Friday, March 9, 2018

@PhilaFlowerShow @PHSgardening Wonders of Water #gardening #gardens #flowershow #hereafter #water #Philly

"Windows on the Watershed" illuminates the ecological lessons and stories of freshwater system - The Delaware River Watershed
Philadelphia Flower Show
Wonders of Water

We enjoyed the 2018 Philadelphia Flower Show presented by the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society (PHS) "Wonders of Water."  We entered doors next to the main entrance, and walked towards an eye-catching exhibit funded by The William Penn Foundation.

"Windows on the Watershed" featured over 1,000, mostly blue, rods dramatically hanging down from the high, dark ceiling. The environmental art hanging sculpture was designed to resemble "Rain and the River" by artist Stacey Levy.

The Delaware River Watershed runs 330 miles. The waterways flow through 14,000 square miles through the Catskill mountains, wilderness, farmland, cities, and coastal plains. These ecosystems support many diverse plants and animals.

As we walked around the show we noticed PHS added photography stations for souvenir shots. Like everyone else, we usually take lots of photos of the plants, but pictures of us are few and far between so we had our picture taken!
Memories of the colorful, tropical gardens and waterfalls are comforting after the severe, whopper of a second Nor'easter storm Wednesday. The storm devastated and tore apart our trees and gardens and left us with 9 inches of snow!! But, that's another story...

Back to the Flower Show
People crowded the main "The Rain Forest" entrance area taking selfies and photos of the orchids and colorful tropical plants cascading from bamboo shelf-like structures and supports. Vibrant colored orchids and Bird of Paradise blooms cascaded out of arrangements along with mosses and ferns. And, yes, rain fell in the rain forest along with sprays of fine mist. The rain forest even included sounds of tropical birds.

Ground plantings included a lot of my favorite types of coleus and Escargot begonias. Common pink and orange annual blooms included New Guinea impatiens.

At only day 2 of the show, some of the taller palms appeared past their peak and dying. 

HunterHayes' Landscape Design's exhibit "Spring Thaw." featured a few plants that caught my attention that are now on my wish list, especially Rhododendron canescens 'Camilla's Blush' (Piedmont Azalea).
Piedmont Azalea - USDA hardiness zones 5,6,7,8 - full sun to part shade - 5 ft tall and wide
It was no surprise that this very fragrant native species is currently sold out at RareFind Nursery.
The fragrance was heavenly. Guaranteed that hummingbirds would love it too.
Crocus, Daffodils and blue Grape Hyacinths were definitely a preview of Spring!
"Blue Shadow" dwarf Fothergilla was another of my favorites at the Hunter Hayes exhibit. The compact shrubs grow 2 to 3 feet high and wide and produce abundant, fragrant bottle-brush greenish-white blooms. The plants are hardy to USDA zones 5 to 9.
Best of Show
This was one of the few pergolas that I noticed at the show. The tranquil landscape created by StoneyBank Nurseries of Glen Mills, PA won a PHS Gold Medal and PHS Flower Show Cup Best in Show awards. You can't see it in the photo, but the edge of the pergola featured a wall of water dripping into the "Water's Edge" surrounded by trees.
Another display we both really liked was WISH Unlimited's "Hereafter." by Christian Kanienberg. His exhibit won a PHS Bronze Medal. The design included plants growing around and in a salvaged sailboat and power boats. Kanienberg said his idea was reactionary to the flower show's theme of water. According to his info post card: "suffering is part of our preparation for the hereafter."

Can't see it all in one day
We missed the butterfly display again. And, besides the rain in the rain forest, we must have missed rain barrel information and collecting water from rooftops. It must have been there somewhere. With 10-acres to explore, it is impossible to see everything in one visit.

Our least favorite area this year was the shopping area in the back, only because there were so many vendors that had nothing to do with gardening. That said, those vendors had people browsing at their booths! I guess people like all that unrelated stuff.
Protea Love
The Warka Tower displayed Protea, an unusual flower favorite. The exotic flowers represent change and hope. They grow in Australia, Hawaii and South Africa and some are grown commercially in California. A variety of different types of Protea blooms were also featured in the main entrance exhibit.
Most Educational
Among the most important educational displays were the water-themed exhibits by the American Institute of Floral Designers, "The World's Drinking Water." We learned about US pipe deterioration, the Flint Michigan water crisis and the critical water status of other countries, such as Africa, India and Pakistan. 

India has the highest number of people living rurally without access to clean water.

Pakistan is at risk for running out of water in less than 10-years, by 2025. Their water now is considered 80% unsafe, which is a tremendous shift since 1947 when their water was plentiful. It was troubling to learn that over 200,000 children in Pakistan under the age of 5 die every year from water-borne diseases.

The fact that as many as 63 million people in the US have been exposed to potentially unsafe water more than once over the past 10-years, gave us greater appreciation and desire to protect and conserve our precious water resources.

Happy Gardening!

Related Links
National Geographic Rain Forests
NJ Watersheds

Blog post and photos Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

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