Through Laura’s Lens: “We’re from the Government…”

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…and they’re here to help us to build a cleaner, greener city, celebrate splendid gardens, and sustain our native wildlife. Let’s take a look at three important agencies and the work they do.

Photo of model of City Hall

Picture Philadelphia's City Hall surrounded by new green plantings, completing a green belt stretching a mile and a half up Benjamin Franklin Parkway to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Photo from set-up week.

The Philadelphia Water Department challenges us to walk through Center City and re-think the cityscape using models of iconic buildings and whimsical succulent plantings representing parks, trees, and green roofs.

Kids love the skyscrapers that are only a bit bigger than they are, and grownups appreciate the interpretive signage. Learn how a greener city will not only please the eye, but help to purify our air and water.

Picture of Philadelphia Parks & Recration Exhibit

Imagine an event catered by Stephen Starr on a green lawn with a vista of reflecting pools and sunken gardens. That's Fairmount Park!

Philadelphia has the country’s largest municipal landscaped park—Fairmount Park. For the 2012 Show, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation has recreating its gardens outside the Horticultural Center in the Centennial District, just a five-minute walk from the Please Touch Museum. The real gardens provide the perfect backdrop for a garden wedding or other event—and with culinary superstar Stephen Starr as the resident caterer, the food and drink are sure to please.

In order to create this exhibit, the Horticultural Center staff forced many of the plants in their greenhouses before turning their attention to their spring and summer plans. Be sure to visit Fairmount Park as soon as the weather warms!

Closeup of plant at Flower Show's EPA exhibit

Sarracenia flava, yellow pitcher. One of our region's native wetlands plants, on display at the EPA exhibit.

The U.S. Department of Environmental Protection (Region III) invites us to set up camp along a native woodland paradise and listen to the tranquil sounds of a cascading brook as it emerges to form wetlands. This exhibit is a labor of love for EPA staffers who grow many of the plants themselves to stretch their exhibit budget.

There’s a lot to learn at the Flower Show—in addition to these three, there are exhibits from more than a dozen schools and plant societies. Make sure you budget ample time to see all they have to offer.

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