'Wilde' exhibit takes major awards at Philadelphia Flower Show
Months of hard work by Temple University Ambler students and faculty paid off with special honors for Temple’s 2013 Philadelphia Flower Show Exhibit, “WILDE! Cultivating wonder in everyday places.”
WILDE! was awarded The Alfred M. Campbell Memorial Trophy, given to the “Educational major exhibit that demonstrates the most successful use of a variety of plants in a unique fashion”; a PHS Special Achievement Award for the “best achievement in creating a wild, natural environment”; and a PHS Gold Medal Award, “for the best use of PHS Gold Medal plants in a major exhibit.”
“With the size and complexity of this exhibit, we overcame a lot of obstacles this year,” said Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture Rob Kuper, who coordinated the exhibit with Adjunct Assistant Professor Michael LoFurno and Horticulture Supervisor Anne Brennan. “To have the work of our students, faculty, staff and alumni — without whom we wouldn’t have been able to complete our exhibit — is extraordinarily rewarding.
“I think one thing about our exhibits each year is that they are always unique — advancing ideas with different construction and plant materials,” said Kuper. “We certainly use the Flower Show theme as a basis, but we illustrate and address the theme from a different perspective.”
Presented by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the 2013 Philadelphia Flower Show — with its “Brilliant!” Great Britain theme — continues through Sunday, March 10 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, 12th and Arch streets.
WILDE! seeks to “present simple, attractive and affordable ways to cultivate wildness in locations that everyone is familiar with,” said Kuper. The exhibit takes its inspiration from a variety of English gardening concepts, from the medieval monastic and royal gardens of the Middle Ages to “wilde” gardening of the 19th Century, which mesh into a landscape of bogs, orchards and rock gardens.
“The reason the Alfred Campbell Memorial Trophy is awarded — to an exhibit that demonstrates the most successful use of a variety of plants in a unique fashion — really encapsulates what we try to do each year,” said Kuper. “To have that intention recognized and validated in this way is really quite wonderful.”
The creation of the exhibit was a collaboration between faculty, staff and students from the current junior class working closely with dedicated alumni, who, according to Kuper, “shared their expertise and knowledge to guide and mentor our students.”
“Their previous experience and tips they had for us were priceless, and we can’t thank our alumni enough,” he said. “This is an experience that you wouldn’t get at most colleges and universities — it’s so rewarding to see how our drawings and what we had in our minds for the past four months have come to life,” said Landscape Architecture Junior Allison Hanna. “As landscape architecture students, we now understand the process from design to build, the process of creating construction documents. It’s truly invaluable and an experience that I will never forget.”