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Orchids, birds of paradise, a huge (3 feet in diameter!) water lily and a modernistic multi-level 25 foot bamboo waterfall amid a lush rain forest, await at this year’s annual Philadelphia Flower Show. Celebrating its 189th year as the country’s longest-running horticultural event, this year’s show is sure to impress with its celebration of water, entitled, “Wonders of Water.” Tropical jungles, temperate forests, native woodlands and arid landscapes will abound.
One of the reasons I love public horticulture is the opportunity for new experiences. This past Saturday afforded me just that. We had a booking for a private tour for a group with visual impairments. I did my best to prepare for this unusual engagement, but in the end I was left surprised and pleased while wholly out of my depth. They taught me that bright colors are best. To say "look at your 12 o'clock" instead of "look ahead" .
Little I’ve done here makes me prouder than our wonderful new job readiness pilot program partnering with Bridges Outreach. This program is to help foster employment for those of our friends who are experiencing homelessness. Our dedicated horticulture and facilities staff work hand in hand with a vetted Bridges candidate to offer basic gardening and facilities skills at the Arboretum, with job interviews and possible placement as the ultimate goal.
We’ve lucked out with our fi...