Flower show playing to big crowds in Philly

March 4, 2008 1:16:35 PM PST
The Philadelphia Flower Show is not known for its subtlety. Bromeliads, magnolias, orchids and lilacs in eye-popping colors spill from balconies for the show's New Orleans-themed settings.

But look beyond the show-offs, and you'll see something subtler: an emphasis on minimalism and all things green.

Design director Sam Lemheney says trends include using more native or noninvasive plant material with minimal maintenance. Also, there are roofs covered with hardy plants to provide insulation and decrease runoff water.

Forward-thinking landscape architects are also embracing the idea of sustainability. That includes using reclaimed, nonchemically treated wood and stones excavated during other construction projects.

The Philadelphia Flower Show runs through March 9.