A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Saturday, March 08, 2008


This post is my personal opinion only. It in no way reflects the views of Rutgers Gardens or any of its staff. I am not a spokesperson for Rutgers Gardens.

As difficult as it may be to believe, I lived most of my life in ignorance of the floral nirvana that is the Philadelphia Flower Show. As soon as I learned of it, I made plans with gardening friends to attend. And those plans fell through. No matter. There was always next year. Except that the same thing happened the following year. And the year after that. It became a running joke.

This year was shaping up to be yet another disappointment. First I polled the Straw Hatters. They each had family plans that prevented their attendance. Next, I made plans with a gardening friend in my office. She contracted bronchitis. Finally, a non-gardening friend came to my rescue and whisked me off the City of Brotherly Love.

This year’s Theme was “Jazz It Up”, a celebration of jazz and the city of New Orleans. I thought that I was prepared for what I was about to experience. I wasn’t. I am accustomed to local flower shows where local businesses showcase their work in the form of small display gardens with plant material, water features and outdoor furniture. Today, I walked into a cavernous space filled with building facades.

And what is on the other side of that façade that everyone is in such a hurry to see? A stage with a band and dancers.

I’m sorry, did I say “facades”? How about entire buildings?

How about this for a water feature?

Wait! Look up.

The flower arranging competition was out of this world. Instead of the tables or small tableaux that I’ve seen at the NJ Flower Show, Philly offered entire front yards.

I’ve seen window boxes, but how about window boxes with matching hanging baskets?

Pianos and piano motifs were used extensively, both in the display gardens and the flower arrangements.

If you click on this next photo and enlarge it, you will see a piano as a fountain.

Oops! Looks like one of those pedestrian display gardens from the NJ Flower & Garden Show sneaked in.

Here’s my choice for most creative:

A topiary dog park complete with fire hydrant.

You can see all of my photos of the Philly show on Flickr.


At 7:14 AM, Blogger Digital Flower Pictures said...

My brother went to the show and thought it was great.

I want a piano garden!

At 10:55 PM, Blogger Kerri said...

I'm glad you finally had a chance to go to Philly.
We went a few years ago and thought it was spectacular.
Thanks for sharing these photos.
We're headed down to the BBG for our first trip on March 29th. Looking forward to it.


Post a Comment

<< Home