The theme for this year's Philadelphia Flower Show is Passport to the world. It is a nice handle to showcase talent. The central feature has multiple elements of dramatic effect and world significance. A balloon covered in over 30,000 roses and hydrangea flowers looms over the hall and reminds one of the film Around the World in 80 days. A lagoon at its base showcases Victoria Regina Water Lily whose leaves can grow 9 feet across in the South American tropics. Nearby, in another part of the massive central display, a pagoda with a created Cymbidium Orchid tree shows the magic of florists. There are six Showcase gardens displaying other countries. Our task was to judge these six gardens. Best in Show went to an Exhibit showcasing South Africa. Here florist have created a marvelous village, with animals, minerals, masks and everything you could think off and then some. Enjoy.
Victoria Regina Water Lily grown at Longwood Garden specially for the show. Water in the pond has to be maintained around 78 degrees for the plant to thrive.
Part of central display: Pagoda filled with cymbidiums attached to branches and placed on a bed of mosses and succulents
India displays a wedding garden with a ceremonial (Spanish Moss) elephant
An Indian floral wedding fountain
Brazil features a bromeliad rain forest garden with carnation flamingos and a croc
How is the croc is eating a feathered flamingo when all they had were carnation flavored?
Award of Distinction: Holland displays its canals and bikes and a few tulips to boot!
Here is the inside of the Holland florist shop
Best in Show: South African village with tribal costumes
Cymbidium colored giraffe part of the South Africa display
South African vignette showing native plants, and a few not so real diamonds
Clever florist display with hundreds of vials each with separate floral display that created quite a floating garden effect
Based on celebrated Landscape Architect, Roberto Burle Marx home, this elegant garden room has won much praise by a new presenter
A series of rusting ship containers are stacked and decorated as though it were a recycled home dining room
There are several winter fantasies. This one has the most creative white garden in years
Calla Lilies float in vases as though encased in ice blocks
A masterful further display of calla lilies dripped with wax as though frozen
The show is immense: Roughly 8 acres of displays and a marketplace to shop for your fantasy garden supplies and plants. I have only shown you a brief glimpse of what is there. There are many club displays, specialty displays with everything from floral watercolors to drawings made from flowers. There a miniatures, vignettes, flower arrangements, bonsais, every plant group and specialty imaginable. The local universities and trade schools have each taken an approach at displaying and educational concept. Then there are thousands of plants of every category that vie for blue ribbons and the like. It is not to be missed if you are in the area.
I have hosted friends from England who I thought had seen everything at Kew and at Chelsea and to my surprise they were most impressed with our local show and said that it was no comparison. So there you have it. Spring is here!
p.s. The theme for 2011 will be Springtime in Paris