Flower Show brings Hawaii to Philadelphia

March 2, 2012 3:38:57 PM PST
As soon as visitors walk into the 2012 Philadelphia International Flower Show, they'll notice differences from previous shows. For on thing, they'll be greeted by a flower-filled, electroncially generated wave. Welcome to Hawaii!

The wave was being tested today, as hundreds of volunteers, florists and landscapers put the finishing touches on their displays. This year's flower show theme is Hawaii: Islands of Aloha.

Show Director Sam Lemhenney explains, "If you've never been to Hawaii, this is a really easy (way to experience it). No expensive plane tickets, you can come to the flower show for $27 and you can come to Hawaii."

The islands are known for beautiful orchids, so it makes sense that the Central Feature was designed by Waldor Orchids of Linwood, New Jersey.

It features a Tiki hut. a 30-foot waterfall, and tens of thousands of individually placed, precious blooms.

Joe Stepnowski was responsible for placing many of them. "It's just very rewarding when you see it from day one -- the concrete floor up to the total end, to the final end, as you see it now or at 3 o'clock this morning when its finally finished."

At the nearby display by the American Institute of Floral Design, volunteers were bringing a Fire and Water theme to life.

Volunteer Terry Unger explains, "They're kind of bringing the two sides together. We're actually making lava, out of carnations right now."

The show is also a big opportunity for the students from Saul Agricultural High School to get their hands dirty and be judged for their efforts.

For their display, they researched native Hawaiian flowers, and hand-carved a canoe and a Tiki god.

Saul Junior Andre Phy says, "We didn't really know what it would look like, because the plants are from Florida, so we can't have the plants together and hut together. This is the first, actually seeing it together and it's actually been better than we thought."

The Flower show opens to the public on Sunday. You can save by purchasing your tickets ahead of time online, and printing them out. Click here for more information.