Archive for the ‘Behind-the-Scenes’ Category

Horticourt Stories: Ray Rogers Showcases Exceptional Aloe

April 27, 2012

Ray Rogers, from Atlock Farm in Somerset, New Jersey,  has competed in the Horticourt at the Philadelphia International Flower Show since 1990. In this video profile, he shares his love of the aloe plants that he propagates and hybridizes in one of the many greenhouses at the farm. Of his Flower Show experience, Ray says, “It’s fun to exhibit at the Show. It’s fun to think that people are wondering who is the person behind it.”  Take a look at the video and you won’t have to wonder!

A Flower Show Volunteer Tells All!

March 20, 2012

If you struck up a passionate gardening conversation with a friendly, smart-as-a-whip woman at the Flower Show’s PHS Exhibit, it may have been Mia Mengucci.

We asked Mia about her Flower Show volunteerism and why she comes back year after year. In return she gave us not one, but 10 reasons (in no particular order, although she saved the best for last). Take it away, Mia!

I volunteer at the Flower Show because I…

  1. Get behind-the-scenes access to the world-famous Show
  2. Reunite with the “family” of volunteers
  3. Receive smiles and hugs-a-plenty
  4. Catch spring fever
  5. Find ideas on how to get my garden to look as good as the exhibits—but I still have a long way to go!
  6. Discover that sleep deprivation builds character
  7. People-watch for hours on end
  8. Can eat a pretzel with mustard and call it a complete meal—no time for relaxed dining!
  9. Share my first-hand experience and knowledge of all the wonderful things that PHS does for the area
  10. Meet wonderful people from around the world

A Wedding in Paradise for Two Show Exhibitors

March 8, 2012

When you work for PHS, the Flower Show is like a big family reunion. Each year we get together, swap stories, and make new memories. A major memory was made yesterday when two of our beloved Show exhibitors tied the knot in front of hundreds of visitors on the Flower Show stage.

You can read about the love story between Bill Schaffer (of Schaffer Designs) and Kris Kratt here. And believe me, there wasn’t a dry eye when the two exchanged vows surrounded by orchids of every color.

Later, at the reception, the couple cut an ocean-blue multi-tiered wedding cake created by Carlo’s City Hall Bake Shop, home of the Cake Boss. In fact, the TV crew for the popular TLC reality series filmed the event for a future episode.

Adding to the evening’s excitement was the announcement that Liberty Travel has donated a honeymoon vacation to the new bride a groom. The destination? Hawaii, of course.

Join PHS and everyone involved with the Flower Show as we toast to Bill and Kris!

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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!

6abc to Host Live Chat During Show Preview

March 3, 2012

Tonight is the Preview Party for the Flower Show, which means tomorrow is Opening Day! The excitement at the Pennsylvania Convention Center is off the charts, and if you’re equally giddy, here’s some suggestions to get you through.

First, be sure to tune in to the annual 6abc live broadcast from the Show floor. This special edition of FYI Philly airs from 7 to 8 pm tonight and is hosted by the well-respected, much-loved duo of Cecily Tynan and Adam Joseph, plus other all-star members of the AccuWeather team.

As you watch, head over to the 6abc website for the live chat, conducted by PHS garden guru Sally McCabe. Sally will answer gardening and Flower Show questions, so if there’s something you want to know—just ask! Here’s the link, but it won’t go live until it’s chat time!

Have fun counting down the hours!

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.

Through Laura’s Lens: Hawaii: Islands of…Mulch???

February 28, 2012

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Ah, mulch. The smell of it hits you the minute you enter the Convention Center during set-up week. The Flower Show runs on mulch, enough to fill three Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Much like the Hawaiian Islands rising from the Pacific, the mountains of mulch rise from the Show floor. You have to see it—and smell it—to believe it.

Beyond mulch, there are pavers—millions of pounds of pavers, all supplied by E. P. Henry. Did you ever wonder how all that rock gets on to the Flower Show floor? Through huge doors in big trucks, that’s how!

Photo of a dump truck unloading rock in the Convention Center

Once the rocks are dumped, they are distributed across the Show floor by a fleet of fork lifts. Visit the exhibit of E. P. Henry, a Flower Show sponsor, to see the many ways hardscaping can help you achieve your own backyard paradise. You can find details about the exhibit — and much more — by getting the new Flower Show app.

Behind the Scenes at Pele’s Garden

February 23, 2012

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The likely highlight of this year’s Central Feature—Pele’s Garden—will whisk you away from chilly Philly to a tropical paradise with a mind-blowing, multi-dimensional sensory experience created by Klip TV, a cutting edge Philadelphia-based film and video special-effects shop.

Klip TV’s unique technology has been in high demand with several high-profile installations. The technology allows Klip to turn any surface into “a video canvas without distortion and with seamless integration.” Seriously, check out the videos on their website, you’ll be amazed.

For the Flower Show, Klip has turned the peaked roof of a standard-looking thatched hut into a presentation screen. The neighboring performance stage will allow live actors to interact with the images projected on the roof.

Pele’s Garden is named for Pele, the goddess of fire, lightning, wind, and volcanoes in ancient Hawaiian mythology. So who knows what may show up on the screen; I’d be ready for anything!

Many surprises await, but to give you a glimpse of how it all comes together, Sam Lemheney, Show designer, and Gary Radin of GMR Design visited the studios of Klip TV and brought back the behind-the-scenes photos above to share with you!

Flower Show Preview Wows New York

February 9, 2012

The Flower Show took a road trip to New York City yesterday to meet with some magnificent media people. Joined by our friends from the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Co.—AKA the geniuses behind Philly Homegrown, uwishunu, etc.—we spent the day chatting with fantastic folks from print, online, and broadcast news outlets. Some had been to the Show before, others had only heard of it—but everyone got excited by our big plans for 2012. (And really, how could you not let your imagination run wild when you hear about volcanoes, waterfalls, orchids, etc.)

We also spread the word as to why Philly is a great destination year-round thanks to the city’s top-notch hotels, restaurants, historical sites, sports teams, art galleries, theaters, shopping…but enough bragging!

To provide the media with a preview of “Islands of Aloha,” Rebecca Cole transformed a room at the Eventi Hotel into a tropical paradise. Photos are below, courtesy of M. Edlow for GPTMC.

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Don’t recognize the bird? That’s Chica from The Sunny Side Up Show on Sprout TV. Chica and her friends will be at the Einstein Healthcare Network Family Lounge at the Flower Show on March 4, 9, and 10. Click here for details.


Help Us Make the Perfect Playlist

January 27, 2012

This year’s exhibit from Celebrations Design Group will illustrate how music awakens the creative energies in all of us. As such, floral creations will pay tribute to some of the great pop artists of today and yesterday.

But Tom Covello and his team need your help in assembling the ultimate party playlist. Tell us which of the artists below is your personal favorite, or nominate someone else.

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