Worldly Flower Show

The 2010 Philadelphia International Flower Show promises to take visitors on a wondrous and colorful journey around the world, with a few surprises along the way.

| January 29, 2010

Philadelphia – Visitors to this year’s worldly presentation of the Flower Show will experience Amazonian splendor and some colorful surprises. The 2010 Philadelphia International Flower Show – February 28 to March 7 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center – will take visitors on a globe-trotting, exotic plant-filled adventure.

Produced by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and presented by PNC, this year’s presentation, “Passport to the World,” will greet guests with a 28-foot-high hot-air balloon, covered in more than 79,000 dried flowers, that towers over the Explorer’s Garden. The Victorian-era display, filled with varieties of plants like those collected through the remarkable Wilkes Expedition (1838-42) and more recent finds from Longwood Gardens Inc., Morris Arboretum, the University of Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Botanic Gardens, harkens back to the Flower Show’s roots as a showcase for new plant discoveries. Giant pads of floating Victoria water lilies and blooms introduced to America at early Shows will fill the much larger-than-life Wardian cases throughout the display. Daily musical performances on the Exporer’s Stage include classical and contemporary Indian dance led by celebrated Bollywood choreographer Rujuta Vaidya, and music and dance presented by the vibrant Brazilian troupe, Minas.

Six Showcase Gardens take visitors on a trek to an Indian wedding, with soaring palm trees, golden columns entwined with jasmine, lotus-filled pools and elaborate ropes of marigolds. A life-size floral elephant topiary offers an animated perspective to the joyous scene, created by Jamie Rothstein Distinctive Floral Design. From here, 100,000 flower bulbs will bloom in an authentic Dutch canal garden created by Robertson’s Flowers. Working with design colleagues from South Africa, the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) will provide a tangible artistic presentation of the Zulu culture. Hand-thatched huts, live drummers, a chandelier of floral birds, and sculpted wildlife provide an enchanting entry to a walk-through display that invites visitors to inspect tribal headdresses and masks that depict the vivid colors and patterns found among the native people.

Deep into the dense ficus growth of Brazil’s Amazon jungle, visitors will encounter a plunging waterfall, indigenous plants such as heliconias and bromeliads, and a hungry caiman created by Burke Brothers Landscape Design. Officials of the Philadelphia Zoo will bring the display to life with “’Rainbows in Flight,” demonstrations that feature the skill and natural beauty of tropical birds.

Singapore, the “Pearl of Asia,” will be represented by Waldor Orchids in a luminescent tribute to the orchid. The tiered fountains and formal design are inspired by Singapore’s renowned botanical gardens. The rugged beauty of New Zealand will be captured by Stoney Bank Nurseries in three designs that depict traditions of the native Maori and the alluring plant life found in exotic New Zealand. The Aura Garden, with its thermal pools and sculpted dragon created by artist Greg Leavitt, presents an appropriate setting for the native plants of this northern island. Giant tree ferns, hand-carved Maori tikis and flax rope complement the landscape that includes a bog Garden of English and Scottish tradition, and the Kiwi Garden, which showcases New Zealand’s popular calla and Casablanca lilies.

Designers throughout the Show will celebrate the exciting landscapes and plants of China, Japan, Thailand, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, the Caribbean, and an artful perspective on the northern polar region’s Aurora Borealis.

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