I went to the Philadelphia Flower Show last Friday. It was a fragrant, blooming balm for my winter starved soul. There was, as always, inspiration everywhere. This year’s theme was ‘Articulture’ and display and garden makers interpreted the theme broadly.
As I’ve said before, there’s a big difference between flower shows and garden and landscape shows that call themselves flower shows. Philadelphia is a FLOWER power show and this year, in my mind, the floral designers trumped everything and everyone else.
Not a review per se, these are just a few examples of what I was inspired by this year…and why.
The sheer size and bold graphic quality of this floral display just wowed me. Floral designer, Michael O’Neil, AIFD was inspired by ancient Korean letter forms and created a contemporary mediation using bamboo and bloom. I am inspired to be more fearless in my design choices just by seeing this.
Another floral design company, Pure Design, inspired by Noguchi, made me think about the poetic quality of plants. There was a FB discussion about how this chilled those who believe a plant has a soul, but I thought it spoke to simplicity and certain aspects of human’s harnessing of plants for their own desires.
In past years, I have been really enthusiastic about Moda Botanica‘s displays. Except for this soft and super romantic floral sculpture I didn’t love their ode to Storm King this year. With that said I went back and looked at this twice. It distilled the essence of what I do as a landscape designer down to some very basic ideas. The combination of texture and color as well as natural and artificial was visually powerful for me.
The current trend for all things gardening in miniature was elevated to an art with this blue ribbon winning display inspired by Grounds for Sculpture by Margareta M. Warlick. Less then one foot across, its geometric simplicity and attention to detail is a great reminder about how important editing is to the design process.
These are personal picks. For a more general overview, Garden Design has started to post some images I took for them while at the show on their Facebook page.