Victoria, Liz II - and Sexy Sadie

Socks for sale in the PHS Shop. The Philadelphia Flower Show runs through Sunday.
Socks for sale in the PHS Shop. The Philadelphia Flower Show runs through Sunday. (TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer)
Posted: March 07, 2013

Inquirer staff writer Virginia Smith is writing this week from the Philadelphia Flower Show. These posts appeared on her blog, "Kiss the Earth," at Read her stories at, and other Flower Show coverage at

Victoria: The Seductress

Got your attention, did I? "The Seductress," in this case, is the Victoria water lily, an "aquatic marvel" that is on display in the show's central feature. A hefty new book about this amazing plant - 468 pages, $69.99 - is making its debut here. It's available in the AIA bookstore just outside the show hall and also online at

The author is Tomasz Anisko, curator of plants at Longwood, which was the first to hybridize this famous plant. He traveled to more than 20 countries to gather information for his book, according to Longwood's executive director Paul Redman.

Victoria was the rage in mid-19th-century England and has captivated gardeners and scholars ever since. Been a persistent seductress, you might say.

God save the Queen - if you can find her

So I'm walking through the show, past the central feature, and I spot her - a mini-Queen Elizabeth up on the wall. She struck me and several others as hilariously funny up there.

Mini-Elizabeth was on the wall as part of the Quest for the Queen scavenger hunt, one of many kids' activities this year.

They're having scavenger hunts, performances, games, crafts, and other activities in the Kids Zone, Room 204B, open every day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.  

Special delivery to Lucy in the sky

This is an entry in the mailbox category created by the talented gardeners in the Greene Countrie Garden Club. There was such a crowd in front of it, I could hardly maneuver myself into position to take a picture. Favorite feature: letters addressed to Sexy Sadie, Hey Jude, Nowhere Man, Eleanor Rigby, The Fool on the Hill, and Lucy in the Sky.

Told ya the Beatles were big in "Brilliant!"

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