Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Philadelphia Flower Show

Bella Italia

As usual for me, the most interesting exhibits were off the main theme gardens.

Temple University Ambler’s “Green Renaissance – The Revival of Sustainable Living”. According to student Denise Wood the main goal is to “help homeowners implement the ideas . . . how to start a home garden, eat locally, use native trees, conserve water.”

The three parterre Italian garden included:

- Xeriscape – (foreground in photo) plants that require little water, recycled porous paving materials – emerald sentinel red cedar, yarrow, sage, silver foliaged plants

- Kitchen Garden (in background in photo) - cool season vegetables, lettuce, leafy herbs and sweet peas.

- Orchard – high bush blueberries, serviceberry, trees and ornamental grasses.

Each garden had its own water feature. Copper aqueducts to harvest rainwater skirted the top of the exhibit (top of photo). It was a spectacular achievement in sustainability, creatively displayed.

According to Dr. Baldev Lambda, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture the students set out to “educate visitors on so many levels that ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ can be presented aesthetically and artistically.”

Philadelphia’s W.B. Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences ”South Philly Courtyard Garden” included container plants and use of vertical space with climbing plants. The small garden inside the fence was filled with herbs, vegetables and flowers. The garden illustrated first-rate use of a small space with South Philly’s “Little Italy” nostalgia.

PECO (Philadelphia Electric) drew some attention from the crowd with a model of the 45,000 square foot green roof headquarters in Philadelphia.

PA Parks and Forests foundation encouraged viewers to “bring home the natives.”

Philadelphia Water Department’s “Trivoli, South Philadelphia Style” displayed porous paths, a rain garden and some classy rain barrels.

It was good to see large organizations turn out creative environmentally friendly displays.
Every year I’m amazed at the scale of this show. The time and money spent to produce acres of displays inside the Convention Center is just mind boggling. But, what a great way to spend a spring-like day.


Chandramouli S said...

Wow, that planter in the entrance looks great and needless to say, the "South Philly Courtyard Garden" too. You're lucky to have had a chance to visit such beautiful exhibits! Thank you for sharing :)

Marie said...

Hi CS,

This flower show is always spectacular. We go early on the last of the show. After viewing all the exhibits, we shop for bargains from the many vendors. Shopping at the rows and rows of stands is a great bonus.