Garden Photo of the Day

Philadelphia Flower Show: Holland

By Kim Charles

Kevin Kelly takes us on a journey to Holland via some amazing displays at the Philadelphia Flower Show.

"Good morning, fellow GPODers. Yes, I finally was able to make it to the Philadelphia Flower Show. The entire event this year was quite a challenge. The day I was scheduled to attend, we were hit with 19 inches of snow, which cancelled transportation out of Harrisburg (I take the train). My next day off work was Sunday, which was the last day of the show. As you know, I planned to meet Rhonda (fellow GPOD and gardener extraordinaire). She had surgery on her hand on Wednesday, but felt well enough to travel on Sunday. I met her and 2 of her wonderful children. We had a great time at the show. The train back to Harrisburg was delayed for 1 hour (and then experienced further delays at each station). The 95 minute trip took almost 3 hours. The train was very crowded. I had the “pleasure” to have a drunken person sit next to me. He passed out, then threw up multiple times in the aisle. Nothing good comes easy!

Hope you enjoy the pictures. Kevin."

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  1. user-6536305 04/24/2017

    Well, Kevin, what a trip!! Nice photos. Are these real blue tulips? Thanks for sharing.

    1. user-7007498 04/24/2017

      Lilian, they forced the bulbs in water dyed blue

      1. Chris_N 04/26/2017

        I was going to ask the same thing.

        1. User avater
          LindaonWhidbey 04/26/2017

          Me, too.

        2. user-7007498 04/26/2017

          The tulips were cool. They are a white cultivar. I was amazed how evenly the flowers took up the dye from the roots.

  2. user-7007498 04/25/2017

    Good morning. I hope that Kim will attach these photos to the email on Tuesday. I noticed they appeared on Monday afternoon. The last photo is with me and Rhonda (a.k.a. One armed gardener). I hope you enjoy them.


    Miniature scene (18 by 24 inches) behind glass

    Charming warming with a great hat

    Arch with orchids planted in galvanized buckets overhead and a border of orchids on each side

    1. user-6536305 04/25/2017

      Lovely bonus photos. Thanks for sharing. You two looks lovely in the last photo.

      1. user-7007498 04/25/2017

        Thanks, Lilian. An email linking this post never went out, so most of GPOD doesn't know this post exists. I might mention it in tomorrow's post.

    2. frankgreenhalgh 04/25/2017

      Great pics. Kev. - nice to see you and Rhonda together. You deserve a medal for the challenges you encountered. Cheers, Frank

      1. user-7007498 04/26/2017

        Hey, Frank. How are things down under? Are your temps starting to drop? How did your garden do this summer?

        As you can see, NOTHING will keep me from my annual excursion to the Flower Show. It is my first whiff of spring, and keeps me going until my garden wakes up and explodes with beauty. I can even handle a puking drunk.

        1. frankgreenhalgh 04/26/2017

          Hey Kev. - The autumnal weather has been great. There is a slight chill in the mornings and we then have sunny days (70 F) with little wind. It is my favourite time of the year. Unfortunately, I couldn't visit the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (bit of poetic licence there) in late March this year. It is held in our Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens, which were completed in1880 for Melbourne's first international exhibition. I'll take some pics next year and post on GPOD.
          Our garden survived well over summer, and lovely autumn colours are just starting to appear on our deciduous plants. Cheers, Frank

        2. frankgreenhalgh 04/27/2017

          OK Kev. - Here is another pic. of autumn/fall down under. This time a coastal park near us. Regards

          1. User avater
            meander_michaele 04/27/2017

            Ha, that is so darned beautiful, Frank, now you are just showing off! Just teasing!

          2. frankgreenhalgh 04/27/2017

            Just shining a bit of light down under, Michaele. OK a bit of showing off in there as well my friend - I cannot put anything past you!

          3. User avater
            meander_michaele 04/28/2017

            We are all the better for having true beauty in our lives...even if it comes to us via a picture from across the globe.

