By Melissa O'Brien
‘Gardening for the Greater Good’ is more than a tagline -- it’s a philosophy made up of four guiding principles that home gardeners everywhere can apply to make their gardening practices more environmentally friendly and to build stronger communities through gardening. PHS developed these principles as a positive framework for how we use horticulture to improve the health and well-being of the Greater Philadelphia region.
The work PHS does, the programs we offer, and the education we provide are inspired and informed by these ideas. Nicole Juday Rhoads, Consulting Horticulturist and avid home gardener, helped develop these principles and has been putting them to use in her own garden. She shares: “I do feel these principles have changed my approach to gardening in a subtle way.”
Although these principles may seem small, they have a big impact when we all work on them together. Nicole says, "Even though what we can accomplish as individuals doesn't always feel consequential, if lots of gardeners are ascribing to the same principles with our gardening practices, we can help make our environment healthier and bring a better sense of well-being to our lives.”
Are you ready to Garden for the Greater Good? Here are four ways to practice gardening as the environmentally sustainable, economically empowering, celebratory, and community-building activity that it is.
A garden is an expression of your own personality, your growing conditions, and your interests. Let your creativity run wild and you will be sure to inspire others along the way. After all, there is no “right way” a garden should look.
Plants are the ingredients of healthy, beautiful gardens that support environmental best practices and local businesses.
Your garden and what you do in it are part of a larger natural system. We advise that you garden in recognition of the environment all around you.
Share your passion and enthusiasm, your harvest, and your time.
Gardening for the Greater Good is a marathon, not a sprint. When you’re ready to share your progress with our team at PHS, use the hashtag #GardeningForTheGreaterGood to inspire others to join you!
The PHS Gold Medal Plant Program is a resource for anyone looking for the perfect tree, shrub, vine, or perennial plant to add to their garden. Gold Medal Plants have been selected for their ease of cultivation, multiple seasons of interest, commercial availability, appropriateness for the Mid-Atlantic region, and value to wildlife.