Garden Diary - March 2011


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March


Friday, 4 March 2011
Behind the Scenes at the Philadelphia Flower Show - Setting Up the Show


Much of what goes on to create a display garden at the Philadelphia Flower Show begins months in advance. The garden is designed, hardscaping selected, and the chosen plants undergo the tricky business of coaxing not just bulbs but also perennials, shrubs, and trees into early bloom. It is a magical business, having lilacs and lilies, astilbes, hostas and iris, tulips and pansies all in perfect, simultaneous bloom. Then comes the tricky business of bringing everything to the convention center and fitting all the pieces together so they look like an established garden.

Can you make out the man working to arrange some plants behind the scrim.

A table full of paint pots

and a very long handled brush to paint the scrim as a backdrop for the garden.

Pallets of patio stones, boards and branches and bags of - I know not what - gravel, mortar, something needful.

Attention to detail. Touching up the paint of the boards edging the raised bed.

Building a landscape, all in a single day.

Pots of tulips

plunged into the soil and now unrolling sod to cover the raw dirt.

Let's see now . . . . . shrubs planted, tulips and hyacinths in, what comes next?

April in Paris is the theme. A little bourgeoise dwelling with window boxes and potted plants on the balcony,
skulls for the catacombs below the city. The disturbingly oven-like device is supposed to be an underground
cistern collecting rainwater through gutters and downspouts from the roof. I thought cisterns were kept in the attic
for gravity feed to the kitchen and bathrooms. Oh well, it's all fantasy, and most welcome too, as once again
with the magic and imagination of Philadelphia Flower Showwe can visit Spring in advance of its true arrival.

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