Art of Aging: Volunteer for PHS shares her love for horticulture

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- In Art of Aging, we meet a longtime volunteer who helps the Philadelphia Flower Show bloom every spring.

Every morning of the Flower Show before the doors open to the public, you'll find volunteer Sheila Chlebda there leading an early morning tour.

Offering visitors an intimate VIP view of the landscape and floral gardens with a theme this year of Wonders of Water.

She's been a PHS volunteer for 15 years, leading tours, working in the Flower Show information booth and clerking for the show's judges.

"I love gardening and I love the renewal and rebirth that I feel when I come to the Philadelphia Flower Show," said Chlebda.

And for PHS, the work of Chlebda and other volunteers is mission critical for putting on the nation's largest and longest-running horticultural event.

Communications Manager, PHS Kevin Feeley says, "It really does take a village. We have about 3500 volunteers that help us out with the show from start to finish."

And Sheila really provides a special experience for the visitors.

Money raised during the 9 days show funds PHS programs all year round.

And for Chlebda, that's a big part of the draw.

"I love what PHS stands for. I love that they're greening my city and making it more beautiful," added Chlebda.

She has always been a home gardener.

"The love of gardening was instilled in me when I was a little girl with my mother," she said.

She spent her career as a registered nurse but went back to school and earned a degree in horticulture.

Now 64 and retired from nursing, Chlebda is a self-described people person who loves the interactions that come with volunteering.

"It's really kind of fun," she said.

And she loves the plants and flowers.

Chlebda says, "The garden is my happy place. Spiritually, it just lifts my spirit."

You still have time to check out the Philadelphia Flower Show. It runs through this Sunday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

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