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Temple Ambler Goes 'Wilde!' in 2013 Philadelphia Flower Show

Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture takes its presentation to the city.

No stranger to the Philadlephia Flower Show, the Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture at Temple Ambler is all set to show off its goods in the famed 2013 display of plants and flowers. 

This year's theme for the school will be “WILDE! Cultivating wonder in everyday places.” Its advising professor says it is bringing in simple themes for everyday use.

"[The exhibit] seeks to present simple, attractive and affordable ways to cultivate wildness in locations that everyone is familiar with,” said Rob Kuper, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture.

He said the display is a great way to explain the true meaning of wilderness.

"People often confuse the idea of ‘wilderness’ with ‘wildness.’ Wilderness is essentially the absence of humans or human intervention — that hasn’t existed for tens of thousands of years, particularly in the United States," said Kuper, who is coordinating Temple’s 2013 Flower Show exhibit with Adjunct Assistant Professor Michael LoFurno and Horticulture Supervisor Anne Brennan. "Wildness —plants that germinate and grow voluntarily — is everywhere and can be appreciated in typical places if you take the time to look."

Back in 2011, the school took top honors for its display entitled "Écolibrium -- French Traditions/Modern Interpretations." The display was the result of two semesters of preparation from more than 25 students and faculty from the Department. See the YouTube video with this article for more on that award-winning performance.

For 2013, the overall Flower Show theme will be "Brilliant!," a Great Britain theme. The show will run from Saturday, March 2 through Sunday, March 10 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, 12th and Arch streets, Philadelphia.

The Temple Ambler display is about "appreciating nature, the wild, wherever you are and just allowing nature to do its thing," said Landscape Architecture junior Dayna Canning, who is working on the orchard section of the submission. 

The team said that they researched traditional British gardens before settling on the three sections for their work. Unique displays of bogs, orchards and rock gardens will be included.

“There is definitely an element of chaos to it, industrialization versus the wild. It’s about nature reasserting itself — it’s not necessarily about what is there in a given environment now, but what could be there and how nature can still be incorporated into everyday life,” Canning said. “The actual process of building something with this project has been much more in depth than I ever could have imagined.”

Brennan said the team has been working for many hours on the display.

“We are growing more than 100 different types of plants — hundreds of individual plants and trees. The plants had to be sourced, selected, and picked up in the fall so that there would be time to initiate the forcing process, which takes months for some of the species being used,” she said, who said she has worked closely with staff horticulturists Kathryn Reber and Merrill Miller to develop a unique forcing schedule for each species.

For more information on the Horticulture and Landscape Architecture programs at Temple University Ambler, visit the department's website here. For more information on the 2013 Philadelphia International Flower Show, visit the page here.

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