If you are a true nature lover; this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show was a tribute to honoring 100 years of our nation’s national parks. “Explore America” was the perfect title for this year’s event, the show captured and recreated quite a few of America’s most visited and beautiful national parks. It all started at the Big Timber Lodge an amazing arch way leading to the flower show’s acres of trails and exhibits of our nation’s landscapes which included deserts, wildflowers, pine lands, meadows, redwoods and coastal plains.
Not to mention an abundance of horticulture, which allowed some of our garden club members to explore on sharing their own talents. For me, it was a joy to enter in the novice horticulture section this year strictly solo. And boy what an experience, which led to me winning my very first blue ribbon in the Philadelphia Flower show!
Let’s just say I was over the moon with excitement and embraced the pure joy and happiness that came with it. I said to my youngest son “It’s something about that blue ribbon that makes you instantly think you are an expert” NOT, LOL, I am NO expert when it comes to this species of plant just a lover of it’s color and unique textures. It simply grows in my dining room window the only spot in our home that gets special sun rays from the good Lord above; no fancy greenhouse beauty here, just a humble houseplant doing its own thing! I will say, I could hear Bill Baur in my mind encouraging me to just enter it and after many plant turnings and second hand looks I decided to GO FOR IT!! Thanks Bill:) Let me tell you entering is no joke, I felt like I earned another high end college degree reading the rule book, something definitely needs to done about that! But I got thru it and there should also be a video on how to dress and groom your pot (aka hide the original one inside the show pot). There is apparently a science to potting your plant with special top dressings, I ended up with black aquarium gravel from Walmart! Another humble move that produced a blue ribbon anyway, Classic! But I will say I met a wonderful woman who shared with me one of the coveted pot dressings that only the fancy-dancy exhibitors use. She just pulled some out of her stash of grooming supplies and gave me enough to last many many flower shows to come. The generosity of gardeners at the show can sometimes just make you smile. In addition to entering my plant I also volunteered in my favorite job as horticulture recorder ( that’s how I met the really nice lady who shared:) this is another wonderful way to be apart of the show. Getting back to sharing our talents I wasn’t the only garden club winner, Mr. Bill had his share of winner winner chicken dinners too, Bill took home two blues and some other ribbons for his horticulture specimens of succulent, cacti. and trough planters. Bill this year had his very own grooming table, labeled and all with his name only! He’s definitely now an experienced veteran of the show.
Tala Graham also entered into the design section of the show with a miniature that gave her a ribbon placement as well. Other members diligently gave their time in volunteering and Barbara Boyce who volunteered for the first time, shared her experience as being a wonderful one. She learned the ins and outs of getting to the show with other garden club members, seeing the show from behind the scenes and working as a horticultural aide. In her job; she passed out placement ribbons, planned the routes of the judges and also led them from one entry class to the next. Barbara was amazed my the displays and how HUGE they were, she had not attended the show in over 10 years and back then was just a part of the general public. Her experience this year allowed her to see the show in a different perspective and her favorite display was a keepsake box made out various seeds and beans!
If asked would she attend again, she says “In a word, yes.” Hope you all had a chance to “Explore America” this year at the show and if not there is always next year: Zie je daar!
That’s dutch for “See you there” we are off to Holland in 2017!