Philadelphia Flower Show
L’Art du Jardin Natural (The Art of the Natural Garden)
EPA's exhibit, "L’Art du Jardin Natural" was at the 2014 Philadelphia Flower Show from March 1 to 9. The Flower Show is held every Spring in the Pennsylvania Convention Center . This year the Flower Show theme was "ARTiculture: where art meets horticulture".
Visitors to the exhibit experienced the brilliance and beauty of native plants, headwaters, and wetlands.
The exhibit displayed native plants, wetlands, and sustainable landscaping techniques in a passive setting. Here in nature’s garden, the palette of colors, textures, and fragrances transported the observer to a place of beauty and tranquility – a place apart from the hands of man. The exhibit highlighted the intrinsic beauty of our native wildflowers, ferns, shrubs and trees. The woodland garden reflected the benefits and importance of using native plants, which results in less use of fertilizers and pesticides, conserves water and helps maintain ecological balance.
This year's exhibit was honored with a Special Achievement award for the "Best achievement in native, sustainable landscaping techniques".
EPA's exhibit highlighted the use of native plants to create a low-impact landscape and protect watersheds. Environmental benefits of using native plants extend to other areas that visitors may not have considered:
- discouraging insect pests
- conserving water resources
- protecting endangered plants
- attracting beneficial insects
- conserving water and improving water quality
- reducing the use of pesticides
Using native plants in gardens may also save time and money otherwise spent on fertilizer, water and pesticides to grow non-native plants.
Examples of native plants in the exhibit that attract beneficial insects include:
- Blueberry - attracts bumblebee pollinators
- Hackberry - host plant for the Hackberry butterfly, Eastern Comma, Mourning Cloak and Tawny Emperor
- Spicebush - host plant for the Spicebush Swallowtail and Promethean Moth
- New Jersey Tea - host plant for the Spring Azure butterfly
The use of native plants is part of a set of practices called integrated pest management, which is a common-sense way of managing pests through biological, cultural, physical, and chemical tools that minimize risks to people and the environment.
In other words, start with prevention; if a pest or weed problem develops, use an integrated approach to solve the problem. Learn more about Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Principles.
Information about this and previous EPA flower show exhibits can be found on other pages:
- The Art of the Natural Garden - Healthy Waters for EPA‘s Mid-Atlantic Region blog entry
- Natural Beauty, Native Species - 2013 Flower Show images on EPA's Flickr site
- Philadelphia International Flower Show 2012 - Audio Podcast
- Flower Show 2012 Photo Gallery