Philly flower show go­ing on now

Home - Santa Fe Real Estate Guide - - SANTAFEINBLOOM - CA­ROLE LANGRALL

It­may seem odd­writ­ing about a flower show that is held all the way across the coun­try in Penn­syl­va­nia, but this im­pres­sive event, which runs from the end of Fe­bru­ary to the first week in March, is the largest in­door hor­ti­cul­tural show in the world, pro­vid­ing gar­den­ers much in the way of in­spi­ra­tion and re­sources, no mat­ter where you live.

Held an­nu­ally at the Philadel­phia Con­ven­tion Cen­ter, the Philadel­phia Flower Show is spon­sored by the Penn­syl­va­nia Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety (PHS), a non­profit membership or­ga­ni­za­tion founded in 1827, whose mission is to mo­ti­vate and ed­u­cate peo­ple to im­prove the qual­ity of life and cre­ate a sense of com­mu­nity through hor­ti­cul­ture.

Since its in­cep­tion, the an­nual PHS Flower Show has of­fered vis­i­tors a mag­i­cal set­ting filled with large-scale themed gar­dens, elab­o­rate land­scapes cre­ated by re­gional com­pa­nies, and over-the-top flo­ral cre­ations by lo­cal and na­tional de­sign­ers. There is also live en­ter­tain­ment, culi­nary and de­sign demon­stra­tions, gar­den­ing how-to work­shops, and lec­tures.

Bring­ing in over 260,000 at­ten­dees from all over the world, The PHS event is the sec­ond largest over­all flower show, with the Royal Hor­ti­cul­ture So­ci­ety’s (RHS) Hamp­ton Court Palace Flower Show rank­ing num­ber one. At­tract­ing more than 300,000 vis­i­tors each year, the English show is held from the end of June through the first week of July. An­other very popular flower show, the RHS’s Chelsea Flower Show, is also held an­nu­ally, from mid-May un­til the end of the month.

Each year brings a newtheme to the PHS Flower Show, and this year it has part­nered up with Dis­ney to cre­ate a “Cel­e­brate the Movies” theme where large flo­ral in­stal­la­tions are con­structed based on Dis­ney/Dis­ney-Pixar movies, as well as Hol­ly­wood films, sets and back­drops.

As al­ways, there will be many other spe­cial fea­tures to the show, like the Designer’s Stu­dio, where top U.S. flo­ral de­sign­ers com­pete in front of a live au­di­ence to cre­ate elab­o­rate and unique de­signs that vis­i­tors will judge. Wine and Spirit Tast­ings will re­turn to the Grand Hall, and this year the Pop Up Gar­den will treat vis­i­tors to an ex­otic, palm-tree­lined red car­pet that leads them into a lush gar­den set­ting where light fare, PHS’ new hard cider, and beer is served while Hol­ly­wood movies play on a large screen in the back­ground.

An­other much an­tic­i­pated at­trac­tion will be the “The But­ter­fly Ex­pe­ri­ence,” staged in the grand con­course. It fea­tures 30 species of do­mes­tic and ex­otic but­ter­flies in an en­vi­ron­ment that sim­u­lates their nat­u­ral habi­tat. This year prom­ises to have some of the rarest and most ex­quis­ite but­ter­flies yet, with hand-painted back­grounds of the sky cre­at­ing an ethe­real ex­pe­ri­ence of walk­ing on clouds while be­ing sur­rounded by beau­ti­ful fly­ing in­sects.

Hol­ly­wood cos­tume col­lec­tor and his­to­rian Gene Lon­don will have a spe­cial room where he will show­case over 50 glam­orous film cos­tumes from his pri­vately as­sem­bled col­lec­tion from film­dom’s Golden Age. Gowns and out­fits worn by Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe, Vivien Leigh, Greta Garbo, Grace Kelly, Au­drey Hep­burn, Rita Hay­worth and many oth­ers will be on dis­play.

The Mar­ket­place, which fea­tures over 180 ven­dors, will once again be in the back sec­tion of the Flower Show to sell fresh-cut flow­ers, or­chids, unique plants, gar­den fur­ni­ture, hand-crafted jew­elry, gar­den tools, and art.

This year’s PHS’s Flower Show will be sure to im­press, but if you don’t go, their web­site blog will have many high­lights that will in­spire the flower lover in all of us: http://phs­blog.org.

Ca­role has been in the flori­cul­ture in­dus­try, from in­ter­na­tional whole­sale and re­tail sales to event plan­ning, for over 20 years. She has flo­ral stu­dios in Santa Fe and Bal­ti­more, was a Santa Fe Mas­ter Gar­dener, and sup­ports lo­cal/na­tional flower farms and beau­ti­fi­ca­tion projects. She is avail­able for demon­stra­tions and lec­tures. Con­tact her at clan­grall@gmail.com or visit www. flow­er­spy.com.

A re­splen­dent still life snapped at the Philadel­phia Flower Show in 2009

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