Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Philly's Finest Flowers


Today, I had the honor of clerking at the Philadelphia Flower Show. Philly is known for a few distinctive things; cheese steaks, hoagies, soft pretzels, water ice, the Liberty Bell, the Constitution Center, the house of Betsey Ross, and the Philly Flower Show. Philadelphia gave birth to America's first horticultural society, The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, in 1827 and the nation's first flower show, the Philadelphia Flower Show, in 1829. That makes it a very old tradition – and a very important part of Philly history.

According to the chatter on the floor today, the show wouldn’t be possible without the support of Dodo Hamilton. Dodo Hamilton gives millions to the city of Philadelphia annually, and I mean millions! A few society ladies sipping coffee near the judges booth wondered who will look after our city when Dodo is gone. Where is the next great Philly philanthropist and how will this recent dip in the economy effect that emergence?

This years theme was Bella Italia and I managed to catch a stroll around the convention center before the crowds hit the floor. A lovely tradition, this year’s vignettes didn’t disappoint. My favorite display was a set of the Venice canals, decorated with Italian flower boxes and featuring a full-size, lush mahogany gondola. This site, combined with the scents and popping colors transported me temporarily to my last trip to Italy. It was Spring, I was open for anything, I was free of all obligations and I was drunk with exploration.

The experience was just what I needed. To cement my memories, I bought two dozen roses, fresh and fragrant heather, a dozen Gerber Daisy's and several flowering Dogwood branches. On through this Sunday, with the best deals for flowers happening Saturday afternoon, I may have to go back. Thank you Philly Flower Show.


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