2009 Philadelphia Flower Show to Celebrate “Bella Italia”

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A garden display by Meadowbrook Farm

A garden display by Meadowbrook Farm

The landscapes, gardens and culture of Italy, which have enchanted visitors and artists for centuries, will serve as inspiration for the 2009 Philadelphia Flower Show theme, “Bella Italia.” The celebration of the natural beauty, art, food, music and people of Italy will be held March 1-8, 2009, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society produces the Flower Show, which is the major fundraiser for PHS’ Philadelphia Green, one of the most comprehensive urban revitalization programs in the nation.

The Entrance Garden of the 2009 Show will capture the majesty of ancient Rome with its formal gardens of statuary, topiary, manicured hedges and tiered plantings. Show exhibitors will also pay tribute to the many distinctive regions and cities of Italy:

  • Liguria, Venezia – Milan and its fashion district, as seen through innovative floral designs; The Lake Region, characterized by its lush estates and countryside; Venice, the floating city, experienced through dancing fountains, cobblestone and glistening glass; and the Italian Riviera, the resort paradise of San Remo, evoked in a flower-filled dreamscape.

  • Toscana, Abruzzo, Umbria – Florence, heart of the Renaissance, with gardens that interpret the art of Michelangelo and Botticelli; the Tuscany region’s terraced vineyards, wildflowers and olive trees.

  • Campania, Calabria – the fascinating beauty of the Amalfi Coast and sunny gardens of Sicily.

The country’s top landscape and floral designers will expand on the Italian theme with a variety of gardens and creations that evoke the Italian way of life, complete with cypress and palm trees, courtyard containers and cascading urns. Thousands of flower-arranging enthusiasts will compete for the coveted blue ribbon in a multitude of categories, including a new Fashion District of Italian-inspired handbags, shoes, dresses and jewelry.

Gardening know-how and ideas are at the forefront of what the Show does best, and exhibitors will provide attendees with an endless array of tips and techniques to create their own dream garden at home. Exhibits will emphasize the importance of greening, and will demonstrate state-of-the-art, sustainable techniques in urban, suburban and rural environments.  The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society will showcase its array of innovative programs to engage children, families and volunteers year-round.

Entertainment will include operatic performances, strolling mandolin players, folk dancers and costumed actors reminiscent of those found throughout the piazzas of Italy.

“Bella Italia” also will highlight the strong ties between Italy and the Philadelphia region, with its great Italian-American community and heritage, fine restaurants and, of course, Philadelphia’s lively Italian Market.

“We’re going to showcase not only the diverse gardens of Italy, but the culture and a glimpse of what you experience when you go to this beautiful and intriguing country,” explained Flower Show Designer Sam Lemheney. “It’s about the allure of Italy, the artistry, and the passion.”

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