In the Garden:
Mid-Atlantic
March, 2004
Regional Report

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"Beyond Extraordinary" read the judges' note on this winning Philadelphia Flower Show entry made from bits of 19 different plants, including red and black lentils.

Paradise for an Hour

The Philadelphia Flower Show is a world-class indoor show, and it certainly takes us worldwide on a fantastic journey where the path is paved with plants from around the globe, where color and fragrance combine to whisk us away from the humdrum days of winter.

This time, now in its 175th year, this granddaddy (or would that be grand lady) of a flower show took us to its theme of "Destination: Paradise" via the tropics and beyond. It transported us into the rain forest and jungle where the orchids grow seemingly by the acre like bedding plants. It took us to a languid retreat in Key West where we could all but feel the sand between our toes and watch the sun set from our patio. It lured us to the bottom of the seven seas where fantastic deep sea creatures hovered above coral formations recreated in textured succulents and cacti.

It showed us window boxes overflowing with bog plants, floral arrangements of exquisite taste, beribboned champion specimen plants. It tempted us with gardens where angels danced overhead, and gardens where fountain jets soared. It allowed us to indulge our whims for plants and accessories in the marketplace area packed with booths hawking everything from antique botanical prints to cut pussy willow branches to the latest in gardening tools. No matter what our garden preference might be, this show always offers something to please.

Outside in my garden this week, traces of snow drifts and frost gave way to flurries and sometimes rain in the same day. Searingly cold blustery days alternated with highs in the so-called balmy 50s. But from inside the show, for a little while, it really didn't matter. The show took us far away, and we were happy to follow along for as long as we could stay.


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