DelVal Flower Show display wins five awards

Credit: Delaware Valley College. DelVal’s exhibit, “2139: The Rising Tide of Urbanism,” won five awards at the Philadelphia Flower Show.

Mar 10, 2015

Delaware Valley College students gain hands-on experience each year building a display for the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society’s Philadelphia Flower Show, the largest and longest-running indoor flower show in the world. DelVal’s exhibit took home five awards this year including The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Gold Medal in Education.  The display also won the Chicago Horticultural Society Flower Show Medal, the Bulkley Medal of the Garden Club of America, a Special Achievement Award from the Garden Club Federation of Pennsylvania in Conservation and the PHS Sustainability Award.

The 2015 Flower Show “Celebrate the Movies,” gave floral and garden designers a chance to interpret movies through their displays. The Show ran Saturday, Feb. 28 through Sunday, March 8 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

DelVal’s exhibit, “2139: The Rising Tide of Urbanism,” showed Philadelphia in the year 2139 and imagined how people might adapt to living on the city’s rooftops after the polar ice caps have melted.

“We embraced ways to produce food while showing a habitat for nature and inhabitable spaces for humans,” said Michael Fleischacker, assistant professor and chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Sciences

The display incorporated fish, floating islands with food growing on them and moving water that drained off of the rooftops and splashed into an alley. The team also created a balcony, which took viewers five feet off of the show floor so they were able to see the show from above.

Rising Tide of Urbanism

Credit: Delaware Valley College. DelVal's award-winning display "2139: The Rising Tide of Urbanism."

Fleischacker said the team always tries to create interactive, educational experiences so that Flower Show guests can go into the displays, not just read about them.

Students from the College’s landscape architecture and environmental sciences department help design, build and staff the exhibit each year.

“We start right at the beginning of fall semester with the design and really, with the design you’re already starting to think about how to build it,” said Fleischacker. “We drove the first nail in October.”

The team building the display was made up of students from DelVal’s Flower Show course, which has four students in it this year, other student volunteers, staff, alumni volunteers and faculty. Students in the Flower Show course are required to be part of the whole process and are graded on everything from the construction stage to being at the show to staff the exhibit.

DelVal Flower Show set up team

Credit: Delaware Valley College. DelVal students gain hands-on experience designing and building a display for the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society's Philadelphia Flower Show each year. The Flower Show was on display February 28 through March 8 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. From left: DelVal Assistant Professor Howard Eyre, Bill Kloos '16, Ian Riley '14, Patrick Dugan '10, Wes Franken '15, William Fox '15, Patrick McDonough '17, Salvatore Indelicato '17 and Volunteer Ed Hotham.

“I love participating because I’ve been coming to the Flower Show for the past nine years, so, to be able to be a part of it is pretty awesome,” said Patrick McDonough ’17, a student in the Flower Show course. “The four of us brainstormed ideas for the design, went through a few drafts and had a hand in building all of this.”

For more information please visit: Proceeds from the Flower Show support the work of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.