Posts Tagged ‘Michael Petrie’

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!

Michael Petrie Prepares a Garden for the Gods

February 6, 2012

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“Unusual” is a word with many implications, both good and bad. But when we talk about the Flower Show exhibits created by Michael Petrie, unusual is meant as the highest form of praise. Michael has exhibited at the Show for years, first for other nurseries, and more recently for his own landscape design company, Michael Petrie’s HANDMADE GARDENS.

With a background in art and horticulture, Michael has managed to make exhibits that are a cross between a garden and a museum installation. (See the slideshow above.) In the process he’s garnered a cache of “Best-in-Show/Landscape Design” trophies.

This year, however, Michael says he may well be facing his biggest Flower Show design challenge yet: an exhibit inspired by the Garden of the Gods on the Hawaiian island of Lanai.

Garden of the Gods? How difficult could that be, you ask, picturing lush vegetation, fragrant blossoms, and a beach fit for deities? But here’s the thing: there are next-to-no plants in the Garden of the Gods.  In fact, the Garden of the Gods is a high desert area with a strange, lunar-like landscape composed primarily of…rocks.

Who knew?

Legend says ancient gods created Garden of the Gods by dropping boulders from the sky while clearing their gardens. Another story states that two priests (kahuna), one from Lanai and one from Molokai, had a contest to see who could keep a fire burning longest, and the Lanai priest burned up all the vegetation in the area in the process.

So what kind of garden can Michael and HANDMADE GARDENS make out of this fantastic story and stark landscape? You’ll have to come to the Flower Show to find out.

Michael Petrie’s Approach to Garden Art

May 23, 2011

Who can forget Michael Petrie’s fabulous exhibit at the 2011 Flower Show? Known for his beautiful creations comprised of objets trouves (found objects), Petrie’s works are one-of-a-kind and blur the line between trash and treasure.

You can see his affinity for found objects at Michael Petrie’s Handmade Gardens, located in Downingtown, PA. You can also learn more about his aesthetic approach in this article.

As he says, “Art is put into a garden because you have a connection to it. Garden art should have soul. It should have personality. You can’t just go out and buy stuff and plunk it in your yard.” Read the article, and check out past blogs on this renaissance garden artist!

Monet Meets Handmade Gardens

March 12, 2011

This exhibit from Michael Petrie’s Handmade Gardens (320 W. Uwchlan Ave., Downingtown, PA 19335) is inspired by the “Water Lilies” paintings of Claude Monet, Impressionist works that are almost abstract murals of light and color.

A layout of crossed paths and boxwood-lined beds act as a frame for large painted canvases that lay on the ground like diaphanous veils of color. The installation includes paintings on scrim that mimic how a garden softly changes in the light throughout the day.

Since they say an image is worth 1,000 words, we’ll let the photos of Paris’s artistic side to the talking.

Michael Petrie Loves Bamboo

January 5, 2010

Kyoto Bamboo

Fifteen years ago Michael Petrie planted black bamboo behind his Swarthmore home.

Today, the 20-foot-tall plants not only create a nice mass of shade and dramatic backdrop, but they also  make a wonderful sound in the wind and rain.

“There is a bit of a stigma attached to bamboo in American gardening,” said Petrie, owner of Michael Petrie’s HANDMADE GARDENS in Chester County. “In other parts of the globe, bamboo is used as lumber, flooring and paper. It’s really an under-utilized resource in the western world.”

Bamboo requires persistent maintenance so it may not be for everyone, but  good old-fashioned green bamboo will be the front and center of his exhibit, “Bamboo” at the 2010 Philadelphia International Flower Show, “Passport to the World.”

The Painted Tree

“We’re doing a bamboo grove. There will be plenty of surprises,” he said. (more…)

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