A Visit to Philadelphia's Flower Show: "Wonders of Water"

Photo by: Mansoora

Photo by: Mansoora

I finally had the chance to visit Philadelphia’s Flower Show, themed this year “Wonders of Water.” As winter doesn’t seem to end (and I’m typing this while I witness a winter wonderland outside my window) it was refreshing to have a glimpse of spring.

The Philadelphia Horticultural Society holds this event each year and I was amazed by how every aspect concerning water was addressed. I never knew there were so many different types of hydroponic systems in my life, which include wick, drip, aeroponics, and deep water culture. You can also find out more about each system here.


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What the flower show reminds us is that the flow of water cannot only be a function but a full experience, embodying systems and beauty.

The way it traditionally works, is that first rainwater flows against an impervious surface, picks up chemicals and toxic waste, makes its way into the sewer, and eventually overflows our rivers with contaminated water. That’s if it makes it to the rivers in a timely manner with an increase in flash flooding due to impervious surfaces.

As I was preparing a lecture with a colleague on how to design buildings for the experience not only function, we noticed how the Living Building Challenge nicely explains water as a precious resource. With sea levels rising, infrastructure crumbling, and an increase in water contamination it is advised to have proper stormwater management in place that evidently becomes a human experience. These strategies include but not limited to pervious surfaces, water cisterns, planting trees, and retention ponds. 

Below are some images and some of my favorite installations from the flower show. Enjoy!

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Don’t forget, drink water, get sunlight. You’re basically a house plant with more complicated emotions.
— Unknown
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The best form of charity is giving someone water
— Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
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Thanks for stopping by and Happy World Water Day! 

Link to Philadelphia Horticultural Society .