Archive for the ‘Individual & Club Entries’ 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!

Exhibitor Spotlight: Bonsai Buddies

March 10, 2012

The folks at Rosade Bonsai Studio and the Pennsylvania Bonsai Studio are here at the Flower Show, displaying their strikingly beautiful bonsai trees, some of which have been trained for decades.

Chase from the Rosade studio told us that lots of people come to them with bonsai-related questions. And, on occasion, a bonsai enthusiast will seek counsel on how to care for a struggling specimen.

“There is no one way to properly care for bonsai,” Chase says. “You need to know how to care for your particular tree. Identify your tree and understand its needs.”

Additionally, although many of the mini-trees displayed at the Show are exotic varieties from the East, there are certain bonsai trees that are suited for the Mid-Atlantic climate. So look out for Chase and the other friendly bonsai folks when you visit the Flower Show, now in its final days.

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

March 7, 2012

…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.

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.

Through Laura’s Lens: Plant Societies Have it All!

March 6, 2012

How do you tie a Hawaii theme to your Flower Show exhibit when you’re the American Ivy Society? Easy—you grow topiary surfer penguins. Topiary surfer penguins???

Picture of American Ivy Society's 2012 Flower Show exhibit with topiary surfer penguins

Who knew penguins could surf?

That’s right, this whimsical exhibit takes its theme from the animated film Surf’s Up, a behind-the-scenes look at the annual Penguin World Surfing Championship, set in Hawaii. It showcases many wonderful varieties of ivy and highlights its versatility in many garden settings, including topiary.

Several plant society exhibitors pack a lot of creativity into small spaces and make a charming Flower Show “neighborhood.” Take time to get to know your ivy, ferns, cacti, rhododendrons, orchids, and rock gardens. You should consider joining up with all these great groups; it’s never too early or late to pick up a new hobby and make friends in the process.

After the jump, learn about each plant society and see what they created for the 2012 Show!


Horticourt Stories: The Shipley Sprouts

May 27, 2011

In this video, hear from the Shipley Sprouts Horticultural Club. The program produces a number of student entries and these teenagers are fierce competitors!

Horticourt Stories: Lydia Allen-Berry and Alexis Berry

March 29, 2011

Lydia Allen-Berry got her daughter, Alexis, involved in the Flower Show at a young age. Now this mother-daughter duo co-exhibit and share the sights, smells, and excitement of the annual Philadelphia International Flower Show.

Have you ever thought about entering the Show? As Lydia says, try it once and you’ll get “bit by the bug!”

The Flower Show Queen: Hope Fox Coates

March 24, 2011

There is no one who knows Flower Shows better than Hope Fox Coates, who has been arranging flowers (and winning for her arrangements) for 50 consecutive years.

After following her mother to the Show for many years, Hope started creating her own arrangements in 1961 when things were a little different. “They used to have seven different niches, one for each day,” Hope reminisces, “We were over at the Civic Center and it was much smaller and more intimate back then.”

Over fifty years, the Flower Show has, of course, changed and grown, and while Hope was overwhelmed at first, she welcomes most of the changes that have occurred. “I really love the marketplace. It’s great for meeting and interacting with people.”

Hope talks about the “Flower Show aura” that keeps the entrants coming back year after year. For Hope, her fellow arrangers are like an intimate family and are always there to lend a helping hand. But her biggest supporters are her mother and her daughter, who now helps Hope with her arrangements and watches the family animals in Maine when Hope comes to Philadelphia. (more…)

Welcome Drew

June 22, 2010

On June 16, members of the Greene Countrie Garden Club hosted a meet and greet for area garden clubs (and avid Flower Show participants) to meet the new PHS president, Drew Becher. The event was held at Abington Township’s historic Meadowbrook Farm, where flowers are forced for the Flower Show.

Guests enjoyed the beautiful gardens and great shopping in Meadowbrook’s garden center and gift shop.

We thank them all for such a wonderful welcome.

Flower Show Chair Melinda Moritz, PHS President Drew Becher and Club President Diane Hanson

Mrs. Wister’s famed “Corkscrew Tree”

March 7, 2010

You will see the name Diana Wister on many, many plant labels in the Hall B horticulture competitions, as she enters countless specimens each year and takes home buckets of ribbons. Here is her famous corkscrew bay tree. As she told PHS’s Green Scene magazine last year, “The bay was trained around a broomstick by my uncle Jack Dorrance’s wonderful gardener, Louie Comito, and given to me after my uncle passed away.”

Twenty years later, this tree is still a Philadelphia Flower Show favorite.

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