Moorestown Garden Club creating a ‘haven’ at Philadelphia Flower Show

The Moorestown Garden Club’s final creation will be on display at The Philadelphia Flower Show from March 2 to March 10 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

If you’re eager to get a sneak peak at the Moorestown Garden Club’s 2019 Philadelphia Flower Show entry, you’ll just have to wait. The club has been secretly plotting (and potting) away at its creation and are particularly tight-lipped about what attendees can expect when they arrive to the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Having scored 98 out of a possible 100 points for its last entry in 2017, the club has set the bar pretty high, but the show’s entry co-chairs D’Arcy DiSpirito and Susan Haines aren’t thinking about that. Their goal is a simple one: to create something that makes people stop and stare.

In June, the club’s eight-person Garden Show Committee learned that they’d been accepted to the garden class, a design class that has them creating a 12-feet by 16-feet garden on the convention center floor. The show’s 2019 theme is “Flower Power,” and the garden class theme is “Yin Yang.” The club has been tasked with designing a garden that illustrates complementary and opposing forces in nature. The club will compete against three other gardens in its class.

DiSpirito and Haines met in the summer to start tossing around ideas about how they could interpret “yin yang” into their garden. DiSpirito said they began by focusing in on the fact they needed to include opposites in their display, and from there, they started visualizing and designing what that might look like.

One half of the garden will feature light-colored plants, while the other will have darker-colored plants. The garden will feature two pots with flowering plants: one side will be tall while the other will be short.

The garden will have landscape garden plants, shrubs and flowers. As they set out to find these plants, club members had to give careful consideration as to what would survive in February in the back of the convention center, but despite those limitations, the garden club is eager to unveil a one-of-a-kind display featuring some unique plants.

“There are a few that may have never been at the flower show before; we’re hoping,” Haines said.

Additionally, this marks the first time the club has commissioned a piece of art for its display. DiSpirito said a member posed the idea of taking inspiration from “Grounds for Sculpture” and incorporating a sculpture into its piece. DiSpirito subsequently contacted a local artist who has been hard at work re-interpreting the “yin yang” symbol for the club.

As they discussed the various meanings of “yin yang,” the club settled on the name “Haven” for its garden. DiSpirito said they felt the name left a lot of leeway for viewers to interpret their garden in a variety of ways. She said some may look at it and envision a sculpture garden, while others might think this garden belongs to a local gardener.

“We didn’t want to limit the viewer,” DiSpirito said. “We wanted them to be able to kind of make it what they think it is.”

On Feb. 27, the club will head to the convention center to begin its two-day installation process. The club already has its design carefully measured and diagramed, so it knows where each plant goes. Throughout the course of the show, garden club members will water, trim and replace plants as needed to make sure the display remains perfectly intact.

While designing the garden has been no small feat, the process has been a fun one for all involved. Whether they win or lose, if people react to what they’ve created it is worth the time and effort alone, DiSpirito said.

“[Last time], just having them stand there and enjoy it was the best,” DiSpirito said.

The Moorestown Garden Club’s final creation will be on display at the Philadelphia Flower Show from March 2 to March 10 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Center City. To find out more or to purchase tickets, visit https://theflowershow.com.