Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Philadelphia Flower Show 2011

Let the kitsch-fest begin! A replica of one arch of the Eiffel Tower, at shrunken scale, looms ahead as you enter the show, surrounded by pink blooming cherry trees and tulips.
I am a sucker for flower shows. I love the combination of theatrical kitsch and delicate plants. I love the marvel of forcing all those plants on time, and then keeping them going indoors for two weeks (not to mention transporting them). Yes, it is probably a huge energy suck. Yes, not all of the plants make it to good homes afterwards. But it is a heaping dose of spring at a time of year when it seems to many as if spring is still far away (at least for Ithacans).

An attempt to create a Parisian park-like exhibit, but with strange blue columns. 

The theme of this year's Philadelphia Flower Show was Springtime in Paris. Many of the exhibits dove head-first into the kitsch potential, including such clichés as can-can girls, pink poodles, and petits cafés in their exhibits (not to mention, faux Eiffel Tower). Others, such as the one above and the one following, had a more subtle take on the theme. Still others, such as the Irish-tourism-sponsored exhibit and the New England woodland exhibits seemed to ignore the theme altogether. One very cute exhibit showed a mixed-deciduous forest with a tent set up in its center, and a little pond with an attendant fishing rod. "This doesn't seem very Spring in Paris," my friend whispered. "Maybe it's Spring in Québec?" I replied. On second thought, spring in Québec would include more mud and slush.
A chef-themed garden, with outdoor kitchen and dining room (pictured), surrounded by a "raised bed" of herbs and flowers. Aside from the excessive use of light-fixtures within the exhibit, I'd be happy to have this at my house.

A creature (iguana?) made from succulent plants. Succulent Creature would be a good band name, don't you think?
Flowers made entirely from knitted, crocheted, and wire-wrapping yarn. Amazing. 
Giant ornaments made from orchids. Surreal, but I like an odd bizarre exhibit thrown in the mix.
On to the orchids! This is an approximately 3.5 foot sphere of Dendrobium kingianum. Mine is a wee bit smaller.
A cattleya-alliance hybrid. I would have bought a Cattleya, but I'm not allowed to buy any more orchids for the moment.
At left, Phaelonopsis Mini Mark. On the right, Dendrobium aberrans. I hope my tiny D. aberrans gets that big someday!
A lush bowl of succulents. Too bad I neglected to get the name of this plant.
Someday a little kumquat tree will be mine. I think I need a greenhouse first.

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