INTRO: Miniatures at the Philadelphia Flower Show

Each year, the Philadelphia Convention Center is transformed into a garden paradise when the International Philadelphia Flower Show (which everyone here calls simply the Flower Show) opens. During the show, which runs for a week in March, you will find dozens of people in line each day waiting for a chance to see the display of scale miniature gardens. I will be documenting my entry in this year’s miniature setting display.

The theme this year is “Hawaii” ¬†which should be easy to do, or so you might think. There are indoor settings and outdoor setting, 6 of each. I “volunteered” to do an indoor setting because everyone else, dreaming of palm trees and orchids I guess, wanted the outdoor category. I did an outdoor setting last year (see Jules Verne’s garden here or see a few of the images below) but an indoor room is particularly challenging for Hawaii. All the spectacular concepts I could conjure (crashing waves on pristine seashores, lava-spewing volcanos with shocking green plants contrasted with the black ground) are outdoor ones. And who wants to be indoors in Hawaii???

So I thought of something we did indoors when we visited Hawaii and the idea of creating a miniature version of some of the rooms in the Bishop Museum in Honolulu came to me. I was most interested in the exhibits on ancient Hawaiian culture (I am an anthropologist, by the way, and have worked in a museum) and while the Bishop Museum has recently renovated its exhibits, I thought I could focus on topics I was interested in rather than on replicating the actual museum. So, I will be creating a few rooms of a (fictitious) museum of Hawaiian Culture, with a focus on plant lore and mythology.

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3 comments

  1. A few years ago I assisted 2 women from a garden club who were making a mini scene at the Flower Show. They knew nothing about miniatures & scale, so I helped them with that. Then they needed a pinata, mexican bowls and some food for their “fiesta scene”. I made the items from FIMO. I’d love to do a scene myself, but it is too big a challenge. Good luck!

    • Thanks, Susan, for the encouragement. I imagine I will have FIMO permanently stuck under my fingernails for months after I am done making the museum artifacts from it.

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