The theme of the Philadelphia International Flower Show which took place last week was Hawaii:Islands of Aloha. I expected a plethora of orchid plants and cut tropicals, and although Robertson's Florist* of Chestnut Hill is one of my all time favorite florists (see part of their award-winning display above) I soon became dissatisfied and grumpy. Even at 3:30 pm, usually a slower time at the show, I couldn't get anywhere near the major exhibits without using my super sharp elbows and climbing over strollers. It's a little hard to stay grumpy however when you're faced with the creativity of folks like Patti Kelly of The Gardeners of Rose Valley. The judges awarded her a blue ribbon for "A superior interpretation of a royal headdress using all fresh plant material".
Below, the plant material is less important than the stunning cupboard which I NEED to sort my ever-expanding collage supplies. The Philadelphia Society of Botanical Illustrators not only put on their own display, they gave lessons to anyone willing to try. For many years the plants entered by Mrs. Samuel M.V. Hamilton and her greenhouse gardeners have enchanted visitors to this show. This Nopalxochia phyllanthoides 'Deutsche Kaiserin' (cactus family) stopped traffic. Walking and gawking has made me tired and thirsty. I Think I'll drop in here.
*When my husband was drafted and sent to the Viet Nam war leaving me with 3 small children and a job in Philadelphia, he arranged with Robertson's Florist to send me a small fresh flower arrangement every two months while he was away. Roberstson's sent me fabulous designs, totally true to their commission and I'll always be grateful to them and him for thinking of it.