I went to the Philadelphia Flower Show on Wednesday because of the snow storm forecast for Thursday. So did everyone else. I experienced crowds that I hadn’t seen there for a few years. My daughter, Sigrid, went on Thursday, and texted me a picture showing the floor almost empty. Oh well, had I gone I’m not sure I would have enjoyed the road struggle getting home from the high speed line.  Also, I got to enjoy (?) today’s snow storm and the contrast between the two days!

Here’s the opening scene that greeted show arrivals and it was pretty punchy.  A nice welcome to the show, it made me think of a flower-bedecked Rose Bowl Parade float.  The show theme was movies with an emphasis on the work of Disney and Pixar Studios, and I think that it was well executed and well carried throughout the show.  Full disclosure:  I’m a movie enthusiast, particularly with the work one sees on Turner Classic Movies.  Nevertheless I was impressed with the creativity shown in the exhibits.

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Conversely, here’s an opening scene for Thursday’s snow storm.  Yes, there’s a difference.


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Here was a large screen on which snippets of famous movies played from time to time with an imaginative sculpture of film and camera in front of it.  This scene:  Bogart saying goodbye to Bergman in the closing scenes of Casablanca.  “Here’s looking at you, kid.”  Made in 1942 I wonder how many who saw this could relate.  Not enough flash-bang to appeal to modern audiences.

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The movies theme was repeated in exhibits throughout the show floor.  I don’t know if these chandeliers were intentional but they certainly made me think of 1977’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  Not a pleasant thought as I always thought it was veeerry dumb from a science fiction point of view.  Richard Dreyfus shoveling dirt into his house, subconsciously trying to recreate Devils Tower?  Anyway, a space ship arrives there eventually and it was shaped something like this:

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Back to reality the next day, this was the kind of color (?) and drama that we had to deal with.  As I walked along here I kept stepping into troughs of slush,  the residue of yesterday’s temperatures in the 40’s and rain.

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One of the flower show exhibits could only be viewed through eye holes in the walls around the exhibit.  Inside were mystical sculptures illuminated with black light.  Pretty and interesting.

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The next day we also had sculptures, stark, cold, and not nearly as attractive but, perhaps, more dramatic.

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 Back on the show floor, Hollywood, the home of the stars was evoked with this handsome star on one of the commercial booths.  A booth for horticultural wares?  No, sorry, we’re selling being a middleman on your electric bills.  Anyhow, the star was striking and pretty.

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Well, were there any flowers at the flower show?  Of course there were.  Here’s a collection from the entrance exhibit which will also wind up in my place mat series.

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Not to be outdone, our snow day also included some flowers.

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  1. Bonnie Says:

    Very nice Ralph. You really captured some of the best of the flower show.

    • Ralph Berglund Says:

      Thanks, Bonnie. Of course there was so much more to see, but photograph, I’m not sure. One is overwhelmed with the phones and pads taking pictures. What do they do with them? I asked a woman who was doing rapid-fire shooting, what was she going to do with them all. She answered that she’d put them on her computer “like everyone else” and look at them once in a while. I guess that’s fine.

  2. eajackson Says:

    I have never been to the flower show as indoors and lots of people are not my thing. Thanks to you I still got to see some of what I am missing. Love the snow image with the fence and road leading away. Stay warm

  3. Ken Curtis Says:

    I liked your last photo best.

  4. Gene Ann Hook Says:

    beautiful photos in contrast… nice color and Black & white idea ending in the ‘bright spot’

  5. Del Cannon Says:

    It looks like the flower show has changed, I liked it the way it was in the past. The snow shots are beautiful. It has been a tough winter for you, but I like the snow pics.

  6. agoldensmile Says:

    I loved the contrast between warm and cold, color vs b&w, winter vs summer. The last window pic is my favorite.

  7. MikeP Says:

    Perfectly contrasted… I can be drawn to both worlds, flowers or the absence of them. I did find the quiet solitude of being out in the storm very challenging. That last shot sure did bring it all together… and glad you did not try and travel on Thursday.

  8. Rich Lewis Says:

    You did something like this last winter and I loved it. This is even better because I always think of the flower show as being one of the harbingers of spring and now this year winter seems to be over staying its welcome so the contrasts you hare sharing are quite stunning. I love that last photograph by the way. It sort of says it all and you placed it well in your post.

  9. Jeanne Says:

    I agree with the others. The last picture was best. But the concept was perfect. Today, Friday is wonderfully beautiful with powderpuffs of snow on every branch. We’re looking forward to Spring but have enjoyed the snow.

  10. fiebs Says:

    Ralph, I love the concept & execution of contrasts in this post. I haven’t been to the Flower Show in ages, but it looks like a theme I would’ve enjoyed, so it’s nice to experience it vicariously. I cracked up over the Close Encounters of the Third Kind exhibit and your comments. My favorite is the snowy road. Enjoyable read!

    • Ralph Berglund Says:

      There’s a lot about Close Encounters that I think is stupid; it’s hard to believe that it was Spielberg’s work. Nice to have a vote for the snowy road. I liked it as well.

  11. denisebushphoto Says:

    Fun post Ralph! Thank you for bringing me to the Flower Show in the comfort of my warm home.

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