The PHS (Pennsylvania Horticultural Society)Philadelphia Flower show is the nation’s largest flower show, clocking in at 10 acres of the Philadelphia Convention Center, and features the areas premier landscape designers and florists, with cutting edge designs and horticulture. The entrance garden of “ARTiculture”, inspired by the paintings and sculptures of Alexander Calder, the artist that most of us know from his inventive mobiles, is a stunner.
Show by Numbers
- 20 truckloads of mulch used for exhibits
- 1,000 Butterflies in the Butterfly Experience room
- 3,500 volunteers
- 1,500 calories burned walking through the show
- 5,000 plant entries in horticulture
- 500,000 pounds of hardscape used
- 42,000 Hors d’oeuvres served at the Preview Party ( I wished I could have made this!)
- 86 pounds of chocolate eaten at the Preview Party
- 1,368 bottles of wine served at the Preview Party
- 25,000 hotel rooms occupied in the region during the Flower Show
- 1 Million raised each year by the Flower Show to benefit programs by the PHS
“ARTiculture”, the fusion of art and horticulture, was one of the best shows that I have experienced by the Philadelphia Horticulture Society. It seems to me that art and flowers go hand in hand, so this pairing was a natural. Floral design is an art form, which involves all the principles used in creating art, and a perfect theme for the show. The area’s leading art museums – the Penn Museum, Woodmere Art Museum, Grounds for Sculpture, the Brandywine River Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the Barnes Foundation, The Getty, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, all influenced and partnered with the PHS flower show in celebrating great horticultural design as an art form. The gravitas of these respected organizations that helped out with the staging of the show, brought it up a notch in my estimation.
The horticulture exhibits were as usual outstanding, and I often wonder if the exhibitors have access to greenhouses as well as personal gardeners!
I always appreciate it when something bizarre and odd-looking gets a blue ribbon. This time, it was an Ariocarpus fissuratus, a rare slow-growing cactus. Weird!
The miniature gardens were well represented and I particularly liked the one with the artist’s palette. The exhibitor interpreted the show theme perfectly.
I always enjoy the Bonsai displayed against a backdrop of a Japanese house, another improvement from last year. I go here to escape from the crowds and to enjoy the simple stark miniature trees.
Usually the miniatures are so crowded, that you have to wait in a long line to view them. This time around, I got in early because I was judging the show and only exhibitors who were making last-minute adjustments were on the floor.
The designs as usual were fabulous and I particularly liked the store windows this year which I judged. I really liked the one in the lower right hand corner that was designed as a store front of an art store. Very appropriate for the show! It did not win the blue ribbon because the flowers did not match the craziness of the cutouts. The flowers used were too small and not unusual enough to fit in with the wild cutouts. The winner for this class was the store front with the red shoes. Very cutting edge!
Theme for 2015 Preview
The rumor for the 2015 theme is the movies! Here are a few from this years show that may be the precursors of next year.
More floral designs:
Make and Take
The “Make and Take” rooms as usual were a hit with lots of terrariums and “fascinator” hats being made.
And talking about hats, a repeat of the hat exhibit from last year was on display and looks like it will be here to stay. I really enjoyed these.
Keeping up with the popularity of vertical gardening, a new category was added to showcase new ways of gardening on a wall.