Last week I went to the Philadelphia Flower Show for the first time ever! Who knew! This trip should have been on that old bucket list of mine. I went because my good friend Karen Upton asked me to go. She and several other Behnke alumni were going, and it sounded like a great idea. Then I found out my cousin, Jeanne and my Aunt Ele Behnke were also going with their friends, so I knew we were going to have a great time on the bus.
Bus?? Kathy Jentz from Washington Gardener Magazine organizes a bus trip to the show each year, and one of the groups departs from our garden center. Kathy does a great job of running this trip: greeting us with a smile, a gnome button, a seat assignment and a goody bag filled with all sorts of gifts, coupons and information. Once on the bus, she shared information about the show and what to expect when we got there. (Kathy had already been up twice before that week). She shared her tips to get the most out of the show, going over the map in detail so that newbies like me would know where to go. Once the business end was done, raffles were held and then came lunch from Panera Bread! YUM! As we got closer to Philadelphia we were given information about where to meet for dinner and for our return bus trip home.
Once at the show, the girls and I quickly made our way to the doorway that Kathy described, to get the BIG EFFECT moment when you walk in and go ohhhhhhhh! Beautiful. This year’s show was themed “Holland: Flowering the World,” and the first thing we saw was a beautiful bridge brimming full of flowers! Walk under it and look up and you spied blue Delft tiles along with patches of green. Further in we went, checking out the displays, the plants, and of course all the bulbs that had been forced into blooming just for this show! Color, bikes and windmills were everywhere. If I had to make a choice, I would have to say that the doorways displays were my very favorite…No, maybe it was the large vendor market filled with great things to buy. No wait, the tiny windows we looked into to see miniature gardens were my favorite. Actually I think the the ‘People Display’ topped them all. Heads that had the coolest arrangements ever in them.
But in reality, the best part of the trip was being with my friends for the day. Eating ‘real’ steak subs at the Reading Terminal Market across the street from the show. Laughing at memories from 30 years or more ago. And just taking in the beauty of the day. I hope if you have never been to this show, you find a way to attend next year–I understand it will be all about water features! Consider traveling up with Kathy and her bus trip: it’s fun, and it takes all the hassle out of getting there.
by Stephanie Fleming, Behnke’s Vice President