Spring nears with Philadelphia Flower Show

By Amanda Carson
March 19, 2009

Joe Zanine

The Philadelphia Flower Show captured the essence of Italy’s beauty and culture which flooded the city’s Arch Street. In response, many sought to see how “la dolce vita,” or the sweet life, of Italy was brought to Philadelphia.

From March 1-8, Philadelphia hosted its oldest and largest indoor event, the 2009 Philadelphia Flower Show.

Celebrating its 180th year, this year’s show, entitled “Bella Italia,” transported guests into the characteristic landscapes of Italy.

Upon entering through rose-geranium and petunia-decorated Roman arches, guests were placed among exquisite floral exhibits.

“Guests could expect to see the landscapes and gardens of Italy in an unusual way by the best exhibitors,” Alan Jaffe, public relations manager of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, said.

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society produced the show. The show generated revenue of about $1 million to support the society’s Philadelphia Green environmental program.

In support of the Philadelphia Green program, many exhibits educated guests about both the importance of going green and how to create urban and suburban sustainable gardens.

Daily performances of opera and Italian music, a wine and spirits shop, culinary demonstrations and shopping from over 140 vendors enhanced the show.

“There are lots of things special about the show besides being transported to Italy without paying airfare. Guests get to experience Italian music and food and can even do some shopping,” Jaffe said.

Cabrini was a part of the 2008 Flower Show, in honor of its 50th year. The college’s exhibit was entitled “Inheriting a Vision” and gave tribute to the former Woodcrest Estate.

Although Cabrini did not feature an exhibit this year, students could still attend the show and experience a piece of Italy.

“Biology majors would be fascinated by the new plant cultivators developed by plant scientists. The colors, size and height of flower plants has really changed over the years,” Cathy Yungmann, associate professor of communication, said.

“There is something here for everyone. There are lectures for experienced and beginner gardeners, wine and cheese tasting. Students get a discounted ticket too,” Laura Beitman, senior public relations coordinator for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, said.

For those who attended, however, a reminder that spring is nearing overshadowed the dullness of winter.

“The Philadelphia Flower Show lifts the winter spirits of everyone who attends. I could smell the wonderful fragrance of daffodils and hyacinths before we even entered the exhibition hall where the garden displays are set up,” Yungmann said.

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Amanda Carson

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