Each year, students at Delaware Valley University have the opportunity to design and build an exhibit for the Philadelphia Flower Show, the country’s largest and longest-running horticultural event.
The show gives students a chance to apply what they’re learning to real-world design challenges and allows them to meet and network with top landscape designers.
The 2020 show, “Riviera Holiday,” runs Feb. 29 through March 8 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.
For this year’s Flower Show exhibit, “Gamba Dell’albero,” the DelVal students explored the “nature of nature.” The focus of the exhibit is botany. Students have been working on the display since early fall, starting with design concepts and bringing those ideas to life during the construction phase.
The DelVal display includes a more than 20-foot living tree and a water feature. The students also constructed a tree with large roots that guests will be able to walk under. Student volunteers created educational signs to place throughout the display to teach guests more about the plants in the exhibit.
Daijah Barrett ’20, a horticulture major, brought some experience to the student team. Barrett created a Philadelphia Flower Show exhibit during her time as a student at W.B. Saul High School in Philadelphia. Growing plants for the display and educating the public are her favorite parts of the Flower Show.
“I hope people learn more about how plants work, what they need, and about nature,” said Barrett, who also worked on research for the educational signs.
Landscape Architecture Program Administrator Michael Fleischacker and Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Science Howard Eyre guide the students through the process of designing and constructing a display each year.