A representation of a life-size ermine-edged cape worthy of the queen highlighted a display of royal accessories such as crowns and orbs created entirely of flowers.
Pressed-flower designs resembled elaborate and detailed paintings rather than the floral arrangements typically represented in this medium. They were created by amateurs, as were many of the entries in other classes.
The lines were longest at the miniature settings display. These remarkably detailed settings were 12 inches wide and 8 inches deep and viewed behind glass. A minuscule scene of an English courtyard behind a Tudor-timbered home wowed the visitors as they filed past, but the blue ribbon deservedly went to a greenhouse scene inspired by the Harry Potter books.
In it, Professor Sprout nurtured spellbinding plants labeled and resembling those described in the books in a realistically dirty greenhouse complete with utility sink and a cluttered, but charming glassed-in corner office. Impatient people waiting their turns at the window tended to edge viewers away before they could take in all the details.
Beyond the displays -- too numerous to process in only one visit -- stood row upon row of vendors selling items for gardening and landscaping. They offered everything from whimsical statuary to the most practical of garden tools.
In another hall, vendors tempted foot-weary visitors with such British cuisine as bangers and mash and fish and chips. Wine tastings and English teas offered further relaxation.
Guests also took a breather and learned something along the way in numerous classes and seminars. Students who attended one make-and-take seminar were instantly recognizable in the floral fascinators they created and wore. The headwear experienced renewed popularity when guests wore them at Prince William and Kate Middleton's royal wedding.
The show is indeed "Brilliant!" Next year's show is scheduled for March 1-9, with a theme to be announced.
Proceeds from the show help fund outreach programs of the Philadelphia Horticulture Society. Current outreach programs emphasize neighborhood greening efforts such as planting trees in urban areas, maintaining neighborhood parks and community gardens.
Tickets were priced at $27 for adults, $20 for students and $15 for children 2 and older. Ticket, lodging and travel packages were also available. For details, visit www.theflowershow.com.
Reach Julie Robinson at jul...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1230.