Note: This article is a paid placement and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Billy Penn at WHYY.

The time to plant is now.

This rallying cry rings true for many, as the impact of gardening may never have been more widely understood.

After months of socially distant living, the act of gardening, valuing open green space, connecting with plants and with one another are more vital to our health and well-being than ever before.

As we enter a new period of “horticultural enlightenment,” the folks at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) are challenging us to lift up our trowels in support of gardening for the greater good.

No matter how green your thumb, PHS offers everyone experiences, inspiring programs and shared calls-to-action that will enrich our lives and that of those around us.

From plant swaps at PHS Pop Up Gardens to volunteer turns in the gorgeous flowering beds behind the Art Museum to joining the leaf-loving street tree stewards known as Tree Tenders, PHS offers many ways to dig in to the real joy of gardening — and in doing so, improve your own health and wellness and the lives of others.

Did you know that PHS maintains more than 150 acres of landscapes and public gardens? And they are free!

Take a field trip through Logan Square, the Azalea Garden, The Gardens along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Navy Yard, the PHS Pop Up Gardens or Meadowbrook Farm, and dream about your own gardening plans come spring.

Credit: Rob Cardillo / PHS

An outdoor extravaganza this summer

As the seasons unfold, PHS is hard at work planning its flagship event, the Philadelphia Flower Show. This incredible annual attraction will take place outdoors in 2021 for the first time in its 193-year history — at the height of gardening season in early summer.

The Flower Show offers many ways to dream big and get hands-on help with planning your garden. Inspiration abounds in acres of flora and displays, live demonstrations, and fun activities.

Best of all, proceeds from the Show contribute to PHS’s year-round efforts to increase the health and wellness of the Greater Philadelphia region.

Don’t wait: Programs are available now

Whether you garden with your community group or in your own backyard, PHS offers technical assistance and learning tools to increase your success.

Take a virtual GROWinar or Garden Tenders class to increase production in your vegetable garden. Teach your second grader the wonders of worms by becoming a “Green City Teacher” or delve into volumes of some the greatest gardening books available at the PHS McLean Library (also available online!).

One gardener can plant a seed that provides tremendous joy and nourishment for the body and soul. Many gardeners planting together can lift-up an entire community.

PHS believes that a seed is more than a plant and that gardening is more than a hobby and invites everyone to plant with purpose this coming year. If you join PHS as a member, you will be supporting all of these efforts. Growing together. What a great way to start the new year.