Archive for the ‘Visitor Tips’ Category

Video Round-up: Flower Show 2012

April 2, 2012

There are so many wonderful visitor-made videos of the 2012 Flower Show on YouTube. Watching these makes me a bit nostalgic, how about you? Here are some of our favorites, but selecting only three was hard—there are so many contenders!

Check out this charming recap. Love the musical selections!

It is so great to hear that people enjoyed the Show in this video featuring interviews with visitors.

And don’t miss this hilarious video, book-ended by some mad Unukalhai skills on the part of the filmmaker.

These are just a few highlights. There are tons more amazing videos out there. Check them out!

The Art of Flowers: PHS Teams Up with Museum

March 26, 2012

In a joint promotion with the 2012 Flower Show, the Philadelphia Museum of Art celebrated its current exhibit,”Van Gogh Up Close,” with “Eight Days of Van Gogh’s Flowers.”

From zinnias to roses to almond blossoms, the botanical paintings by post-Impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh were featured on the Art Museum’s Facebook page, with a description of each plant and a brief history of each painting provided by Janet Evans, PHS librarian.

Looking at van Gogh’s Butterflies and Poppies (pictured above), Janet revealed that poppies were exhibited at a PHS meeting as early as 1834. In July 1889, almost one year before this work is thought to have been painted, van Gogh wrote to his sister Wilhelmina, “If you want to do as artists do, gaze upon the white and red poppies with the bluish leaves, with those buds raising themselves up on stems with gracious curves. The hours of trouble and battle will assuredly come and find us without our going to look for them.” Janet also suggested that if we want to grow our own poppies, they should be planted in well-drained soil that receives full sun.

Art and flowers: A truly inspirational combination! The “Van Gogh Up Close” exhibit is available for your enjoyment until May 6. Before you go, click here to read all “Eight Days of van Gogh’s Flowers.”

Make a Lei at Home!

March 21, 2012

The March/April issue of Green Scene magazine contains a do-it-yourself lei making tutorial that will surely make you the hit of the summer cookout or day down the shore.

During the Flower Show, we were thrilled when Green Scene readers James Gerald and Pat O’Rouke came to “Islands of Aloha” adorned in their home-made leis. They told us that they made these beautiful leis based on the instructions in the magazine—and they did a great job!

Thanks for reading, James and Pat!

Want Green Scene delivered to your door or available on your iPad? It is a perk of being a PHS member. (PHS being the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the organization that produces the Flower Show.) Click here to find out how to become a member, and learn about all the benefits of membership!

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!

Who’s Cooking at the Flower Show March 9-11?

March 8, 2012

Things have been heating up at the free culinary demonstrations that are not only educational, but also entertaining! Show favorite, the great Chef Joseph Shilling and students from JNA Institute of Culinary Arts host and assist, respectively.

Click here to see the schedule and presentation titles. The impressive bios of our speakers are below.

Eugenia Bone is a journalist and food writer, as well as co-president of the New York Mycological Society. She has written four books, including the critically acclaimed, Mycophilia: Revelations from the Weird and Wonderful World of Mushrooms. She is a frequent contributor to culinary magazines such as Saveur, Fine Cooking, The New York Times Magazine and Food & Wine.

One of the most recognized personalities in Philadelphia dining, Aimee Olexy truly understands what hospitality means. She managed several restaurants in Colorado and attended L’Universite du Vin in France before settling back in Philadelphia in 1999, where she embarked on a variety of ventures with the Starr Restaurant Organization. She is currently the owner of Talula’s Table, which was dubbed by portfolio.com as “The Toughest Table in America” because reservations must be made a year in advance. The New York Times praised the “handsome, deceptively complex and masterfully executed” food, likening the experience to a “spiritual retreat.” Talula’s Garden, which Olexy opened in partnership with Starr in April 2011, aims to capture identical sentiments. “I work a lot and I love it,” says Olexy. “My work is who I am—and that is the only way I know to live.”

Master Chef Joseph Poon is known for his Asian fusion cuisine. He prepares fresh meals with simple elegance—and a dash of adventure. From his quirky venue in Philadelphia’s Chinatown, he hosts private events, conducts “Wok ‘N Walk” tours of Philadelphia Chinatown, and teaches cooking classes. He also leads trips to China and participates in dozens of philanthropic events each year. He recently published an autobiographical cookbook, Life is Short…Cooking is Fun. His warmth and exuberance have earned him appearances on The Tonight Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and Food Network’s The Best of… He is regularly featured on The 10 Show and on many television and radio shows. He has also been featured in Nation’s Restaurant News and many consumer magazines, as well as in newspapers from Philadelphia to New Orleans.

A third-generation restaurateur with more than 40 years of culinary experience, Chef Walter Staib began his career in Europe in some of the finest hotels and restaurants before coming to the United States. Chef Staib is currently the driving force behind one of the nation’s most unique dining establishments: Philadelphia’s City Tavern, a faithful recreation of an original eighteenth century tavern. His passion for culinary excellence has earned him many awards, including the prestigious Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole de la République Française in recognition of his dedication to the advancement of the restaurant industry and the image of France world-wide. In 1986, he was appointed Commandeur by the Association Internationale des Maîtres Conseils en Gastronomie Française and in 1987 was awarded the Silver Plate, the hospitality and restaurant industry’s highest honor. In 1995, he was honored as the first inductee into the Caribbean Culinary Hall of Fame in recognition of his pioneering work founding the Caribbean Culinary Federation. Mr. Staib serves as Ambassador to the Culinary Institute of America and in 1996, was also appointed the First Culinary Ambassador to the city of Philadelphia.

