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The Philadelphia International Flower Show Wrap-Up


It’s March and you know spring is around the corner when the Philadelphia International Flower Show  sets up shop in the Pennsylvania Convention Center. This year it was held from February 28 to March 7, and its theme- Passport to the World- was a feast to the eyes with promise of springtime flowers and adventure. The 2010 Philadelphia International Flower Show

This year the Flower Show’s Passport to the World brought us to Brazil, India, South Africa, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Singapore and the US.

Upon entering, we were greeted by a 28-foot-high hot-air balloon, covered in more than 79,000 dried flowers that flew high over the entrance and the Explorer’s Garden, like a traditional Victorian-era garden, and Stage. Daily musical performances on the Explorer’s Stage included classical and contemporary Indian dances, and music and dance presented by the vibrant Brazilian troupe, Minas.

There were six showcase garden exhibits taking us to the countries on our ‘passport.’ An African exhibit of the Zulu culture, designed by the American Institute of Floral Designers with help from colleagues from South Africa showed the natives and their hand-thatched huts, wild animals made of their local flowers and African masks and headdresses.

Over to India for a traditional wedding, with lotus-filled ponds and marigolds and jasmine. The crowing jewel to this exhibit was the life-size elephant topiary, adding whimsy to the serene scene created by Jamie Rothstein Distinctive Floral Design. A trek through the Dutch canal garden created by Robertson’s Flowers was awash with color, and Brazil’s dense jungle, complete with birds local to the area flocking by the refreshing waterfall, was designed by Burke Brothers Landscape Design.

Singapore’s colorful display had many orchids amid its fountains, created by Waldor Orchids and inspired by Singapore’s botanical gardens. Lilies and thermal pools demonstrated life in New Zealand complete with a carefully designed dragon and a forest of trees, by Stoney Bank Nurseries.

Many other countries in Europe, Asia and the Caribbean were portrayed in color and scent of their respective flowers, creating full exhibits and The 2010 Philadelphia International Flower Showgardens that made you feel as if you were there, designed by Waterloo Landscaping, Schaffer Designs, Ponds & Gardens of Limekiln, OuterSpaces, and Beautiful Blooms LLC, to name a few. Other competitive categories of exhibits, such as dresses inspired by cultures of the world, pressed flower designs, topiaries and bonsai designs, plant entries (cactus, flowers, trees, orchids, etc) all set out to win first prize.

Educational exhibits set up by local high schools and colleges, the PHS, Philadelphia Water Department, and plant societies all set out to inform and educate the attendees, on how to grow a specific garden, create your own rain barrel and others.

My favorite exhibits are the more-intimate floral designs. This year they had an array of front porch scenes, from New Orleans to the Jersey Shore, and then also displayed an exhibit with back yards (from margaritas to marigolds), then balconies and window boxes. This year’s exhibits took us on first dates, and seclusion away from the hustle and bustle of life to find time with each other. An ice bar demonstrating passion amid fire and ice (my top fave!), a coffeehouse, an elegant seat for the bride and groom, even to the Moon.

The other half of the Flower Show space is taken up by the Marketplace- hundreds of vendors selling garden items, seeds and bulbs, herbs copper pots, mailboxes, doorknockers, and all sorts of home and garden accents.

On your way out, there was a marketplace by the PA Wine and Spirits store, and a ton of yummy goodies to buy. My mom and I hit up reading Terminal as we always do. This is a Philadelphia tradition, and be sure to catch it next year if you didn’t get here this year!


The 2010 Philadelphia International Flower Show is produced by Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and presented by PNC.

The Flower Show benefits Philadelphia Green, PHS’s acclaimed program that restores neighborhood parks, creates community gardens, conducts large-scale tree plantings, revitalizes vacant land, engages thousands of citizens in community development activities, and maintains treasured public landscapes. As the nation’s largest comprehensive community greening program, Philadelphia Green serves as a model for cities across the U.S.

The 2010 Philadelphia International Flower Show sponsors include: PNC, Subaru of America Inc., Acme, Bartlett Tree Experts, EP Henry (Official Hardscaping Supplier), Mantis, and Tourism Ireland; Media Partner WPVI-TV 6ABC; and Caterers, ARAMARK.

For more information about the 2010 Philadelphia International Flower Show and PHS please visit www.theflowershow.com  or call 215-988-8899.

Christine Tarlecki can be reached by engchik@comcast.net and on FaceBook under Christine Tarlecki and on Twitter under engchik