Art of Aging: Flower show exhibitor

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Meet a man who's been exhibiting in the Philadelphia Flower Show for nearly four decades.

Meet a man who's been exhibiting in the Philadelphia Flower Show for nearly four decades.

Walter Fisher's Bryn Mawr basement is brimming with bulbs.

"This is a parrot tulip. It's called Rococo and it's my favorite," he said.

Which makes the theme of this year's Flower Show Holland: Flowering the World, right up his alley.

The 86-year-old tends to his flowers with a mix of science and art.

"The tulips like classical music," said Fisher.

Coupled with meticulous care and record-keeping.

"I put down the date that I planted it, the date that I've taken it from the refrigerator. I keep notes on the temperature of the refrigerator. So I have records that go back 20, 30 years, said Fisher.

But Fisher's passion for gardening flowered decades earlier in the 1940s.

He added, "I was a teenager during the war. So we had a victory garden and we grew all sorts of vegetables."

He got a job in a greenhouse and attended his first flower show in 1945.

"Some of the flower distributors would give tickets. They were worth a buck as I remember," said Fisher.

He took some time off from gardening to go to college and serve in the Korean War but by the 1960s, he was back to growing.

"I love it," said Fisher.

And has been a member of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society ever since.

"And have gone to every Flower Show since that time," adds Fisher.

He started entering his prized bulbs in 1979.

And though he's won hundreds of blue ribbons, he says the show is about much more than competition.

"There's a whole culture and a lot of hugging and kissing, and shaking hands, and seeing people I haven't seen for a while. And it's just a thrill," said Fisher.

A chance to show off his own hard work and marvel at others.

For more stories about seniors, visit our Art of Aging section.

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