Mike Stollenwerk, chef and restaurateur, has rapidly become a respected key player in Philadelphia’s restaurant scene thanks to his innate culinary understanding, drive for innovation, and steadfast work ethic. After learning the intricacies of the Philly dining scene in the respected kitchens of Davio’s and Avenue B, he purchased Bella Vista’s Little Fish in 2007, and opened Fish in Rittenhouse Square in 2009, boasting a contemporary dining and bar space, an impressive wine list and, and an expertly crafted menu. Stollenwerk’s Fish has garnered recognition from The Philadelphia Inquirer, Food & Wine, and others. Philadelphia magazine named Fish “Best New Restaurant of 2010,” as well as naming Stollenwerk’s dish—Japanese Sea Bass—one of the “230 Best Dishes to Eat in Philly.”

Masterful in the kitchen, Guillermo Tellez has an impeccable 20-year restaurant résumé–from the Trotter empire in Chicago and Los Cabos, Mexico, to Philadelphia’s own celebrated Starr Restaurant Organization, where he was director of menu development for the brand and executive chef at Striped Bass. At his current restaurant, Square 1682, Tellez introduced a “new American” menu that thoughtfully jets from Asia to Mexico, then to India, and circles back home. Each dish is handcrafted using sustainable and organic ingredients, from local seasonal produce to free-range meats and ocean-friendly seafood.

Townsend Wentz is one of the true great culinary talents of Philadelphia. He’s equally comfortable crafting house-made charcuterie, expertly butchering animals, and is well versed in French technique, Spanish influences, and Italian specialties. An alum of The Fountain at the Four Seasons and Lacroix at The Rittenhouse, and executive chef at Twenty21, Wentz has also worked with London-based Chef Yvonnick Lalle in New York City and Connecticut. He currently brings his expertise to McCrossen’s Tavern.

Big thanks to Organic Gardening magazine for sponsoring the culinary room.

A Marketplace of Wonders

March 8, 2012

It’s a shopper’s paradise! On a recent stroll through the Flower Show Marketplace, we saw everything from high-tech ratchet pruners, botanical body scrubs, armloads of curly willow, and every type of garden furniture imaginable. Here are a few favorites.

A Show vendor for 12 years, Stems Vases from Anacortes, Washington, celebrates “the art of simple.” Their slim, elegant containers lend themselves to a variety of designs, from layers of colorful citrus slices to a single orchid stem. The glass outer layer is framed in brushed metal and covers an acrylic liner that resists algae growth. While we visited, several show-goers were singing the praises of these containers, saying they use them year-round. In fact, shoppers at the Show were so excited by the concept that the company had its best sales day ever last Sunday!

Mary DeMarco’s La Contessa jewelry captures the spirit of this year’s Show theme with nature-inspired statement pieces. Mary has been designing jewelry for 30 years; we loved the variety of her cast pewter pieces from a soaring bird to a gangly octopus. The pewter is complemented with semiprecious stones such as carnelian, desert jasper,  Mojave green turquoise, and Austrian crystals, and each ring, bracelet, and necklace is more magnificent than the last.

Imagine a school of bright golden koi swimming through a bed of blue ageratum, or a blue trout swimming upstream through the ivy. Maine artist Tyson M. Weiss has created Fish in the Gardens, a line of stainless steel and stoneware fish that add movement and fluid beauty to any landscape. These weather-resistant swimmers are hand crafted and signed by the artist, some featuring true-to-life details, while others are painted as one-of-a-kind species. In addition to the stoneware varieties, the artist creates stainless-steel fish that will not rust and can be hand-shaped to swim around the trunk of a tree—so cute!

Dave and Jill Wallace from Bittersweet Herb Farm have brought their extensive line of seasonings to the Show. Varieties include wild blueberry and limoncello jam, chai tea marmalade, and Show-favorite wasabi ginger finishing sauce. This family-run business from Massachusetts has brought gourmet products to the Show for 24 years, delighting buyers with not only the food, but the warmth with which it is presented. “We try to have fun!” said Jill.

See the Show at Night!

March 6, 2012

Have you considered visiting the Flower Show at night? People tend to think of the Show as a daytime attraction, but the truth is, night time is the right time to stroll through the Show for folks who want to take it slow.

But don’t get us wrong—slow doesn’t mean boring! It’s just a way to see the Show without the bustle of daytime crowds. Closing time is 9:30 pm every day, with the exception of closing day, when we wrap it up at 6 pm.

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.

Inspired Dining Awaits at the Kaua’i Kafe

March 2, 2012

You, the loyal Flower Show fan, requested more seating and we, the Flower Show staff, listened! When you need a moment to recharge your batteries, swing by the new Kaua’i Kafe, conveniently located in the middle of the Flower Show floor.

The menu has been carefully crafted to reflect the “Islands of Aloha” theme—and it will make you drool. There’s roasted jerk chicken, spiced tomato gazpacho, conch chowder, and other delicacies to transport you to the tropics.

The full menu can be found here. Warning: don’t click this link on an empty stomach.

The Kafe is open from Show open to Show closing every day (but will close at 5 pm on Wednesday and Thursday for private events). When you go, take a picture of your scrumptious meal and post it on our Facebook wall.


%d bloggers like this: