Thursday, March 6th, 2008...6:07 am

The 2008 Philadelphia Flower Show – WOW!!!

 

TheGardenLady spent Wed. at the 2008 Philadelphia Flower Show. Her reaction? WOW! What a show!

The Flower Show is always a spectacular show visually. And this year with the theme ‘Jazz It Up’  is no exception. From the minute you enter the show and walk under an archway of floating piano keys and exotic cut flowers such as allamandas and heliconias and then see more
amazing Garden Displays ahead, you know you are in for a treat.

The official show program lists over 50 Landscape and Floral Displays. There are orchids galore – to see displayed or to buy.  I don’t think I have ever seen so many bromeliads in one location. Less exotic but no less beautiful garden plants including flowering trees, flowering shrubs, flowering bulbs, flowering perennials and annuals filled the convention center with their color and fragrance making garden lovers want to run home to begin their own gardens.

This Philadelphia Flower Show which was first held in 1829 is the “largest and longest running show of its kind in the world.” And this 2008 show has the most contemporary look, very much inspired by modern art.

Besides the flowers, the display gardens has so many water features. There were reflecting pools, water falls, ponds, bird baths and fountains. To keep with the Jazz theme, many fountains were cleverly made of brass instruments.

Floral decorators made interesting sculptural elements from flowers. The competitive exhibitors had the most wonderfully forced flowers and plants at the show. I always look for long time exhibitor, Mrs. Samuel Hamilton’s exhibited flowers and plants. This year her hanging Easter Cactus was fabulous.  Among my favorite parts of the show are always the floral “paintings”, the miniature rooms (I was disappointed to see that there were fewer of these this year), and the jewelry made of plant material (I was pleased to see carnival masks included here.) And this year there seemed to be so much more, including dresses inspired by flower arrangements.  So much to see.

And with all those flowers and plants that would have made the show great, there is a unique first at this show that added the Wow factor. This year there is live Jazz.  This 2008 show is a  happening!  You feel transported to New Orleans. It was so exciting to have live Jazz performing all day. Groups like Big Sam’s Funky Band, Hoppin’ John Orchestra, and the UCC Brass Band were making everyone tap their feet or even do a little dancing.

This 10 acre Show, with all the plants planted in soil, all the water features and all the people taking photos plus all the shops and everything in that convention center including the re-creation of Bourbon Street, TheGardenLady momentarily wondered about the weight. But she was too busy having a fabulous day to give it more than that micro- second of concern.

Remember, TheGardenLady did not write about everything going on each day – things like the excellent lectures and demonstrations.  One day seems too short to see and do it all.

The 2008 Philadelphia Flower Show ends March 9th. Try not to miss it. Buy in advance and you can get discount tickets – you save $6 a ticket – at the PNC Bank and at Acme, both show sponsors.  The train takes you to the Convention Center so you don’t have to drive and spend money parking – you just take the escalator up to the show.  In the Official Show program, in a pile at the entrance, there is a free coupon
for a gift from the Mantis company. TheGardenLady does not know what the gift is because she didn’t see the coupon until she got home. And for food, there are plenty of food stalls in the convention center. But TheGardenLady loves to go to the Reading Terminal farmers’ market across the street for food. Get your hand stamped before you leave the convention center so that you can get back in. (The Bassett ice cream, which has been sold at the Reading Terminal market for over 100 years,  is yummy.) PS There seemed to be adequate toilets for all the ladies because a lot of the men’s rooms were converted to women’s toilets. How smart the planners were.

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