Robin’s Trip To The Philadelphia Flower Show

We’re excited to have one of our own designers, Robin, as a guest blogger this week. She will be sharing her experience on the Philadelphia Flower Show:


Brilliant!  Was the motto used for the Philadelphia flower show this year. The theme was English Garden, which is a personal favorite of mine.  Our American interpretation of an English Garden included everything from tropical palms and exotic orchids, (Yes, some mild zones in Great Britain have tropical floral and fauna!) to lush beds of tulips, iris, crocus and azalea.  In true fashion there were wrought iron gates left open just enough to invite you to look inside the well manicured turf paths lined with every shade of Foxglove and Delphinium.  Gargoyles kept watch from secret corners and Alice found her way to the rabbit hole after dining at the most whimsical of tea parties.
Not only do artists, growers, designers, gardeners and engineers work all year thinking of ways to express their creativity while staying within a theme, but how to efficiently set up and tear down perishable and permanent items in less than a week and still showcase their passions and livelihood.  It’s personal.  Every person that gazes at your prize Bromeliad or stops to smell the reddest of the Camelias is a judge.  No matter what their opinions are though, everyone agrees it is an honor to be there on display and an honor that you have earned with patience, hard work and flair.
Schaffer designs out of Philly created a labyrinth of dark, industrial cubicles that each held an interpretative representation of Jack the Ripper’s London scene around 1888.  It was by far, the most intriguing space to me and was simply titled “Jack”.  The bloody rose laden bedroom sheltered a bed of thorns and hypnotised viewers with sensual fear.  There were feminine, cymbidiums representing the young woman so viciously taken.  Even the underground sewers that became someone’s hell were elegantly designed with the use of fresh flowers, strangling vines, sculptures and creepy lighting.
Your royal highness did not make it to the show, but a lovely throne of scarlet roses and a crown of the deepest magenta celosia was there to represent.  On the hour Big Ben would transform into a source of loud, mad British pop fun.
Everyone from Benny Hill to Led Zeppelin, The Beatles to Monte Python were there.  It was not at all peculiar to look around and see old and young setting down their bundles of curly willow and fresh roses to start singing along to their favorite songs.  All that dancing and frivolity can make for a thirsty crowd.  So off to one of the 5 portable pubs located between the live floral design shows and the potpourri of vendors!  I had to brace myself in hopes that the bags of alternative peat moss would cushion my fall after finding out my Vodka tonic was $7.50, but the day trip to Philadelphia, PA from Rochester, NY was worth it.  The pure banquet of color and inspiration helps shed the winter blues and inspires all to make their space, no matter which side of the pond, a magical space that feeds your senses and creativity and makes you stop and smell the roses.

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