Lights Camera Bloom! Philadelphia Flower Show-Part 1

"The Movies" was the theme this year for the Philadelphia Flower Show
“The Movies” was the theme this year for the Philadelphia Flower Show

As you enter the Philadelphia Flower Show, you feel that you are visiting an old time movie theater that has a marquee, bright lights, and excitement, and you even smell the buttery scent of popcorn. And yes, they actually were selling hot buttery popcorn freshly popped, like hotcakes!

Cars themed Rt 66 executed by Burke Brothers Landscapes
Cars themed Rt 66 executed by Burke Brothers Landscapes

The PHS Philadelphia Flower Show is an annual event at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in March. The oldest and largest indoor show, the spectacle features elaborate landscapes, and over-the-top floral creations.

Over the top floral creations
Over the top floral creations

Not only a flower show, visitors experience live shows and entertainment, culinary demonstrations, DIY workshops and lectures. I did a demo on Fairy gardens meets the movies called “Tinkerbell and Beyond” and showed everyone how to arrange a miniature landscape.  Tinkerbell, The Hobbit, and Fern Gully gardens complete with animals and fairies were put together on the demo stage and I had a great helper who was eager to play in the dirt. I had an assistant to help me with my demo on miniature gardens

I had an assistant to help me with my demo on miniature gardens.

My assistant made a great fairy garden with a little coaching
My assistant made a great fairy garden with a little coaching
Tinkerbells' miniature garden
Tinkerbells’ miniature garden

The aisles were thronged with people trying to get a good view of the very inventive interpretations of movies.

'Nightmare Before Christmas' was a big hit
‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ was a big hit

Four season containers were on display to demonstrate that you can have containers planted all year long.

Four season containers
Four season containers

But the movie exhibits were so interesting that I kept going back to them to check them out.

Chicken coop made out of an old car for 'Cars" movie

Chicken coop made out of an old car for “Cars” movie!

Ratatouille was so cute!
Ratatouille was so cute!
Ratatouille popped up everywhere
Ratatouille popped up everywhere
I loved these air plants that were upside down in dried sea urchins to mimic jelly fish-In Finding Nemo
I loved these air plants that were upside down in dried sea urchins to mimic jelly fish-In ‘Finding Nemo’
Alice in Wonderland at the Mad Hatters Tea Party
Alice in Wonderland at the Mad Hatters Tea Party
I loved this storefront of underwear made of flowers!
I loved this storefront of underwear made of flowers

The miniatures were wonderful as usual and I am doing another post on just the miniature gardens and scenes. Stay tuned for part 2.

My haul of plants from the show
My haul of plants from the show

 

ARTiculture-Philadelphia Flower Show 2014

Entrance Exhibit
Entrance Exhibit

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.

Entrance garden
Entrance garden

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.

Lots of the horticulture displays were improved such as this wall of cactus
Lots of the horticulture displays were improved such as this wall of cactus

Horticulture

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!

Ariocarpus fissuratus got a blue ribbon
Ariocarpus fissuratus got a blue ribbon

The miniature gardens were well represented and I particularly liked the one with the artist’s palette. The exhibitor interpreted the show theme perfectly.

Miniature garden
Miniature garden

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.

Bonsai at the Philly Show is a peaceful respite from the crowds
Bonsai at the Philly Show is a peaceful respite from the crowds

Miniatures

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.

Some miniatures which are about 3 inches in diameter
Some miniatures which are about 3 inches in diameter

Floral Designs

Spider web design
Spider web design

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!

Store windows
Store windows

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.

Philadelphia flower show 2014 071 Philadelphia flower show 2014 073

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.

Make and Take room for creating your own masterpiece
Make and Take room for creating your own masterpiece

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.

Hats out of flowers
Hats out of flowers

Vertical Gardens

Keeping up with the popularity of vertical gardening, a new category was added to showcase new ways of gardening on a wall.

Vertical gardening
Vertical gardening

More: