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Flower Power ’09 – – Philadelphia Flower Show

2009 March 2

About the author:Bonnie Turner-Lomax came to EPA Region III in 1987 and has held several positions throughout the Region. She is currently the Communications Coordinator for the Environmental Assessment & Innovation Division.

It’s a very chilly 30 degrees and windy Monday in Philadelphia – typical for the end of February. A lunchtime walk took me past the Pennsylvania Convention Center where, in less than a week and despite the calendar and the outdoor temperature, it will feel, smell, and look like Spring.

I’m talking about the Philadelphia Flower Show – an annual rite of Spring that brings together garden exhibitors from all over the country to transfer the floor of the Convention Center into a magical Spring display.

The Philadelphia Flower Show is a sight to behold, taking visitors from Winter to Spring as they step into a wonderland of gardens, plants, and floral designs. Billed as the world’s largest indoor flower exhibit and the oldest (1829) in the nation, the Philadelphia Flower Show annually attracts more than 250,000 visitors from all over the world. 

Traditional gardens, despite their beauty and appeal, can cause serious harm to the environment, including pesticide runoff, and introduction of invasive species.
So, since 1993, EPA’s Mid-Atlantic regional office has used this wonderful venue to educate gardeners on techniques that protect the environment and at the same time create beautiful gardens.

Using native plants, and recycled materials, the EPA Flower Team of volunteers formulates designs, constructs, and creates an exhibit that vividly demonstrates the beauty and practicality of native plants and beneficial landscaping techniques. The 2009 exhibit features 75 native plant species. The plants must be forced to bloom by showtime, which is an especially delicate process. Plants cannot bloom too soon or too late. While the team members are experts in the field of forcing, it comes down to perfect timing, which is the key to successful forcing.
As a communications coordinator I have been involved in outreach for the Flower Show team for more than 10 years. It’s amazing to see each exhibit come to life, conveying environmental messages in its own unique way. But that’s to be expected, as my friends and coworkers who put so much effort into the Flower Show are just as energetic the other 50 weeks of the year doing their environmental jobs.

The 2009 Philadelphia Flower Show, runs from Sunday, March 1 through March 8 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The EPA display, “L’acqua e vita La vita e acqua” or “Water is Life, Life is Water”, focuses on the life of a watershed beginning with the birth of a stream. If you’re in the area, stop by and see for yourself the beauty and environmental benefits of green gardening techniques. Whether you’re an experienced gardener or getting your hands dirty for the first time, there’ll be plenty to see and learn.

See you at the Flower Show.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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8 Responses leave one →
  1. Brenda-EPA permalink
    March 3, 2009

    Love the blog! I am a gardener and public affairs coordinator and would love to participate in an event like this. Thanks for sharing, maybe I will look to get on board on this kind of event.

  2. John Constantinide permalink
    March 3, 2009

    As a University of Miami graduate student taking an environmental health course, I was wondering if the EPA also did education and community outreach programs with native trees. Although native flowers are wonderful plants for landscaping and maintaining populations of native species, native trees provide a wide array of benefits for both the environment and human health (e.g. trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which improves air quality).

  3. Bonnie permalink
    March 4, 2009

    Thank you for your thoughts and comments. I am very happy to share that EPA’s exhibit received three awards this year: The Philadelphia Horticultural Society Flower Show Award – Best in Show – Nonacademic education ; The Garden Club Federation of Pennsylvania – Special Achievement Award in Education for exhibits under 1,000 square feet; and the Garden Club of America’s Bulkley Medal, given to a special exhibit of exceptional educational merit. Congratulations

  4. John permalink
    April 23, 2009

    Interesting post for sure. I’ve always enjoyed adding comments at other blogs that I enjoy reading. Those folks who author those blogs will typically start reading yours if you develop a relationship with them.

  5. flowers permalink
    March 19, 2010

    This Tarroch Pennsylvania She was really impressive I’ve seen pictures of her and really she was pretty hard to describe the landscaping was done there were gardens as art

  6. rabbi permalink
    September 27, 2010

    Hi, Thanks such a great information’s really like to read this topic. This is really a well written article about a great project! It’s very useful…

  7. National Flowers blog's admin permalink
    January 2, 2011

    I have an idea for you guys for the next similar show to do: it should be regarded National and State Flowers pretty interesting topic to learn about. I have some information in my blog, I’m permanently looking for info about national and state flowers, but sometimes it is not so easy to find true…

  8. Johnmilton permalink
    June 5, 2011

    It’s a means of getting new clients and increasing the visibility of a company’s products and services among the target market. Some trade shows are open to the public, while others can only be attended by company representatives (members of the trade) and members of the press.

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