Highlights from the 2016 Philadelphia Flower Show

Our yearly trip to the Philadelphia Horticultural Society Flower Show was a delight as always and renewed our commitment to this incredibly important fundraiser. The theme 'Explore America' was a pure wilderness fantasy as we walked among the terrains of our magnificent national parks. Thousands of native plants and trees were brought in to create living exhibits, several of which were built by local high school students. The PHS did a wonderful job creating an immersive experience that connected the public with these world heritage sites so near and dear to us. The sheer amount of labor that went into this show - from seed to spotlight - is almost beyond comprehension. One flower grower provided thousands of forced lupines in vivid blues and purples, pinks and yellows. They also grew the largest Black-Eyed Susan's this Maryland native has ever seen (the size of my whole hand)!

Yellowstone inspired this entry by Stoney Bank Nurseries in which a series of vignettes tell the stories of the many rich ecosystems within the park. Two standouts in particular were the red fox and the gray wolf sculptures tucked into the scenery.  Their furs were created from dried evergreen, individually placed on the form with other botanical elements to create the life-sized creatures. 

The interior of this imagined redwood tree was laden with crimson chandeliers, orchids, amaranth and roses. It was quite fun to look up!

 Monochromatic and oversize - this piece used sustainable materials throughout.


The miniature floral compositions are charming in their stature and scale. I always wonder about the journey each florist took to source their materials and what their work tables must look like on design days.  I love seeing each tiny, perfect stem lit up in all its glory. So often those little bits get swept into the compost but here they get to shine!

An incredible series of installations based on the iconic Ansel Adams photos of Yosemite took center stage. The interpretations in black and white were created with reclaimed wood, steel, recycled plastic, suspended balsa wood frames and of course, flowers.  The background images were permitted for use for the show on the strict condition that they be completely destroyed afterwards.

Pitcher plants grow flowers, did you know that? Here is a little grouping near an Appalachian Trail exhibit. Native to the East Coast and parts of the Midwest these lovely little carnivores top our list of favorite botanical blossoms.

Inspired by the current state of the former encampments at Valley Forge National Historical Park. Where Washington's troops once historically lived, Mother Nature has taken over with her beauty.  

Our lovely tour guide was part of a group that built this replica of Georgia O'Keefe's home in New Mexico.  I loved their attention to details, as if they were truly immersing themselves in the role of the artist. We are so grateful to be able to attend this show every year, it seems like the stars and schedules always align for this cause. Congratulations to all the exhibitors, florists, schools, clubs, artists, growers, and vendors who together made a wonderful show. Job, well done!