Showing posts from October, 2012
The Grandest Flower Show- "The Philadelphia" Part 1- The Spectacle

For the last 5 years, I've had the honor of judging horticulture entries at the Philadelphia Flower Show. It is the grandest flower show in the New World, exceeded only by the Chelsea Show in London, and some of the Dutch floral exhibitions. The "Philly", as it is known locally, is held in March in a massive convention hall that covers 15 acres. The first impression as you walk into the hall is to gasp at the sheer magnitude of the show, the size of the exhibits, and the stunning complexity of the entire affair. Some of the landscape exhibits are larger than my backyard, yet the exhibits have been set up for less than a week. As your eyes scan to the distant walls, you see great display rifts of flowering bulbs, venerable hanging plants that have been well tended for many decades, and the Marrakesh that is made up of hundreds of vendors selling their garden wares. There are hundreds of plants ente…
Giants and Dwarfs- A Tale of Heliconias, Part 3
The "Mediums"

  As with so many plant groups, there is a wide range of sizes to choose from when planning a garden or selecting a plant for the landscape. This is especially true in Heliconias, where there are species as small as 2 feet, and as tall as 50 feet. In South Florida, we can grow a great many varieties of Heliconias, primarily limited by their tolerances to cold weather and windstorms. There are 2 basic growth types in the genus: running-rhizome and clumping-rhizome.

In this medium-size, non-running group, often comprised of the H. caribea and H.bihai  hybrid lineage, there are dozens and dozens of plants available which grow comfortably in the 7-14 foot height range. I would arbitrarily call these the "medium" height group, as opposed to the "giants", from 14 to 30 feet. 

This group is fairly easy to grow, the clumps of stems stay tight together without spreading too much, and the flowers are …