An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

March 5, 2014

2014 Philadelphia Flower Show

     For years now I have wanted to see the Philadelphia Flower Show. It is one of the few flower and garden shows left where creative horticulture takes precedence over the selling of seamless gutters, non-stick cookware and outdoor kitchens. I had planned to attend Sunday, and possibly make a return visit on Monday before leaving for home, but I ended up going on Saturday (opening day) to beat the impending snow. I knew it would be busy, but the throngs of people were the only thing that distracted from an incredible show. This year's theme was Articulture and most of the landscapes and floral displays drew inspiration from a wide range of art works and artists. All of it was creative, and much of it was over-the-top, in a good way. It was a fantastic distraction from the gray, the cold and the small mountains of dirty snow outside.

Main Stage (6)

Main Stage

My Monet, Norristown Garden Club

A Speculation, Andy Sturgeon Landscape and Garden Design  (2)

Avant-Garden, J. Downend Landscaping

Avant-Garden, J. Downend Landscaping (1)

Floral Display, Philladelphia Flower Show 2014 (3)

Hither Cottage, Men's Garden Club of Philadelphia, Inc., The Wayne Art Center  (1)

Floral Display, Philladelphia Flower Show 2014 (5)

Leaves in the Landscape, Michael Petrie's Handmade Gardens, The Barnes Foundation (1)

Flowers by David

Netherlands American Business Assc (1)

Potted Bulbs (1)

Potted Iris

Treasures from Korea (5)

Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades

     I normally gravitate to the landscape displays at flower and garden shows, but one of the most intriguing things I saw in Philly was a floral display. It was in a section titled Treasures from Korea, and the piece was called The King's Table.

Treasures from Korea, The Kings Table (1)

Treasures from Korea, The Kings Table

Treasures from Korea, The Kings Table (4)

Treasures from Korea, The Kings Table (2)

     The Philadelphia Flower Show runs through March 9th, but if you can't make it in person, you can see more photos on my Flickr page. The pics are definitely no substitute, but you might get an inkling.

     Also, this is your friendly reminder that my Winter Walk-Off is still going on. I hope you will join in, it just wouldn't be the same without you.

22 comments:

  1. Great photos! I've seen a few reports on the show but your images give me a better idea of the massive scale of some of the displays.

    (hoping our rain takes an afternoon off so I can get in on the winter walk-off!)

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    1. Loree, you can take an umbrella, there is nothing in my rules against it.

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  2. Canada Blooms is on in a couple of weeks and I have been trying to decide if I want to go or not. The recession really took a toll on this big show. There used to be many, many more big display gardens than there are these days at the show. I went to the Philadelphia Flower show years and years ago. I still remember it fondly.

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    1. Jennifer, you should go and enjoy.

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  3. I was there that day too..also for the first time..nicely documented!

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  4. Cynthia, perhaps we passed by each other.

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  5. My garden club is there now, and wish I was too.

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  6. Couldn't make it this year. Enjoyed your pics.

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    1. Marian, I am glad you enjoyed the photos.

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  7. I visited the show on Wednesday and, have to say, I was a little disappointed this year. The focus was a little too much "art" and a little too less "horticulture" for me but thrilled my friend who is more of an artist than me. We have been going to the show for years and had missed several due to my knee problems - no walking that show with bad knees - so this was our first year back. It was all beautiful but I find that my favorite was what I called the winter garden display that some folks didn't seem to like at all. I'm sure you know the one - field of winter dead grass with lots of seed heads - all golden and brown. I also loved the Korean inspired hoops - lovely. Was it up to my memories of shows past? No, not really. Will I go again next year? Good Lord willing - absolutely.

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    1. Phyllis, I was not disappointed, but being my first time I had nothing to compare it to. I realize having the them so closely tied to the world of art would make many of the displays more fantastical than horticultural. I guess early on I gave into the fantasy and put away my critical gardening eye. I hope to be back next year as well.

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  8. I am missing the flower show this year so it was fun to see your photos. If you enjoyed it, it must have been much better than last year which I really didn't like.

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    1. Carolyn, since it was my first time there, all I could compare it to was other flower shows, which paled in comparison.

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  9. Some day I hope to take the train up for the show. I plan on a Walk Off next week -- Old Town again.
    Ray

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    1. Ray, I think the train would a be a great way to get to the show. Driving in Philly (or northern Va., for that matter) is maddening.

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  10. i've always dreamed about going to this show so it was great to see pictures. And even better to realize there is still a show that is about flowers and gardening. Probably the last one standing!

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    1. Linda, if it is not the last, it is close to it.

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  11. Oh what a spectacular flower show !

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  12. Thanks for the photos, wish I could have gone this year! I've been hearing so many good things about it...

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    1. John, I liked it a lot, but I have read that many thought it was too arty, too creative (if there is such a thing).

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