          4. user-7007498 04/27/2017

            Great picture, Frank. Love the light streaming through the tree.

  3. tennisluv 04/25/2017

    OMG Kevin, what a crusade you undertook to get to the Philadelphia Flower Show. But, from the pictures you shared, perhaps it was worth it. I did a 'wait a minute' when I saw the blue tulips. Hybridizers are doing such amazing things with plants these days, that for a moment I thought they were a new variety, Thanks for clarifying they had been dyed. But the riot of colors from all the other tulips and flowers was astounding (I bet even more so when you and Rhonda were there given the snow ya'll just experienced) and almost made the blue color believable. Thanks for sharing your pictures. Nice to actually see two of our fellow bloggers.

    1. user-7007498 04/25/2017

      Sonya, glad you enjoyed the photos. It was quite a trip getting there this year. Had fun with Rhonda.

      The "blue" tulips were fun.

  4. User avater
    treasuresmom 04/25/2017

    Wow! High 80's here and snow there? Is this usual for your area?

    1. user-7007498 04/25/2017

      The photos were from March 19th. Kim had a punch of submissions to get through before she could get mine posted.

  5. User avater
    meander_michaele 04/25/2017

    So glad that you and Rhonda were able to make the show and get that adrenaline shot of spring fever and fervor. Looks like there was lots of fun stuff to see although you paid a price with that nightmare trip home. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

    1. user-7007498 04/25/2017

      Thanks, Michaele. Hope you enjoyed the photos. It was definitely the most interesting train ride I ever had.

  6. Meelianthus 04/26/2017

    Hi Kevin ~ Just found your garden show photos, what an unusual and exciting adventure (minus the pukey guy, I mean really!). So glad you were able to go as it is always a thrill to see all of the beautiful displays at any garden show. T hanks for sharing your photos.

    1. user-7007498 04/26/2017

      Thanks, Linda. It is fun to get inspired, especially in March before my own garden wakes up. I know you attended the PNWF&G this year. Hope it was awesome. Attending it is on my bucket list.

      1. Meelianthus 04/27/2017

        It really is a tremendous show with so many outstanding displays and there is a fantastic 'market place' to stroll thru and unfortunately spend a lot of money! Hopefully you will be able to attend some day.

  7. Chris_N 04/26/2017

    Glad you made it despite the trials. Thanks for the photos.

  8. chelleisdiggin 04/26/2017

    Beautiful pics, Kevin! I've always loved tulips. The picture of the yellows at the edge of the pond made me laugh out loud. (I miss my pond and my fish, so.) It certainly proves that you can create anything your mind can envision with plants in your garden.

    1. user-7007498 04/26/2017

      Thanks. Glad you got a smile out of the pictures.

  9. Maggieat11 04/26/2017

    Kevin, so glad you mentioned having posted these photos. They are lovely and good reminders of a wonderful show. I am glad you and Rhonda were finally able to get there. Last weekend, I attended the Plant Symposium in Woodstock, VT. Maybe you could attend that next year. It is arranged by Kerry Mendez of "Perennially Yours" and it is just fabulous! Great lectures, excellent venue and food, exceptional vendors, lots of gardeners and a terrific time!

    1. user-7007498 04/26/2017

      Sounds like fun, Margaret. I have heard Kerry speak a few times, she is quite enjoyable. I have thought about going up to that conference a few time, just haven't made it happen so far.

  10. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 04/26/2017

    I'm so glad you made it, Kevin and Rhonda. Thanks for including a great pic of yourselves. Looks like a great time, despite the snow and vomit!

    1. user-7007498 04/26/2017

      Quite the experience, but worth it in the end. See what you missed.

  11. sheila_schultz 04/26/2017

    You are one determined gardener, Kevin. It looks like the show was well worth the trip although in the future you might consider a change of wardrobe... maybe a hazmat suit??? Seriously, it had to be a delight to finally have the opportunity to meet up with Rhonda and to take in all the fun ideas one can pick up from a F & G show. You'll definitely have to check out the PNWF&G show in the future. It's always a delight! Thanks for the great photos!

