Miniature Gardening at the Philadelphia Flower Show, Part 1

Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Garden Demonstration & Book Signing

Yours Truly, me, Janit Calvo, doing a miniature garden demonstration at the Philadelphia Flower Show on my Gardening in Miniature book tour. The Philly Show was my holy grail. What’s next? Get me to the Chelsea Garden Show! Lol!

Miniature Gardening at the Philadelphia Flower Show, Part 1

I am very pleased to be reporting in from the Philadelphia Flower Show today and bring you a review of the popular Miniature Setting exhibit. I’m pretty sure it was the busiest exhibit at the show with a constant line-up of people shuffling through to see in the dozen window boxes. Up until now, I’ve only seen pictures of it and didn’t realize how much fun they had with the idea. In this post and in the next, I hope to share some of the things that surprised and delighted me.

Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Garden Settings

The line-ups around the Miniature Settings Exhibit were one of the biggest, constant lines in the show.

I also had the opportunity to meet the Vice-Chair, Louise Krasneiwicz and Chair of the exhibit, Ron Hess and his wife, Katy. What. A. Treat. Louise was gracious host and, not only gave me the inside scoop/tour on the Miniature Settings exhibit, she helped with me with the logistics of my talk, turned into my rhodie and my photographer. (She is SO hired!) Afterwards, we unconsciously sought out every miniature garden and plant in the show – honestly, we had no agenda, we just did –  Lol! What fun surprise to meet a kindred spirit!

Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Garden Settings

The exhibit is roughly 25′ long by 12′ wide – my guess-timate. Windows are framed nicely and cleaned of nose-prints several times a day.

A Little About the Philly Flower Show

If you’ve never been, the Philadelphia Flower Show is the oldest and biggest flower show in the nation, if not the world. Founded in 1827 by America’s first horticultural society, the Philadelphia Horticultural Society, the show is now 33 acres big with the garden exhibit space taking up a good 10 acres of that, in the Pennsylvania Convention Center in downtown Philly.

It’s a bit different than our Northwest Flower and Garden Show, with more attention given to individual gardeners and artists to participate and show off their growing skills and creativity. At the NWFGS, it is all professionals exhibiting – but, hey, the PHS has had a little, teeny bit of a head start in developing their program, eh?

Enough of the talk, lets get to the photos! I’m not going into a lot of detail right now because there is so much to say and, well, you know me! Next Your Miniature Garden Centerweek, I’ll walk through my favorites and we can really have a good look and discussion about the plants too.

Oh, and all the plants are real – which was a surprise to me. When I first looked into this show years ago, I remember a lot of the plants being artificial, but the rules have always been, you must have at least eight rooted plants and the display scale is 1 inch = 1 foot. Click to enlarge the photo.

Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Garden Settings

Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Garden Settings – The Studio Boat by Paul & Nancy Hannum & the Norristown Garden Club.

Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Garden Settings

Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Garden Settings -Painters’ Duel in Collioure, France by K Bright & SK Sullivan.

Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Garden Settings

Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Garden Settings -The Lady of Shalott, by Deb & Jim Mackie.

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Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Garden Settings

Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Garden Settings – Mythical Hanging Gardens of Babylon by Pamela Goldman.

Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Garden Settings

Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Garden Settings – Master of Suspense: The Birds by Louise Krasniewicz – left side.

Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Garden Settings

Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Garden Settings – Master of Suspense: The Birds by Louise Krasniewicz – right side. We’ll see more details in a later blog.

Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Garden Settings

Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Garden Settings – Frida Kahlo – An Artful Life by Barbara Campbell & Georgianna S. Hoffmann.

Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Garden Settings

Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Garden Settings – Gavin’s Masterpiece by CKP.

Join us for more miniature gardening!

Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Garden Settings

Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Garden Settings – Hepworth: The Modern Stone Age by Lori Anne Currall.

Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Garden Settings

Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Garden Settings – Wright Beside Them by Nancy Grube.

Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Garden Settings

Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Garden Settings – Living with Keith Haring by Ronny Smith

Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Garden Settings

Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Garden Settings – Workshop of the Maestro by Beverly Sue Palaia.

Unique and unusual miniature garden accessories, kits, plants and more.

Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Garden Settings

Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Settings – A Sculpture Garden by Christine Donahower, Craiger Drake & Maryalice Cheney.

It’s The Same, But Different

Note that this type of miniature gardening is different than what we normally do here at The Mini Garden Guru blog and Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center. Our miniature gardens can last for years, the plants in this display are meant to last for days and some plants are switched out during the show because they reach for the light too quickly, or crash under the stress. It’s a different set of “problems” for the miniature gardener to solve. (We love problems, they bring opportunity for creative invention!)

After the book tour when things settle down I want to go more in-depth about how our fellow MGs in Philadelphia grow and nurture their plants for this 8-day show. In the meantime, hop on over to Louise’s blog, aka Dr. K, Flower Show Miniature Setttings, The Dirt on Putting one Together… And stay tuned next week: we’ll go more in-depth about our favorite Miniature Settings display.

So, every display got a 1st, 2nd, 3rd place or Honorable Mention ribbon, but which one do you think won Best in Show? Leave it in the comments below and please don’t spoil it for the others if you know.

Inspired to make your own living miniature garden? See what’s up in the store this week. Our miniature garden plant and accessory inventory fluctuates from week to week. Click-in here.

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6 Comments »

  1. Kathy Moore said

    Thank you for sharing!! I’m going to vote for the Hanging Gardens!!

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    • Hi Kathy! That’s the one that I would have picked as well – absolutely fabulous! But it was the Wright Beside Them by Nancy Grube – the one looking into the brick living room. I had to remind myself it’s a “Miniature Settings” exhibit, not a “Miniature Garden Settings” exhibit. Lol!

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  2. […] year was to invite Janit Calvo to give a talk on miniature gardening. Speaking to a large crowd (you can see more photos and her account of the talk on her blog) Janit put together a miniature garden in a large pot in less than 45 minutes, explaining along the […]

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  3. Irene Foss said

    My vote goes to the “Hanging Gardens” It is so beautiful. I love the blue tile work on the left, The long hall, and I can see a smilling face at the end of the hall (the creaters face?) Outstanding use of colors in the background and forground. The use of the plants are perfect. The sizes of the plants are just right for the size of the garden.

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  4. […] Here’s part 1 of this review! […]

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  5. […] I finally saw the gorgeous miniature displays in person last year, I realized it was completely different than the type of miniature gardening that I have taught for […]

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