This past week, Philadelphia held one of its most attended events. The Philadelphia Flower Show sponsored by the Philadelphia Horticultural Society is the oldest and largest flower show in the nation. It is attended by approximately 250,000 and the florals displayed were absolutely amazing. The theme this year was Riviera Holiday. Here is this year’s description.
Riviera Holiday beckons you to embrace your inner romantic and create a Mediterranean inspired garden of your own. Ornate pottery and patterned tiles, a well-placed pergola and abundant clusters of scented flowers, ornamental fountains and herb parterres provide irresistible appeal along with sustainable lower maintenance, water-wise options that are both responsive to and reflective of temperate conditions.
One very exciting part of the flower show for Lakeside is that our Lakeside Greenhouse students actually construct a full display in the educational division. It is an event that takes several months to complete. It culminates in loading two large trucks, spending a week setting up and then after the judging, maintaining the display for the entire week of the show. I was able to attend the show 3 times, once while setting up and twice afterwards. It was wonderful to see all the displays at the show! Included here are some photos of Lakeside’s display which was amazing and appreciated by thousands of visitors.
The great news is that Lakeside’s Greenhouse was granted a silver medal by the judges. Here is the very stringent judging criteria.
Judging criteria may consider quality of design, horticulture, plantsmanship, visitor experience, among many other uniquely demonstrated qualities such as:
- Cultural Perfection: Vigorous, healthy appearance including foliage, flowers or fruit, and form characteristic of a well-grown plant; there should be no indication of pests or disease.
- Distinctiveness: Meritorious in aesthetic appeal; noteworthy in size and relationship to container.
- Bloom: Quality and quantity of bloom, including freshness and substance; mass effect if appropriate to the class.
- Fruit: Quality and abundance of fruit, if appropriate to the class, including color and mass effect.
- Maturity: Size of plant and foliage characteristic of a mature specimen.
- Difficulty: Challenging to grow (and bring to bloom, if applicable to the class); requiring specialized growing conditions, skill, and care.
- Rarity: Seldom grown and exhibited by amateur horticultural enthusiasts.
As you can see the judging standards are rigorous and intense. We are extremely proud of our staff and students who compete annually with much larger organizations and are considered one of the quality displays at the show. We will be honoring our students for this great achievement year and appreciate that we have great support from the leadership of the Philadelphia Flower Show. Even as I write this blog post we are beginning the tear-down process which is a huge job.
I want to express my deep appreciate to Jon Klinger, our Greenhouse Director, his staff, other Lakeside School staff members, the students and all those who participated in this incredible journey. It is a special honor to be invited to the Philadelphia Flower Show. To then receive a silver medal is quite an accomplishment. Congratulations to our Greenhouse team for all the amazing work. What a great achievement!