As the nation’s largest and longest-running horticultural event, the Philadelphia Flower Show is an impressive and inspiring experience for all. This year’s theme was Holland: Flower the World featuring three Dutch designers who flew to America (with their gorgeous flowers) to create displays that capture the Dutch New Wave Movement, which encourages a sustainable approach to landscape design. Here are a few photos of the various exhibits this year.
To watch a video of the light show at the entrance, click here.
The most notable of the designers is Nico Wissing, who is seen as a ‘visionary in green’. His concepts revolve around the idea of reconnecting with nature in a way that allows everything to flourish in harmony together.
Most of the trends I’m sharing with you today are inspired byWissing’s designs. The Dutch Ecodome, a passion project by Wissing was created in the Netherlands last year to host the presidency of the European Union to discuss the future of Common Agricultural Policy. The Netherlands is the second largest exporter of agricultural products and one of the leaders and innovative thinkers in green technology (windmills, anyone?). The Dutch Ecodome is now traveling to share this vision of sustainability with the rest of the world.
Trend #1: Reconnect with Nature
Have you heard of grounding or earthing? Both are terms used to describe our bodies’ need to be connected with nature. This concept is something I’ve been exploring in order to help my body cope with the stress of everyday life. All you have to do is go walk outside in nature. The moment your bare feet touches grass the energy of the earth pulses into your body.
Today, our bodies are inundated with electromagnetic waves from Wi-Fi and other electronics, which build up positive electrons commonly known as free radicals in our body and can cause a host of health problems. In order to diffuse those electrons we need to get in contact with the earth, which has negative electrons to balance us out. In the olden days this was never an issue since most people worked outside (hunters/gatherers).
Studio Nico Wissing’s landscape design entitled “Reconnection” (pictured above) inspires us to do just that. Reconnect. The first time I saw the exhibit I almost passed right by it since I thought it was bland compared to the others but the more I looked at it the more brilliant it became. Wissing didn’t design a show stopper, he designed a practical living environment…for everything from the plants to the animals to people. The landscape was developed to use products and materials with a small ecological footprint. He focused more on texture than vibrant colors. Filling the ground space with fine moss and ornamental grasses. Weaved throughout the landscape was a wicker design made from willow stems that curved at points to allow for a person to sit on it. Wissing said this winding willow is like nature’s DNA strand but I also thought it was symbolic for the Dutch ‘Wave’ Movement.
A few of my favorite plants from Wissing’s exhibit include the Clematis ‘Duchess of Albany’ (pictured above), Blue Hyacinth, Silver Mound, Wormwood Powis Castle, and Big Blue Sea Holly.
Trend #2: Design with Purpose
The 2017 Flower Show didn’t just display beautiful gardens, the plants and natural architecture had a purpose beyond just being pretty. Take for example the Dutch Ecodome (pictured below). The 30-foot-high, plant-festooned, sphere had moss-covered panels engineered to filter vehicle exhaust from the air. The red and blue LED light was used for plant growth while still being energy efficient. Solar energy was also used in the dome to convert rain water into drinking water. The furniture was bio-based and the walls hosted climbing plants, herbs and other edible plants.
In Wissing’s landscape exhibit “Reconnection” the main structure is used as a gutter system that allows for stormwater to be collected to water the plants.
In Bart Hoes exhibit featuring city living roof gardens, Hoes highlights how to be creative with what nature gives us. The garden included vegetables, herbs and grains in combination with perennials.
Trend #3: Top Plants at the 2017 Flower Show
PHS (Pennsylvania Horticultural Society) has a Gold Medal section at the Flower Show that displays this year’s beautiful plants for zones 5-7. One in particular I wanted to highlight, the native Oakleaf Hydrangea is a full-color landscape plant that produces tiny white flowers that go to soft pink. Its leaves also turn beautiful colors in the fall.
With the dutch theme, popular flowers included colorful tulips, sweet smelling roses, daffodils, and clematis. Succulents also were in several vertical wall gardens surrounded by Dutch tiles and in Dutch shoes.
All photos were taken by me and if you would like to use them in an article, please credit my site DIY Home Health and link to this page.