Sunshine from the Philadelphia Flower Show

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Even if you can’t make it this year, here’s a bunch of “take-aways” from the show to inspire your home inside and out.  From light fixtures to landscaping to ideas for kids, two hours at the show added at least seven new ideas for my project list!

Popping in for a rare weekend post on the off chance that, like me, you have a touch of The SAD.  I pretty much self-diagnosed myself with Seasonal Affective Disorder when I was 18, and I have to say– every. single. year for as long as I can remember I get the March blues.  It’s like spring is so darn close, and yet, so many jackets away.

Does anyone else have like 5 million jackets right now?  Some days are too warm for the heavy stuff, but too chilly for just a vest, or it’s raining so I need a rain jacket, but perhaps a fleece would be best.  And that’s all in one day.  Our coat hooks are ready to fall off the wall!

Here’s one of my favorite things about living in Philly: the annual flower show.  People flock from all around to visit, it’s the largest indoor flower show in the entire world.  That’s A LOT of spring cheer, my friends!  This year’s theme is one of my favorite places in the entire world– Hawaii.  Everything about the flower show this year was calling my name.

At first I thought I wouldn’t be able to go, but the planets (haha, I almost wrote plants) and childcare aligned and before I knew it I found myself on the train headed into the city for a few hours.

It is the same train and same train stop we used to take to see Noodle in the NICU.  I haven’t taken this particular train since then.  Needless to say, my stomach was in my throat– or is it vice versa?– and I was physically shaking as I drove to the station.  It’s amazing how memory can be so tied to our physical selves sometimes.

As usual, all it took was a good dose of pollen and a text to my BFF and I was on cloud 9 as soon as I walked through the door.  How could I not be?  Check out what awaited me at the entrance, a giant wave of flowers and water/fish images flowing overhead:

Since I was alone, and I went during the less-busy-but-still-totally-crowded time slot, I could scoot through the place in under two hours.  Most people spend the entire day there, but I was on a mission and stealth-like zipped through to grab as much sunshine as I could and still be back by the kids’ bedtime.

It was a challenge, but I forced myself to only shoot what I loved.  There is literally no room for a zillion photos of the flower show on my computer at this point.  Literally.  No exaggeration, I have 32, 805 photos on my computer right now.  My start-up disk is almost full, as it warns me every time I upload!  Amazingly I got out of the show with under 99 photos.

this little guy was part of the juried section, I do believe he won an award

“Take only pictures, leave only footprints.”

Okay, I might have let with more that just pictures.  The Marketplace was super fun.  😉

Oh don’t you worry, I bought a handful of those bingo balls.  And a few other things.  Shhhh…

Since it was Hawaii themed, you’d better believe there were orchids.

Colors so bright you had to wear shades:

And succulents, oh how lovely they were!

I was surprised to find much inspiration for my own home and yard despite the tropical theme.

Like, terrariums.

They were charging $14 for this hanging vase/terrarium.  Dude.  A Mason Jar plus heavy gauge wire and you’ve got one for about a dolla.  Holla!

And… fairy gardens.  I’m pretty much forcing Noodle to do this with me this year.


Check out the fake koi in the laquer pond.  At least, I’m hoping they were fake.  The entire scene was the size of a flower pot so I’m assuming no koi were harmed in the making of the mini-garden.


Sap buckets as light fixtures?  YES!  (boy, I used to have tons of sap buckets I picked up for a song in Maine.  Now that ‘industrial chic’ is in I bet the prices have gone up a bit!)

Wasn’t able to get a great photo of this, and the idea has been around forever, but it looked so pretty– old windows as cold frames to extend the time you can have an outdoor garden.

This was fancy.  Tomatoes overhead on a trellis.  The plants were in pots tucked inside metal tubes like the one on the left.

A wall of lettuce.  Puts my herb wall to shame!

Quick tip for amateur photographers:  I decided to only bring one lens with me, and it was my zoom lens.  It was the perfect choice– the light was bright enough I didn’t need a flash, I was able to get close-ups without people in them, and it made a nice bokeh with little effort.  Just my two cents, and keep in mind, I’m VERY amateur but it worked for me!

Obviously this is only a tiny fraction of what was at the show this year.  But that’s what I took away from it– easy ways to capture a bit of paradise in our own backyards.  On my to-do list this summer and fall?

  • make a few hanging mason jars
  • terrariums
  • plant new tulip and daffodil varieties
  • finally plant the azaleas I’ve been dreaming about
  • fairy garden with Noodle
  • revitalize my herb wall… hmmmm, lettuce wall?
  • plant succulents in nooks around our home and yard
Did you enjoy the tour?  See any neat ideas?  Were you able to go this year, and what did you think?  If not, who’s in for next year?!  On a sidenote, anyone else self-diagnose themselves with SAD this time of year?

Many thanks to Alan Jaffe and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society for providing a ticket for this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show.  It was, of course, spectacular.  For more information, be sure to visit their website.  And maybe next year I’ll see you at the show?

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