Vis­i­tors to be greeted by 30,000 flow­ers

En­trance blends tra­di­tional, Dutch Wave de­sign

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Linda Finarelli lfinarelli@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @lk­finarelli on Twit­ter

PHILADEL­PHIA >> Thirty thou­sand flow­ers — with an ad­di­tional 6,000 blooms sus­pended in a gi­ant flo­ral canopy — will wel­come guests to the 2017 PHS Philadel­phia Flower Show, “Hol­land: Flow­er­ing the World,” from March 11 to 19 at the Penn­syl­va­nia Con­ven­tion Cen­ter.

“Tulips, a flower field, ro­man­tic bridges, bikes — the fo­cus will be on all di­men­sions about Hol­land,” Sam Lemheney, chief of shows and events for the Penn­syl­va­nia Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety, said of the en­trance gar­den and other high­lights of this year’s flower show. “Hol­land is a very sus­tain­able and green coun­try and we will high­light and show­case that.

“There’s a lot of sus­tain­able, green gar­den­ing in the United States, but it’s not as well-known as in Hol­land,” he said. “It’s def­i­nitely in their cul­ture. They’re con­cerned about the en­vi­ron­ment on a daily ba­sis.

“They ride bikes ev­ery­where, wa­ter con­ser­va­tion — the wind­mill was used to move wa­ter.”

Vis­i­tors will en­ter the show by walk­ing un­der a large brick bridge in­spired by the Am­s­ter­dam cityscape and adorned with Delft tile pat­terns, with ro­man­tic walks adored in win­dow boxes and hang­ing bas­kets with cut flow­ers, Lemheney said. They will walk into a cen­ter plaza with three wind­mills — just the slats — with flower adorn­ments and LED lights that will go on ev­ery half-hour set to mu­sic, he said.

The sur­round­ing gar­den will be planted with cherry trees, sycamores and drifts of flo­ral color rang­ing from hot or­ange to soft pinks, reds, blues and pur­ple ac­cents, show of­fi­cials said. Mixed in with thou­sands of tulips will be hun­dreds of frit­il­laria, nar­cis­sus, anemones and other blooms.

“The flower fields in­clude acres of tulips, hy­acinths and daf­fodils; the col­ors are amaz­ing,” Lemheney said. “In­stead of a meadow, it will be a nat­u­ral­is­tic de­sign, cre­at­ing grasses in a wave and peren­ni­als in a wave. It’s a much more for­mal de­sign.”

Ina Flower Show first, a flo­ral canopy will float above the en­trance gar­den. More than 6,000 flow­ers will hang down from 4,500 multi-colored strings sus­pended over the heads of vis­i­tors.

“It will be spec­tac­u­lar,” Lemheney said. “It will feel like you’re walk­ing through a tunnel of flow­ers.”

The en­trance gar­den was de­signed by him­self, PHA de­signer Seth Pear­soll and two con­trac­tors, Gary Radin and Jeff New­burger, Lemheney said.

The more than 10,000-square-foot gar­den and walk­way “sets the tone and mood for the en­tire show,” he said.

“We’re so ex­cited about this,” he said. There will be 30,000 bulbs, 20 va­ri­eties of tulips, flo­ral and hy­brid, “from deep or­ange to peach to laven­der to white.”

Dutch Wave de­sign with peren­ni­als and na­tive plants mixed to­gether will be preva­lent, with a 70-foot-di­am­e­ter, 36-foot-tall dis­play in the “dead cen­ter of the show,” with a ge­o­desic dome hous­ing com­pa­nies from Hol­land to show­case their in­no­va­tive and cre­ative ideas for sus­tain­able gar­dens and hor­ti­cul­ture, Lemheney said.

Bulbs will be the high­light of most of the gar­dens in the show, he said. In­spi­ra­tion for the gar­dens comes from art­work from the Dutch mas­ters, bikes, old cas­tle gar­dens and ar­chi­tec­tural ar­eas.

Half­way through the show, the 30,000 bulbs will be re­placed, Lemheney said. Af­ter the show, PHS mem­bers will be able to go to Mead­ow­brook Farm and pur­chase some of the bulbs for the fol­low­ing year.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the Philadel­phia Flower Show, call 215-988-8800, visit TheFlow­, search for “The Flower Show”on Face­book or fol­low @Phila-Flow­erShow on Twit­ter.


A sketch of the en­trance to the 2017 Philadel­phia Flower Show.


Flow­er­ing bulbs that will dom­i­nate the 2017 Flower Show.


Vis­i­tors to the 2016 Flower Show take pho­tos of tulips, the high­light of the 2017 show.

IM­AGE COUR­TESY OF GARY RADIN, GMR DE­SIGN A sketch of the en­trance to the 2017 Philadel­phia Flower Show.

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