Archive for the ‘Attractions’ Category

Burke Brothers Landscapes the Macy’s Flower Show

April 4, 2012

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There are only a few days left to visit the Macy’s Flower Show, “Brasil: Gardens in Paradise,” which is running through April 7 during store hours at the City Center location. Celebrated at Macy’s in New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Philadelphia, the show features a variety of activities for the entire family, including organ concerts; floral, tabletop, and cooking demonstrations; guided tours; and more.

Philadelphia International Flower Show major exhibitor Burke Brothers Landscaping was responsible for the installation and creation of the flower gardens in the Grand Court at the old Wanamaker building, shown in pictures here by Laura Blanchard. Fresh from PHS’s Hawaiian-themed show, Burke Brothers was able to use some of the tropical plants from the Convention Center for the Macy’s installation. Once that show is over, the plants will be auctioned off at Burke’s annual fundraiser for the Sara’s Smiles Foundation at Burke’s Cheltenham Avenue location May 4-6.

Hurry—there are only a few days left to bask in the warmth of Brasil (without leaving Philadelphia). Thanks to Burke Brothers and Macy’s for extending Flower Show fever into April!

Macy’s Flower Show Features Some of Our Favorite Designers

March 27, 2012

We’ve barely caught our collective breath after a trip to Hawaii during this year’s Flower Show, and now Macy’s invites us to another exotic locale during their show, “Brasil: Gardens in Paradise,” March 25 through April 7 during store hours at the City Center location.

Celebrated at Macy’s in New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Philadelphia, the show features a variety of activities for the entire family, including organ concerts; floral, tabletop, and cooking demonstrations; guided tours; and more. Also featured is the “Bouquet of the Day,” where local designers create floral masterpieces within the store.

You’ll recognize these participating artists from the Philadelphia Flower Show: Jamie Rothstein, Jamie Rothstein Distinctive Floral Designs (March 25-26); Michael Bruce, Michael Bruce Florist (March 27-28); Donna O’Brien, Beautiful Blooms (March 29-31); Barb King, Valley Forge Flowers (April 1-2); Eric Schellack, Robertson’s Flowers (April 3-4); and Bill Schaffer, Schaffer Designs (April 5-7).

Remember, no passport is required to experience the lush, vibrant South American plants and flowers as interpreted by some of Philadelphia’s most-recognized floral designers. Enjoy!

Show Sponsors’ Exhibits Anchor the Show

March 14, 2012

While we’re still basking in the Flower Show afterglow, we want to take a moment to thank our sponsors, some of which had exhibits at this year’s Show. Each one was a crowd-pleaser, and we look forward to what they bring next year.

Tourism Ireland first graced the exhibit floor in 2007 when the Show’s theme was “Legends of Ireland,” and they’ve been a much-loved exhibitor ever since. This year, they won the award for “Best Achievement in Creating a Natural Landscape (non-Hawaiian).”

The plant list featured a warm palette of bright red salvia, yellow primrose, and coral azalea, all set against a background of lush boxwood. The rich heritage of the Emerald Isle was reflected in some the iconic symbols scattered throughout the landscape, which was titled “Classic Ireland with a Twist.”

Vastly different but equally enjoyable was the EP Henry exhibit, which celebrated family vacations by building a tropical Hawaiian retreat. Surrounded by soaring palms and tropical gardens, a cabana served as the party hub with its built-in grill and bar made from a surfboard.

Environmentally friendly Eco Pavers formed a patio for lounging, and the plunge pool was the perfect spot for taking a dip. The tableau was completed with a wading pool, secluded outdoor shower, and an al fresco dining area. Now that you’ve seen what EP Henry can do inside the Convention Center, imagine the possibilities for your own property.

Across a walkway from EP Henry, Subaru created “The Surf Shack,” a fun getaway where you can rent a board, ride the waves, and soak up the sun! The display invited viewers to imagine being transported to a little piece of paradise in a Subaru Outback. With a jaunty thatched-roof hut and plenty of tropical fruits for snacking, this little slice of the islands was all about fun.

There were at least five Subarus throughout the Show; some were fun, vintage varieties, others were impressive new models. Subaru loves gardeners and gardeners love Subaru, so the Flower Show partnership for the past 11 years has been a perfect match!

Thank you to all the Flower Show sponsors who made 2012 such a spectacular year!