    1. user-7007498 04/26/2017

      The train was so crowded, standing room only. I had found a storage cabinet to sit on. It was terrible when he sat next to me. I really thought he was going to drop over and die (then I was picturing having to do CPR). I overhead a friend of his call earlier, so I knew what stop he was getting off at. He had almost passed out after the vomiting. When we reached his stop, I just knew I had to get him off the train.All worked out in the end.

  12. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 04/26/2017

    Hi Kevin. Thanks for mentioning this today as I've been waiting to hear about the show.
    Did you attend any good lectures? We just heard a funny story about some travelers bringing back tulip bulbs from the Netherlands and the customs agent was about to take them away when he noticed that they were grown right here in the Skagit Valley. Apparently, WA now produces more tulip bulbs than they do:) So nice that you and Rhonda could meet up. Here is a recent photo of the tulip fields here this year.

    1. user-7007498 04/26/2017

      Hi, Linda. Great story about the bulbs. The picture is so beautiful. What a great production field. Must be beautiful to see.

    2. User avater
      meander_michaele 04/27/2017

      What a fun factoid about Washington state producing more tulip bulbs than the Netherlands. With that in mind, are there lots of tulip festivals and such where extra interesting and displays are open to the public?

      1. Sunshine111 04/27/2017

        See my post above!

        1. User avater
          meander_michaele 04/27/2017

          Oh, my goodness, Lily, what amazing displays. I can't even begin to imagine the work that goes into planting all those bulbs. Last fall, I had ordered one of those premixed color "Rembrandt" (or some such artsy name) tulip collections and it felt like a big deal to me to get those 100 bulbs in the ground.

      2. User avater
        LindaonWhidbey 04/27/2017

        Hi Michaela, yes, there are festivals during April in Mt. Vernon, La Connor and even here on Whidbey this weekend. The fields start blooming with daffodils, then change over to tulips and are rotated each year, but sadly as Chris pointed out, we do not produce more than the Netherlands. It is definitely one of the perks of living in this area.

    3. frankgreenhalgh 04/27/2017

      Hey Linda - wonderfully colourful landscape! Thanks for sharing. Cheers, Frank

    4. sheila_schultz 04/27/2017

      Now that's a funny story, I would have loved to see the look on their faces when they realized the bulbs here home grown!!! Gorgeous photo!

      1. User avater
        LindaonWhidbey 04/27/2017

        Thanks, Sheila.

    5. Chris_N 04/27/2017

      Great photo. Sadly, the factoid is not quite right. The Skagit Valley record is for county not country. According to Washington State University, Skagit Valley produces more tulips than any other county in the US. Worldwide, the US is not even in the top 5 tulip producing countries. The Netherlands are still number 1 with 88% of total cultivated tulip acreage in the world. New Zealand keeps the southern hemisphere happy producing tulips that bloom in their springtime.

      1. User avater
        LindaonWhidbey 04/27/2017

        Thanks, Chris, that's what I get for using second hand info☺️

      2. user-7007498 04/27/2017

        Thanks, Chris for the update. I love learning new things.

  13. frankgreenhalgh 04/27/2017

    Hey Kev. - this is going to be fun (double dipping experience). You asked the other day how the weather is down here. Well here is the answer - misty mornings followed by lovely sunny days. 15metres to the left of the pic. is the small jetty from which I fish - usually without anybody around. It is heaven! Cheers mate

    1. pattieswinfordclifford 04/27/2017

      It's beautiful!!

    2. User avater
      meander_michaele 04/27/2017

      This is one of those kinds of pictures that makes one feel grateful to be alive and know that such beauty exists.

      1. frankgreenhalgh 04/27/2017

        Thanks Michaele - it is certainly better than the alternative!

