Monday, March 21, 2016

Celebrating Spring at the Philadelphia Flower Show

This beautiful scene shows Delaware Water Gap near my home. I visited it earlier this month. No, not the cold, gray, winter Gap just a few miles from here, but a wonderful facsimile at the Philadelphia Flower Show.  The Delaware Valley Fern and Wildflower Society provided the lovely display that complied with this year's theme, 'Explore America: One Hundred Years of our National Park Service.' I especially loved the ostrich ferns supplied by Morris Arboretum. Can't wait for warmer weather when our Delaware Water Gap turn's green again.

The entrance to the flower show was as spectacular as ever, decorated with perennials --  including some new-to-me purple cone flowers that I coveted. We entered a lodge, a wooden structure in a clever pentagon shape. My camera couldn't do justice to the suspended audio visual displays in there. The lodge contained various vignettes, my favorite being the life-sized bison.

Entrance to the 2016 Philadelphia Flower Show
Bison, with redwood frame and caste iron eyes, trampling on the daisies.
14 foot waterfall like those found at Glacier Park

Many of the exhibits conceptualized the parks, and some of these I found difficult to understand. I enjoyed more the replication of park features and flowers which I show in this posting.

Tall tree trunks for Yellowstone National Park
Wildflowers in the park
Lupines depicted regrowth after the fires of Yellowstone National Park

I was very taken with the fish sculptures among the seagrasses growing at Cape Cod National Seashore.
"A man may stand there and put all America behind him."
-- Henry David Thoreau
Sandy Dunes: Cape Cod National Sea Shore
(We have family at Cape Cod -- maybe this is the year for a summer visit.)

There were several contributions by students. One of my favorites, the vegetable garden planted next to a log cabin, represented Abraham Lincoln's humble beginnings.

Simple and serene: Abraham Lincoln's vegetable garden

I loved the 'Front Entrance: Welcome Home Annie' exhibits for Ellis Island. Several front yards were shown and I enjoyed them all, but the one with the suitcase on the step was my favorite. I would not have thought to grow delphiniums in containers. They were stunning.

Welcome Home

The High School of Agricultural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA depicted the historic Valley Green Inn at Wissahicken where Edgar Allen Poe was inspired under a canopy of hemlock and beech. I was motivated to go to the inn's website and put it on my list of 'must visit.'

'Wander Inn to the Valley'

Browsing the Hamilton Horticourt provided me with lots of ideas for my own garden. Here is where amateur gardeners vie for the coveted blue ribbon. I loved the fairy gardens and terrariums:

Walking around the show can be very tiring. I was ready to take my afternoon nap and found the perfect place. The honeymoon tent with its cathedral of branches was decorated with 1,000 carnations. Unfortunately, the bed was roped off, but I was tempted...

Beautiful, comfortable-looking honeymoon bed.

One last picture from the show ...

Colorful tulips depicting the tulip library at the National Mall
We traveled into Philadelphia by train, checked into a hotel, and had two days of 'blooming' fun. While I celebrated the unofficial start of spring at the Philadelphia Flower Show, back home spring arrived early to my garden. I usually force forsythia branches into bloom and purchase tulips or hyacinths, but never before had daffodils and hellabores this early.

Spring flowers from my garden picked March 19.
Grandson gave me the tulips. Thank you, Jon. Beautiful!

I'm celebrating the new season with my dear friend, Donna, at Gardens Eye View and look forward to reading about similar celebrations around the world on her wonderful blog. Sorry for the late posting, Donna.  I owe an even bigger apology to Diana at Elephants Eye on False Bay for missing two months of her 'Dozen for Diana' meme. I was on a very hectic Master Gardener speaking circuit, giving five presentations in about ten days. I'm exhausted. But I'm going to catch up with my 'Dozen' choices with snowdrops for February and daffodils for March. Snowdrops are a must-have even though I don't experience too much luck with them. The moles often push up their little bulbs. In addition, they have a hard time surviving the Pocono weather conditions. But the survivors really cheer me when nothing else is blooming in my garden.

Snowdrops for February

I intended choosing daffodils for later, but because they bloomed in March this year, I'm making them this month's pick. My favorite, Tahiti, is budding. Love those blooms.

Daffodil Narcissus 'Tahiti"

I celebrated the unofficial start of spring at the flower show which ran March 5-13, and spring officially arrived on March 20 bringing early blooms. Happy Spring, dear gardening friends. So much to celebrate.

Pamela x

~~ I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited!
I look forward to visiting your blog in return.


  1. What wonderful exhibits. Thank you for sharing them with us.

  2. We share a favorite!! Tahiti Narcissus.

  3. So interesting, I like that bison trampling on the daisies, haha. Your ´Tahiti´ daffodil is a pretty one and I love your own spring bouquet from the garden. There is nothing like own flowers, is n´t it?
    Regards from Holland,

    1. I agree, Jenneke. By the way, next year's theme at the Philadelphia Flower Show is "Holland." x

  4. Oh my what a fantastic show and a wonderful way to celebrate spring...I included the post in the wrap up Pam. I really must get to this show. It is in my home town too and I haven't been back for so long. I hope to travel down PA way in the near future (maybe not this year), and hopefully we can meet up and see a few gardens or even the go to the Flower Show together.

    1. Philadelphia is your home town, Donna? I didn't know. You must come for a visit soon and it would be so easy for us to hook up. P. x

  5. What a fabulous show, so many wonderful exhibits. I think Abraham Lincoln's garden would have appealed to me too with it's veggies but I love the Wander Inn to the Valley too. It's very tiring visiting these type of shows, so much to see and lots of walking around so I'd have been tempted by the bed too. Glad that spring has sprung with you, it's good to see the back of winter.

  6. Tahiti with its exuberant orange heart is a wonderful welcome to spring.
    And congratulations on your Master Gardening - must be so rewarding to pass on what you have learned.

  7. Being originally from the area, I should try and get to the Philadelphia event each year, but never seem to make it. Our garden club goes each year too. I love your image of the Delaware Water Gap. I think this area is beautiful.

  8. I swore I wouldn't plant any more daffodils, but Tahiti is a real beauty! I love daffs, but I get so frustrated waiting for their foliage to fade. They just turn into such a mess for me. Obviously I neglected to site them under other plantings, but it's too late now. There's too many of them!

  9. Thank you Pam! I love 'Wander Inn to the Valley', 'Lincoln's Vegetable Garden' and 'Welcome Home', but also, I'd love to walk around and take some time to enjoy each of these exhibits!
    Tahiti is a star!

  10. Thank you for your post about the show. I love seeing how it was different from the Northwest Flower & Garden Show. I would love to visit it someday. Isn't it interesting that NWFGS did America the Beautiful, and Philly did the National Parks? Great minds I guess. Spring was early here too, but it's quite chilly today. I need to get out there and finish what I've started. ~~Dee

  11. Sounds like a great trip... but my question is 'did you buy anything?' I always love wandering through the sales section, even if only to see what the next great thing is :)
    I'm also a fan of Tahiti and it's one of my favorites. Glad to see you're having luck with the snowdrops. Once they find a spot they like I think they really settle in!

  12. I missed it this year. Always like what they do with small spaces...our home and garden is small. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Acabo de conocer tu blog y me ha gustado mucho, espero seguir conociendolo. un abrazo desde Plantukis, un blog amigo.