A Tale of Two Michaels: The Landscaper and the Florist

March 9, 2012

The list of exhibitors at the Flower Show reads like a “Who’s Who” of the horticulture industry, and includes some of the area’s finest landscape architects and installers, as well as respected floral designers. Every visitor has a favorite, and here are two that exemplify the differences.

The exhibit created by award-winning Michael Bruce Florist is a whimsical compilation of three sand-filled islands, connected by pass-through arches of gently manipulated bamboo. Individual cut blooms have been draped like jeweled necklaces from carefully woven and suspended mats, interspersed with sparkling capiz shell medallions. Brightly colored orchids are the stars of this show, placed in tear drop-shaped vials that hang at eye level. Truly a display that’s not to be missed.

In the Michael Petrie’s Handmade Gardens display, gravity-defying stacks of lava rock punctuate this fantasy landscape inspired by the wind-carved stone formations and lunar-like landscape of the Garden of the Gods (Keahiakawelo). Legend has it that ancient Hawaiian gods created the high-desert area on the island of Lanai by dropping boulders from the sky. Winner of the “Showcase Garden Award,” the “”Mayor’s Trophy,” and “Best Achievement Blending Horticulture, Landscape, and Artistic Elements,” this display continues to wow visitors with its size, scale, and story.

Whether you want to appreciate a single, cut blossom or be enlightened by landscape possibilities, the Flower Show has inspirational moments for everyone!

The Artistic Class Entries Amaze and Delight Show Audiences

March 6, 2012

While the large exhibits fascinate show-goers with their grandeur, it’s the relatively diminutive displays of the artistic classes that give us pause and require closer examination. The artistic classes include arrangements (pedestals, small and medium niches, miniature arrangements, galleria, and the festival of flowers), jewelry (made from dried plant material), pressed plants, and more.

Judged by a panel of distinguished gardeners and horticultural experts, these creations are submitted by individuals, families, garden clubs, and even elementary schoolchildren. Let’s look at a few of the entries.

Delicate dried orchids and leaves were combined to create this simple yet incredible necklace. All submissions in the jewelry category must be (or appear to be) wearable, and can be created from dried flowers, foliage, seeds, pods, peas, beans, corn, nuts (in or out of shells), grapevine twigs, basket reeds, and the like.

What is just as important as what is included is what’s not permitted, such as carved wood, manufactured materials (pasta, couscous, craft wood, toothpicks), clay, seashells, real or simulated gems, glitter, and byproducts of plants (pine sap, pine resin, pollen, and extracted components such as juice).

The Malu No (Reserved For…) entries are actually tablescapes in which fresh plant material must predominate and may include fruits or vegetables, dried treated plant material, or treated dried plant material.

About this entry, entitled “Tiny Bubbles,” the judges said, “The use of plant material to represent sea life is terrific. Theme development is totally complete, from the footprints to the pillows to the flowers.” You can almost hear Don Ho, can’t you?

The Moon Over the Pacific category features evening bags inspired by the ocean, the construction requirements for which are the same as for the jewelry. This crowd favorite that suggests waves, a deep blue ocean, and a colorful urchin was created with white peppercorns, basket reed, an air plant, and Ram’s head pod. One viewer was heard to exclaim, “I have the perfect outfit for that bag! Can I buy it after the Show?”

In the Youth Class–Hala-Hakiki (Pineapple) category of the pressed materials entries, the judges simply noted, “Perky people make us smile.” We couldn’t agree more and encourage you to wander through the aisles of the artistic classes.

Fabulous Free Gardening Events at the Show!

March 4, 2012

Pumped up about orchids, improving your garden, or visiting Hawaii?

Did you know that there are FREE gardening lectures and presentations at the Flower Show, with topics ranging from flower arranging, container gardening, landscaping, gardening on your deck, pest control, Ikebana, growing orchids, and more. Much, much more.

No matter what your level of experience or special interest, there is something for you to learn and love!

The Flower Show is very proud to offer presentations from celebrated speakers including Phillip Watson, Melinda Myers, Rebecca Cole, Charlie Nardozzi, and Art Wolk.

You can plan your visit by checking out the schedule.

Also, we encourage you to get the Flower Show app so you can have the Show schedule in the palm of your hand! This is a brand new feature that is sure to help you make the most of your visit!

