Philadelphia International Flower Show 2012 - Hawaii: Islands of Aloha


The Philadelphia International Flower Show takes place every year in March; it is the largest indoor exhibition of its type in the world. It is a competitive event produced by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, with plant enthusiasts from around the globe vying for ribbons in almost 600 categories. The show is so well known that Saturday Night Live recently mentioned it in a sketch about what it would be like if Ricky Gervais hosted events other than the Golden Globe Awards.

On Saturday, March 3, the Philadelphia International Flower Show held its black tie preview party at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. For this year's Flower Show the theme is Hawaii: Islands of Aloha, so attendees received colorful leis as they entered the reception.  Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres were served as guests enjoyed a sneak peek at the show's features including the Orchid Wave - a sculptural walk-through exhibit that surrounded viewers with projections of waves, sea turtles and fish - massive displays of tropical flora, and a 25 foot waterfall.

A.D. (my husband) and I spent a lot of time admiring the exotic plants. My favorite entry in the entire show was the Nopalxochia phyllanthoides ‘Deutsche Kaiserin’, commonly known as the "Pond Lily Cactus" (shown above). A.D. was partial to the Veltheimia bracteata, also known as the "Forest Lily" (shown at right). Both of the award-winning specimens were from the greenhouses of socialite and philanthropist Mrs. Samuel M.V. Hamilton aka Dorrance "Dodo" Hamilton, a legendary exhibitor.

Philadelphia Style Magazine hosted a separate party inside of the party for their current cover model, designer Tory Burch. She wore an elegant long dress with bugle beads and a handkerchief hem. Publicist Nicole Cashman was flawless in a black and white patterned chiffon gown, and the best shoes of the evening were patent leather oxfords worn by a man my husband introduced to me as "Jimmy" - I later found out he was stylist James Glenn, who is known for luxury accessories.

My always-dashing husband wore a Gucci tuxedo with a scarf tie. I wore a vintage dress that my Mother gave me; she first wore it in the 1950s (she used to let me try it on when I was so young it fit me like a too-long gown).  The dress is red hibiscus-colored taffeta with a matching chiffon overlay. You can see photos of us separately below, and HughE Dillon snapped a photo of us together for

A.D. and I left the party a little early to dine at Le Bec-Fin and wish Chef Georges Perrier well on his last night in his world-famous restaurant - I'll tell you about that in my next post.


2012 Philadelphia International Flower Show
Pennsylvania Convention Center
12th & Arch Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19107-2299

Sunday, March 4 – Sunday, March 11, 2012
For ticket info and hours click here

Photos of plants by Reese Amorosi aka Glamorosi 
Photo of Reese Amorosi by A.D. Amorosi

To read A.D.'s Flower Show review in Philadelphia City Paper click here.

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