If the theme is "Holland, Flowering the World," you'd of course expect to see lots of tulips. But this year's Philadelphia Flower Show is much more: it's a celebration of Dutch Wave Design, the latest trend in sustainable, naturalistic gardens.
Three major proponents of the Dutch Wave style designed gardens for the show, and the one shown above, by landscape architect Nico Wissing, incorporates all of the main elements in his exhibit "Reconnection."
All the materials are natural, local, and sustainable, and as Nico explains, "The entire natural climate is positively influenced if we take account of biodiversity, climate adaptation, and the use of products and materials with a small ecological footprint in our own environment."
American-born Carrie Preston, of Holland's Studio Toop, has been designing in Holland for almost 20 years. Her exhibit evokes the "stinze" gardens that surround stately brick manor houses in the northern part of the country. "These estates are known for their unique plants communities of naturalizing bulbs," she says. And the design "marries Dutch cultural heritage -- embodied in brickwork and lacework -- with the exuberance of spring and raw American energy."
And a sustainable roof garden by designer Bart Hoes "highlights ways of being creative with the resources nature gives us," he says. "Growing vegetables, herbs, and grains in combination with spring bulbs and perennials creates a beautiful yet beneficial garden." There's also a narrow canal; lots of colorful tulips; a greenhouse; and a gutter system that collects rainwater for use within the garden.
At the entrance, you pass under a bridge and huge swathes of tulips into a typical Dutch Wave landscape, complete with windmills, thousands of dried hydrangeas hanging from the ceiling above, and just a little farther on, the Dutch Ecodome -- a geodesic sphere designed by Nico Wissing that's a showcase for Holland's green technologies.
It's a fabulous show this year -- many lessons for designers as well as homeowners, so don't miss it. Through March 19 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.