Friday, 15 March 2013

Five characteristics of Britain, illustrated through flowers

The charm of this year's Philadelphia Flower Show (the largest indoor flower show in the world) was the theme: Great Britain. It was fun for me not only to see the gorgeous displays, but also to get an inkling of what the US thinks about my home-turf.

Here were five themes of the flower show that really made me feel at home…

1. Rain

How many times have Americans asked me if it really rains every day in Britain? I've lost count. I always tell them "yes, every day, never a day without rain". Considering that the size of the UK stretches from Maine to North Carolina I'm probably not wrong.

2. The Beatles

Did you notice the Let it Be garden just there? Well it wasn't the only Beatle themed garden. My favorite setting of the whole show is this one just here. Can you guess the two songs?

3. (Childrens') Literature

There were two Alice in Wonderland gardens - this large setting here, and a smaller one with a topiary Cheshire Cat and White Rabbit. I also saw Jane Austen,  Sherlock, and Dracula. Some were better than others, and some relied very heavily on non-plant props. 

4. The Monarchy

From the moment visitors entered the grand hall in the PA Convention Center, they'd see it was a royal floral affair. The crown jewels were spectacular, and the dried flower portraits were stunning. Can you see Her Majesty making a sneaky appearance?

5. Tea

This one was subtle, but it was definitely there. Whether it was a hidden teapot in a bijou apartment deck garden, the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, or a simple cup of tea between innings (that's a cricket thing), my old nation's favorite drink could be found. 


  1. Wow, what a beautiful display! It looks idyllic. I loved the Hypoestes plant in the tea pot.

  2. That looks so fun - I love the tea gardens, especially the plant in the tea pot, I might have to remember that one myself for when I'm feeling green fingered.

  3. What a beautiful post!! Can you give me the answer to the Beatles'songs. Octopus' Garden I guess, but I don't know what the second one is. This post pretty much sums up what I think when I think of the UK. I would add Tesco, fish and chips, Alan Carr and all the different accents :).