    3. sheila_schultz 04/27/2017

      That's one dreamy photo, Frank. I'm guessing you can sort out the important vs. unimportant details of life fishing at the end of that jetty, it's got to be an easy place to get perspective...

      1. frankgreenhalgh 04/27/2017

        Yes Sheila - I solve the problems of the world on the jetty. Cheers, Frank

        1. sheila_schultz 04/27/2017

          Lucky you, Frank! I hope you catch a little dinner once in a while to boot!

          1. frankgreenhalgh 04/27/2017

            Yes again Sheila - the fish often interrupt my thinking.

    4. Sunshine111 04/27/2017


    5. User avater
      LindaonWhidbey 04/27/2017

      That's really lovely, Frank.

    6. user-7007498 04/27/2017

      OMG Frank. I am so envious. What awesome natural beauty.

  14. Sunshine111 04/27/2017

    I sent in a few pictures of my visit to the Keukenhof yesterday to Kim. Hopefully they will be posting soon. But this morning, just a few minutes ago, I discovered this blog with regard to tulips in Washington state! I think we should visit here next!

    1. frankgreenhalgh 04/27/2017

      Wow, Lily - what fantastic bursts of colour! Cheers from Oz

      1. Sunshine111 04/27/2017

        Glad you enjoyed them Frank!

    2. User avater
      LindaonWhidbey 04/27/2017

      This woman has a great eye for composition, especially since our weather this year has not been the best for photos.

    3. user-7007498 04/27/2017

      Thanks Lily. Great link. The Skagit Valley pictures are awesome.

  15. VikkiVA 04/27/2017

    Beautiful pictures Kevin thanks so much for sending them in. I love the miniature and the blue tulips! Your train ride reminded me of one my husband and I took during Octoberfest in Germany. Minus the snow however. Vikki in VA

    1. user-7007498 04/27/2017

      Certainly keeps the train ride interesting. I am always fascinated by the miniatures. It is so cool when the plants are perfectly in scale with the tiny scene.

  16. Chris_N 04/27/2017

    Feels like deja vu all over again, Kevin. I swear I just saw these photos yesterday. :) Still wonderful, though. Great to see both you and Rhonda made it.

    1. user-7007498 04/27/2017

      Deja vu indeed. It looks like Kim got the email to work after I hijacked yesterday's GPOD post

  17. annek 04/27/2017

    Funny story, Kevin. You are a die-hard gardening aficionado and I applaud your determination. Good to see a photo of you and Rhonda (hope the healing is quick, Rhonda). All your photos were beautiful, but those blue tulips took my breath away

    1. user-7007498 04/28/2017

      Thanks, Kielian. Rhonda and I had fun that day. The blue tulips were so cool.

  18. schatzi 04/27/2017

    Beautiful pix, epic trip! Nice photo of the 2 gardener-F&GS trekkers. Glad you made it.

  19. Meelianthus 04/27/2017

    Kevin, thank you for all of the wonderful photos and persevering thru your amazing journey to get to the garden show, one you will probably remember for years to come! It is amazing how very creative the displays are and the tremendous amount of work that goes into them. As gardeners we can certainly feel their pain! Happy Spring Kevin

    1. user-7007498 04/28/2017

      The show was amazing, Linda. I am amazed at the talent of those who enter displays. The show gets me through the last month of winter. Haven't missed it for the past 25 years.

  20. user-7007498 04/28/2017

    Glad you enjoyed the photos, Diane. While the train trip back was not fun, I can laugh now. The train was packed, standing room on every car. I had found a storage cabinet to sit on, when this drunk sat next to me. I thought he was going to collapse and fall. I kept picturing having to do CPR ( which was a horrible thought).

  21. frankgreenhalgh 04/28/2017

    Hey Kev. - this extended post has had an interesting journey, just like your trip to and from the PFS. Great interest, comments and humour in the end. Thanks for your persistence. Cheers, FG

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