Brilliant! The 2013 Philadelphia Flower Show

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“Brilliant!”, the 2013 Philadelphia Flower Show, opened this week and runs from Saturday, March 2 to Sunday, March 10 in the Philadelphia Convention Center. An extra week-end day, in fact, was added this year to accommodate the huge crowds that will be flocking in for this must-see show. Organized by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, The Philadelphia Flower Show is the grande dame of spring gardening exhibitions in the United States and has appeared annually since 1829, now marking its one hundred and eighty-fourth continuous year. Following the tradition of recent shows, this year’s foreign fantasy theme is “Brilliant!” and British. While fun, the show’s annual themes themselves, such as last year’s “Hawaii: Islands of Aloha” and the previous year’s “Springtime in Paris,” aren’t particularly horticulturally focused for hard-core gardeners and usually comprise an eye-catching Grand Entrance, with amusing smatterings of cultural clichés worked into the displays. This year, crowns and thrones and Union Jacks abound.
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The annual themes are good-natured but really serve to attract the attentions of the hundreds of thousands of non-gardeners who will wander the Convention Center for a preview of spring. Hopefully, those wanderers come away inspired to tackle their own yards a little this season and not just leave with the seemingly prerequisite bundles of pussy willows or those odd giant tissue-paper flowers-on-a-stick often seen bouncing above heads. Today’s blog highlights “Brilliant!” the Theme. I’ll be wandering around the Philly Flower Show all week so join me for more close-ups of the exhibitions and displays, as well as pictures from the many, many individual tours de force in the newly-reconfigured Hamilton Horticourt.

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