Friday, March 1, 2013

A Breath of Spring

Winter seems to last forever in New England.  My father once told me that spring comes to New England two weeks later than to Philadelphia.  Wouldn't we all love a breath of spring right now? Philadelphia is about to enjoy it - The Philadelphia Flower Show is opening it's doors this weekend with a  British 'Brilliant' theme.

Photo from the Philadelphia Flower Show Website

The Philadelphia Flower Show is a trip down memory lane for me.  My cousin, Bruce Robertson, told me my grandfather had participated and won a medal for his entry in what was then called The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society in 1906.

The Pennsylvania  Horticultural Society held it's first exhibition in 1827.  At that time the focus was on single plants,shrubs, flowers and trees, the exhibitor's prized specimens..  Today, The Philadelphia Flower Show has grown into the largest flower show in the world having over 250,000 visitors annually with the most breathtakingly beautiful displays.

I remember when I was young, spending hours at the convention center where the Flower Show was to be held.  That year, the theme must have been roses and our family business was creating a back  courtyard.  A used brick pathway with grass on either side meandered up to a white trellis arch, covered with pink and white climbing  roses.  

This was the entrance to a brick terrace, surrounded by a  privet hedge of boxwoods.  At the far side, there was a facade of a house with French doors opening to the courtyard.  White wrought iron furniture was arranged as seating and dining in preparation for a garden party.
Gorgeous varieties of pink and white roses were in pots, urns and climbing or cascading throughout. 

           I can still feel the excitement and smell the fragrances I experienced as a child that day.

The gift of horticulture and design which began with my grandfather is still present in the Robertson family.  We are a group of  designers, writers, poets and artists who love to have our hand in the soil.  The store, he founded almost 100 years ago is thriving.  Robertson's are still taking part in the Philadelphia Flower Show and winning prizes.  Their exhibit this year, I'm sure will be simply 'Brilliant'!

                                          Photo from Robertson's Flowers Blog with bench dedicated to my grandfather

For us in Boston, we must wait another two weeks for our breath of spring and the Boston Flower Show.

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