What a fun chance to take home some inspiration!

What You Don’t Know About the Show

March 4, 2012

It’s opening day of the 2012 Philadelphia International Flower Show! Starting at 8 am today an eager group of early-birds have flocked to the Show floor to be the first among their friends to see “Hawaii: Islands of Aloha”!

As you tour the Show, you’ll be overwhelmed by the sights, sounds, and smells of all of the incredible displays, but have you ever wondered about an exhibit’s back story–the inspiration, construction details, and history? A chat with a few of the exhibitors yielded some fun factoids.

Robertson’s Flowers of Chestnut Hill has created a beach wedding tableau, complete with floral altar and graceful white arches. According to designer Eric Schellack, those arches may dissuade a superstitious visitor; they’re made from aluminum ladders!

He said that a small army of 20 people worked on the display, assembling more than 1,500 vases and arranging 2,000 stems shipped directly from Hawaii. Let’s hope that the power of the leis on the altar, a traditional symbol of good luck, overcomes the power of the ladders!

Flowers by David has been a favorite at the Show for 16 years. This year’s display was inspired by Hawaiian tribal tattoos, graphically expressed on large panels throughout the exhibit. Robin Heller, half of the husband-and-wife design team, commented that “When you say Hawaii, everyone gets such an instant, firm image, so it’s difficult to set yourself apart. We wanted to stand out, and the tattoos are what we thought of.” Complementing the graphics is a beautiful 15-foot fountain, the base of which hides seven powerful, yet silent, pumps. “We were encouraged to go higher,” says Robin. “Maybe next year.”

The American Institute of Floral Designer’s (AIFD) exhibit celebrates the Merrie Monarch Festival that honors the legacy left by King David Kalākaua. This mighty monarch inspired the perpetuation of Hawaiian traditions, native language, and the arts, including the hula dance.

Individual displays depict every type of hula from dancing for rain, to stop the rain, for fire, wind, water, and healing. AIFD designers from around the country have assembled to create the vignettes. “It’s a very literal interpretation,” says Ron Mulray, head designer, who added that more than 2,000 stems of anthuriums will be sculpted into the backdrop. If Ron is at the exhibit when you stop by, be sure to ask him about the history of the hula dance—he’s an expert!

17 Ways to Enhance your Flower Show Experience

March 2, 2012

With so much to see and do at the 2012 Philadelphia International Flower Show, it’s best to plan ahead. In addition to the outstanding exhibits, you may want to go beyond the Show floor to some of these special attractions—there’s sure to be something for everyone. Most of the experiences listed below require a special ticket, so click the links for details.

Bear with us, this is quite the list, but there is just so much to do!

The Flower Show After Dark

1. Flower Show Preview Party: (Saturday, March 3, 6:00-8:30 pm) Not only will you be one of the first to see the Show, you’ll also be at the best place for people-watching! Don your finest for this black-tie cocktail party and (optional) dinner.

2. Preview Party After Party: (Saturday, March 3, 8:30 pm-12:30 am) When the Preview Party is over, the fun continues with dance music, desserts, and drinks. Admission is included for Preview Party attendees.

3. LGBT Night Out: (Monday, March 5, 6:00-8:30) The LGBT community is invited to an evening of networking and an opportunity to meet Phillip Watson, QVC garden expert and author.

4. Wedding Wednesday: (March 7, 5:30-8:30 pm) Brides and their attendants can sip champagne and plan the perfect wedding as local experts lend advice.

5. Girls’ Night Out: (Thursday, March 8, 5:30-8:30 pm) Get the girls together for a special evening of food and wine tastings, health and beauty samplings, and more from Philadelphia’s most coveted brands. The first 250 guests receive a special gift bag.

VIP Experiences

6. Early Morning Tours: (Monday-Friday, 8:00-10:00 am) This special ticket includes an intimate guided tour, a flower-arranging demonstration, a ticket for another day’s admission, 10% off at the Flower Show Shop, and more.

7. Design Workshop and Reception with Hitomi Gilliam: (Wednesday, March 7, 2:00-4:00 pm, Room 108 A-B) Designer and educator Hitomi Gilliam will delight audiences with her outside-the-box approach to floral arrangements. At the reception, featuring light refreshments and a cash bar, Hitomi will sign copies of her book.

