AIFD to Recreate the South African Landscape for the Flower Show


AIFD's award-winning exhibit at the 2009 Show

When the members of the American Institute of Floral Designers started building “Expedition South Africa” for the 2010 Philadelphia International Flower Show, “Passport to the World,” they were concerned that the exhibit would seem more American Southwestern than South African.  But they soon found that desert plants and a rustic motif are not unique to the American Badlands.

“The landscape of South Africa is a lot like the Southwest,” says AIFD designer Ron Mulray.  “We thought we went too far, but our members that are from South Africa looked at the plans and said it was just right!”

Mulray is excited about the many ways he and the other designers will make the desert regions of South Africa come alive with red protea and leucadendrons.

There will be large tribal masks made of flowers, a life-sized lion made of natural materials like twigs and branches, and a tall hand-made giraffe gazing down over the exhibit. Mulray says although the AIFD designers have taken many creative avenues with the exhibit, they’re being very careful about maintaining authenticity.

“We’ll have mannequins dressed to represent three different Zulu tribes, 12-foot lion fencing, beehive huts with authentic-looking thatched roofs, and 90 percent of our materials are coming directly from South Africa.”

Mulray says live drummers will even play inside one of the huts, providing an auditory backdrop to help transport visitors from the winter weather of Philadelphia to the dry warmth of South Africa.   

For more information about the American Institute of Floral Designers, visit them online at

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2 Responses to “AIFD to Recreate the South African Landscape for the Flower Show”

  1. Marcy Says:

    The lion at the flower show was wonderful.

  2. john Says:

    Mr Mulray you did live up to you words, you did a wonderful job last year and this year.I can’t wait to have an event to have you be my designer.
    Thank you,

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