"Nothing succeeds like excess." - Oscar Wilde (and the Lady Violet)
Before heading to the Philadelphia Flower Show I found myself in a dark place. I was travelling the length of Delaware while listening to moody prog rock from the 70's, fighting a week-long cold, and watching the bleak winter landscape roll past. Until you near Wilmington, most of Delaware is fairly flat with the most notable landmarks being Dover Downs Speedway, the refinery complex in Delaware City, and the massive cooling tower of Hope Creek nuclear power station looming from the Jersey side of the Delaware River. It got me to thinking how precious few pieces of land remain in this country that have never once been either felled, farmed, mined, burnt, logged, scraped, paved, graded or drained. I'm not picking on Delaware or saying these conditions are unique to the state, indeed I am sure it is true for the country as whole and much of the world beyond. But Delaware is small, and it easy to see how every acre seems to have a designated purpose and is managed in some way or another, even those areas designated as natural.
So what does this have to do with an orchid show? Well, probably very little - but as soon as I opened those conservatory doors my spirits brightened, and that dark cloud was replaced by the sights and smells of one of the most well executed, spectacular, and over-the-top horticultural displays I have ever seen. It was just what the doctor ordered.
These are but a few of the pictures I took at Longwood, and if you want to see more, you can click here for my Flickr set. For those you who need names, I included them in the title if I knew them.
(Not to sound like a broken record, but there is still time to enter my Winter Walk-Off meme. Come on, you know you want to.)