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Pennsylvania Horticultural Society facts for kids

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Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
PHS Logo
Abbreviation PHS
Motto Planting Seeds, Growing Lives
Formation 1827
Headquarters 100 North 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Region served
Matt Rader
$21 million

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) is a nonprofit organization whose programs connect people to horticulture, and works collaboratively to create beautiful, healthy and sustainable communities. It is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

PHS building, with library on the ground floor.

PHS was founded in 1827 "to establish a Horticultural Society in the City of Philadelphia for the promotion of this interesting and highly influential branch of Science."

PHS's best known activities include the Philadelphia Flower Show, street tree planting and tree care, community gardening, and public beautification. The Philadelphia Flower Show is the world's longest-running and largest indoor flower show. PHS gardening and greening programs bring together people from diverse backgrounds to engage in horticultural projects that address society's challenges.

The Horticultural Society has occupied several homes since its 1827 founding. "It held its first meetings at the Franklin Institute, the American Philosophical Society, the Athenaeum and a few other locations throughout the city."

In 1867, PHS built its first Horticultural Hall, whose location was described as Broad and Lardner Streets or Broad Street below Locust. The society held flower and horticultural shows here until 1881, when the building was destroyed in a fire. The structure was rebuilt, but again destroyed by fire in 1893.

From 1895 to 1898, the Society was led by banker Clarence H. Clark, who was known for his early collections of rhododendrons and chrysanthemums. During Clark's term as president, the PHS built a new horticultural hall on Broad below Locust, which opened in 1895.

In 1917, PHS sold its building and subsequently moved to a space in the Finance Building on South Penn Square.

From 1923 to 1946, PHS occupied office space in the new Insurance Company of North America Building at 1600 Arch Street. From 1946 to 1964, it rented space above Suburban Station.

In 1964, PHS joined with the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture and moved into a historical row house in the Society Hill neighborhood, on Walnut Street between 3rd and 4th Streets.

Today, the PHS headquarters is at 100 North 20th Street.

In 2003, a former PHS president, J. Lyddon Pennock, Jr., donated to his 25-acre estate, Meadowbrook Farm, in Abington, Pennsylvania north of Philadelphia, to PHS. Visitors can enjoy the variety of gardens at Meadowbrook Farm, buy specialty plants in the shop, and attend gardening enrichment programs for all ages. Meadowbrook also maintains several greenhouses that are used to prepare plants for the Philadelphia Flower Show.

As of 2018, the Society has more than 25,000 members. In recent years, PHS has been able to reach new audiences with the addition of its annual PHS Pop Up Gardens. The first one was in 2011 at 20th and Market streets,. Two PHS Pop Up Gardens were in operation in 2018 at 15th and South Streets and at uCity Square, 36th and Filbert Streets.

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