The largest and oldest flower show in the U.S., the Philly Flower Show is a always grand, but especially this year (to this visitor) because it brought the lushness of Hawaii to green-deprived Easterners. Starting with this 30-foot waterfall festooned with orchids and Anthuriums.
Below, don’t try this at home. Maybe in a hotel lobby?
I was happy to see touches of Hawaiian funky, which I love as much as the vegetation. Surf’s up and all that.
The front porch displays were my favorite reminders of real Island gardens, especially the one below on the left. On the right, they got the spirit right but a lava rock walkway? Not in bare feet. Not even in sandels. Ridiculous idea!
Below, Asian-style minimalism works well, but a tiny lawn, not so much.
In fact, to my eyes, nothing Eastern worked in this year’s show. That includes the overwhelming displays of forced spring blossoms in the exhibit below. Though local landscapers who pay a fortune for displays like this can’t be faulted, I guess, for wanting to showcase plants that would grow in Pennsylvania.
A very popular feature of the show were the amazing displays of pressed plant art, like these.
Below, miniature gardens are always a hoot.
And a personal favorite were these tall mesh columns filled with a variety of natural materials, even clam shells. They were the created by the aspiring designers in Temple’s School of Environmental Design, and their display took first prize among academic entries.
I coveted the terrarium containers.
Green walls were everywhere, like this one covered in spring greens. And this compost tea bin was part of a large exhibit about soil health.
Lots of food-growing going on, and not just in this wonderful display by the Pennsylvia Hort Society’s City Harvest program. Do click that link to learn about how inmates start the plants, which then go into community gardens, where crops are grown and harvested for food pantries. I was told that many of the recipient families have expressed interest in being part of the growing process, so City Harvest is finding ways to close the loop. Inmates are also channeled into landscaping apprenticeships. Last year the Flower Show raised about $1 million for City Harvest and other terrific programs.
Next week I’ll post photos of products that caught my eye in the Show’s market.