Flower Shows vs. Garden Shows

There is an important distinction other than age (183 years) for the Philadelphia International Flower Show and most others…it’s a flower show…not a flower and garden show.  Floral designers, event planners, amateur and professional horticulturalists show and compete alongside landscape designers and nurseries.  This mix all happens inside a vacuous convention center with an industrial roof instead of sky and a concrete floor instead of soil.

I make the distinction because so many cry ‘fake’– ‘just theater’–’unrealistic’ when it is supposed to be exactly that.  A show of flowers out of season and all jumbled up in new and exciting ways that can lead us to think about them differently.

One of my favorite parts of the show are the evening bags and jewelry made out of seeds, leaves, twigs and other plant parts.  They are super creative.  The one below was as glamorous as any Judith Leiber evening bag.

Philly evening purse 1024x768 Flower Shows vs. Garden Shows

Gingko leaves, arborvitae foliage, cantaloupe seeds and more make this 'bag'

Another favorite (I’ve written about them in another year here) was Moda Botanica’s (a Philadelphia based floral and event design company) kinetic display of foliage that every viewer could change by manipulating the panels via large hand cranks.  It was super creative.

Moda Botanica 1024x768 Flower Shows vs. Garden Shows

Foliage, bird netting , bicycle chain and plexiglass were used here

Since the real reason for my trip this year was to cover a display garden we’re featuring in the next issue of  Leaf Magazine you’ll have to wait until April 1st for that and the one major new trend I spotted!

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About Susan aka Miss. R

Professional landscape designer, lover of the land and all things design.
LABELS: Gardens, inspiration, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Flower Show, Planting Design

8 Responses to Flower Shows vs. Garden Shows

  1. mary gray says:

    Oh man, I missed seeing a lot of those handbags, jewelry, accessories, etc. because there were just too many people waiting in line over there. I went yesterday for the first time ever and I totally agree with your point about it being a Show in the truest sense of the word. It’s like New York fashion week for gardening…over-the-top, crazy, glamourous, impractical and just plain awesome.

  2. Hadn’t thought of that distinction…aha! My sister in PA likes going…if she joins us at the San Francisco Garden Show, would be nice to see her take on both kinds of events. The flower show may be “impractical”, but sounds inspiring to think beyond the norm on something more practical. Certainly more than the “home and ‘garden’ shows” common here.

  3. Thank you for your the sneak peek at the Philadelphia Flower Show can’t wait to see what you have in store for us in the pages of Leaf Magazine coming in April

  4. andrea says:

    very cool, looking forward to the april issue!

  5. Michelle D. says:

    your such a tease !
    looking forward to the next LEAF.

  6. Susan aka Miss. R says:

    Thanks for all of the well wishes on our next issue of Leaf! We’re super excited about it and think its so much better than the last one…

    If you ever get a chance to see the Philadelphia Flower Show, go. It’s different from the others in so many ways. The one thing that is true of all of them though is that there are good years and then there are better than good years. This was a good year.

    And Mary…I totally agree with your assessment! Garden GLAM!

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