seems, the Flower Show - the nation's oldest, founded in 1829 - has an impossible mission. Like other legacy institutions, it must find a way to retain its core audience - mostly white, middle-aged, and suburban - while also attracting a younger, more diverse population to carry it into the future.
January 17, 2014 |
Julia Wanning Frick, 99, of Gladwyne, a secretary whose passion was horticulture, died Wednesday, Jan. 8, of age-related causes at Bryn Mawr Hospital. Miss Frick was born in Cynwyd. She moved to Merion in 1928, to Wynnewood in 1971, and to Waverly Heights in Gladwyne when the retirement facility opened in 1986. On her father's side she was a descendant of Stephen Hopkins, who arrived in Jamestown, Va., in 1610. Hopkins sailed back to England before returning to America on the Mayflower in 1620.
January 9, 2014
Signs of growth The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society agrees that there is an urgent need to inspire young people to study horticulture as a profession and to raise awareness of the vital role of plants and gardens in our environment ("Is horticulture a withering profession?" Jan 6). But the society sees cause for optimism as well. Our membership has grown by 38 percent in the last three years, to 25,000 households. Among the fastest-growing groups of new members are those ages 18 to 35. We also see signs of increasing appreciation for horticulture and its value throughout our neighborhoods.