Odd as it may sound, I've never been to the Philadelphia Flower Show before this year. I used to think it was something that was enjoyed by the elderly, something along the lines of bridge or wearing pastel-colored dress suits.
But, as it turns out, the Flower Show is for everyone. It's especially for people who like gardening. There was a bit of bourgeois feel to it, especially over in the vendor marketplace, where you could buy bonsai, orchids, bonsais, orchids and decorative flags. There were some other things for sale, but nothing that stood out to me as a gardener. Along with the bourgeois, there was also a bit of let's make pretty things/while respecting the earth/look at these native plants feel to things.
The theme this year was England and the main display featured a mock up of Big Ben. The theme was also seen in a cute Sherlock Holmes inspired exhibit, which had you solve the case of the invasive species or something. There were a lot of flowers on display that are pretty common here, especially right now, like tulips, daffodils and other bulbs.
The exhibit that got my attention was called "Before the Invasion" and was created by the EPA. It featured plants that are native to Pennsylvania and that were here before William Penn and the British "invaded" the area. Plants in the exhibit included a few varieties of rhododendron/azaleas, creeping phlox, and sedge.
Last year, I inherited a garden from a couple who retired and moved across the country. It's at 4th and Walnut street and is part of the National Parks service. Although I'm just a volunteer, I have pretty much free reign over what goes in the garden. There are some gaps in it right now, so my thinking is to fill them in with native species. So, thanks, Flower Show, for the inspiration.