With support from the William Penn Foundation
The Rainforest: A Wonder of Water
Rainforests are the oldest living ecosystems on Earth. Circling the wet, equatorial tropics of our planet, rainforests can receive up to one inch of rain per day, every day of the year. This water creates and sustains an amazing diversity of life. The incredible range of species in the rainforest is the key to its success. Although they cover less than 7% of the Earth’s surface, rainforests are home to more than 50% of all animal species, 65% of all plant species, and 80% of all insect species. All of these species work together in a complex food web that branches from the tiniest microorganisms to great predators like eagles, big cats, snakes, dolphins, crocodiles—even humans!
The rainforest is a distinct environment performing an endless cycle of water flow and filtration. The bountiful water of the rainforest feeds an explosion of trees, ferns, flowers and other plants that work together to create a powerful and self-sustaining water filtration system. On and on, this amazing, endless cycle of water feeds through the filter of the rainforest, bringing life to hundreds of thousands of species—and to us, as well!
Following the flow of water and observing plant life in our planet’s rainforests provides new viewfinders to turn on our local ecosystem, and the endless cycle of water movement downstream and the filtration that happens across different, but connected, environments.
About the Entrance Garden
The 2018 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show, “Wonders of Water,” will celebrate the beauty and life-sustaining interplay of horticulture and water, showcasing the astounding plants that thrive in various environments, from exquisite orchids and flowering vines to luminescent desert blooms.
The Entrance Garden is a design interpretation inspired by the magnificent rain forests of our planet, one of the most astonishing and varied ecosystems on Earth, and a marvelous example of how Wonders of Water inter-play. Show goers will explore towering trees and tiny mosses; creeping vines and wide-spreading ferns; withering leaves and a living roof of green; colorful flowers and a myriad of textures.
Visitors will enter the show and instantly feel as if they have been transported into a modern, imaginative jungle, reminiscent of nature’s diverse rainforest, featuring a playful, wildly colorful embellished landscape. An entrance canopy of lush greenery, hanging flowers and vines with cascading plants will immerse the visitor. A labyrinth of scaffolding will create an architectural structure filled with plants and flowers. Elaborate-cut, tropical flower arrangements will sit atop bamboo stands, with hanging flowers and vines suspended overhead and pops of colorful flowers will climb bamboo poles.
An ever-shifting rain curtain will guide visitors to a tropical pond surrounded by palm and ficus trees, massive ferns and colorful tropical plants and flowers. Guests will flow through past a fish pond, with lily pads in a misting pool and be lead to a “suspended” rope bridge, and through a brilliant green rainforest. Marvel at a modernistic, 25-foot waterfall, which reveals itself as the backdrop to this rain forest garden, and a six-tier bamboo structure with cascades of falling water, adorned by plants and flowers, and flowing into a water stream.
“We want to capture all the sensory elements of the rainforest – its fantastic colors, scents and sounds -- and demonstrate its unique and vital role in purifying water and sustaining our environment,” explained Sam Lemheney, PHS Chief of Shows & Events.
Design and Production Credits
Executive Director of Design
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
Environment and Scenic Design
Gary Radin and Daniel Brown
Floral Design and Installation
Valley Forge Flowers
Sam Lemheney and Seth Pearsoll
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
Creative Direction & Interpretation
Pierie Korostoff and Sharon Handy
Lighting Design and Sound
Pennsylvania Convention Center
Client Utilities Services
An SMG Managed Facility
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
J&M Special Effects
PHS Meadowbrook Farm
LG Plants Inc.