8. Melissa Gorga Bottle Signing: (Friday, March 9, 5:00-7:00 pm) Meet Melissa Gorga of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, who will sign bottles of Voli Lyte Vodka, a line of low-calorie vodkas. No special ticket required.

9. Bethenny Frankel Bottle Signing: (Saturday, March 10, 2:30-4:30 pm) Made famous on Bravo TV’s Bethenny Ever After, Ms. Frankel will be on hand to sign bottles of her Skinnygirl products; no special ticket required.

10. PHS Community Brunch: (Sunday, March 11, 11:00 am) Brunch is the perfect way to support PHS while enjoying a delightful meal. PHS president Drew Becher will host a discussion, including updates on PHS initiatives.

11. Sprout Snack: (Sunday, March 11, 3:45 pm) Families can join friends from The Sunny Side Up Show, The Pajanimals, and The Berenstain Bears for an interactive afternoon snack. Characters will join you at your table for one-on-one time, photos, and autographs.

12. Garden Tea: Make reservations for Garden Tea. Seatings are twice daily and include a proper menu of fine tea and pastries.

Something for Everyone (and Free with Flower Show ticket)

13. Gardening Lectures and Presentations: From small-scale crop production to growing the perfect African Violet, there is a presentation sure to fulfill your quest for horticultural knowledge.

14. Culinary Demonstrations: Organic Gardening magazine is hosting demonstrations that will showcase a full-range of techniques and cuisines led by expert chefs.

15. Wine Tasting: Stop by the Grand Hall to savor wines and liquors from the world’s finest makers, including specialty products from Hawaii.

16. The Einstein Healthcare Network Family Lounge powered by Sprout: The Family Lounge is the perfect place for young ones (and their parents) to unwind—and look for special guests to drop in.

17. The Man Cave: Guys (and gals!) can relax in a plush theater seat while sipping a drink and catching up on their favorite team. Try a hand of poker or swing a club in a virtual golf match.

Hawaii Reps Bring Authenticity to Philly Show

February 29, 2012

Five Hawaii horticultural organizations have joined forces to create an exhibit that features the best of Hawaii’s flowers and foliage.

The Hawaii Tropical Flower Council (HTFC), Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association (HFNA), Hawaii Florists and Shipper’s Association (HFSA), Hawaii Export Nursery Association (HENA), and the Orchid Growers of Hawaii (OGOH) are co-sponsoring a display called, “Hawaii’s Flowers, Tropical Plants and Orchids,” which will feature between 600 to 700 species of anthuriums, cut flowers, foliage, large tropical palms, dracaenas, and stunning orchids shipped directly from the islands to the Show.

“A global stage of this magnitude is a wonderful opportunity to showcase many of the amazing growers, shipping services, unique products, and natural beauty that’s abundant in Hawaii,” says Neill Sams, designer of the exhibit. “I’m so excited to design and manage this unique and influential project.”

In the center of the exhibit are two waterfalls created from naturally hollowed driftwood logs that Sams harvested from the beaches of Kauai. The 15-foot logs were painstakingly cleaned and prepared for the exhibit, then sent 6,000 miles to the Convention Center.

The exhibit promises to be one of the highlights of the Show, as it reflects the collaborative effort of these horticultural experts, combined with Sams’ design vision, into one authentically Hawaiian experience.

Win the Ultimate Flower Show Date Night

February 4, 2012

Our friends at VisitPhilly.com are hopeless romantics, and for the month of February they want to share the love with you. Each day they are awarding incredible prizes—tickets, dinners, hotel stays, and more. The grand prize is a sleek, chic red Vespa.

Today’s prize should be extra appealing to you Flower Show fans. Enter to win a date at the Flower Show for you and your honey. Here’s the itinerary:

As you know, this year’s Flower Show will transport you to paradise with its tropical colors and welcoming atmosphere. For lunch, make your way across the street to the Reading Terminal Market for a taste of Philly’s favorite delicacies, gourmet eats—or a little of both. Then, it’s time to enjoy a two-night stay at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, a modern hotel in a historic building that boasts Cartier clocks, a bank vault door and polished granite.

Pretty nice prize, right? To enter, click here. And remember to check back each day to enter to win other prizes (and up your odds of getting that gorgeous Vespa).

By now you must be feeling the love!


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