Thursday, March 8, 2007

Flower Show

Well, I made it to the Flower Show. Z. climbed into our bed and kept me up a couple hours overnight, then woke up for good an hour later, at 5:30, so the day did not start well. However, A. rescued it by going in late to work so that she could take Z. to day care. I took a nice long bath, then dealt with the fallout from my porous brain (the Scholastic rep was on her way--oops, didn't write that one down in the right place--but my general manager knows more about kids and young adult titles than I do, so I authorized her to make the order: 50 to 80 copies of Harry Potter, coming in July!) By 10:35, I was on the regional rail, heading to Market East and the Convention Center.

I used to ride that train daily, or nearly, when I worked downtown. Now I work next door, so my commute no longer involves public transit, but the years when I did ride made the scenery bone-familiar. For most of the length of the trip it's a long line of factories--desiccated husks of factories--covered in grafitti, windows cracked, weeds growing along the railroad cut. Maybe a few factories have come down over the years, but otherwise the biggest gentrification project that's happened along that corridor in the 8 years I've known it has been the opening of a facility for juvenile offenders. And that was more than 5 years ago. So I went down to the Flower Show contemplating urban ruin. And I came back doing the same.

But while I was there: another world. What a marvelous, goofy institution we have in Philadelphia, and it's probably not what you think if you've never been. Yes, there is the part where perfect orchids and African violets and windowbox arrangements get a ribbon, and there is the part where you can buy 2 dozen roses or a bundle of pussy willow, but the real point is exhibits that have much more in common with Disneyland. These are actual--but temporary--gardens, created indoors for one week. They are bigger than some backyards, planted with trees, grass, and flowers all way ahead of season, complete with walls and paved paths and ponds and fountains. There are gardens with houses, gardens with arches, gardens all ready for a wedding. This year the theme was Ireland, so there were many leprechauns (and I learned my daily leprechaun limit is about 4), Irish dancers and musicians performing on the hour, and one fantastic garden with a reasonably convincing (though miniature) ruined chapel.

I also loved the little exhibit on greening your home (by its very nature this is an event of enormous waste, so the irony was not lost) which showed a doghouse with a green roof.

I think my mom enjoyed it more than I did, and I thought it was pretty great. And also, I got to spend a day with my mom (Hi, mom!) just wandering around and talking. Very nice.


Anonymous said...

Hi, "S". I thought yesterday was a great day - a perfect escape from work, cold weather, and general reality. And I agree the best part was just having time to hang out together with no responsibilities for anyone else. My 25 roses (only $9.95 at the Flower Show!)are in vases in various parts of the house as a cheery reminder of our jaunt. Mom

S. said...

Hi Mom! I'm glad the flowers made it home safe and sound. --s.