Phipps offers a warm, homey look for Winter Flower Show
By Kellie B. Gormly
Published: Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012, 8:51 p.m.
Poinsettias, Christmas' signature flowers, will fill Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens for the annual Winter Flower Show, which opens Friday. But the poinsettias — more than 30 varieties of them, along with paperwhites and amaryllis — aren't the only features that shout Christmas.
The theme of this year's show, “Come Home for the Holidays,” plays out in warm, homey touches that Phipps officials hope will give visitors that fuzzy, sentimental feeling of the holidays. A large Victorian dollhouse, handmade by Phipps volunteers, stands in the Welcome Center. A Victorian-style hearth, complete with a faux-flickering fire, greets visitors in the Palm Court. In the nearby Serpentine Room, doors salvaged from Construction Junction stand along the windy path, with wreaths hanging on the doors.
“We're just trying to make a warm and inviting display,” says Jordyn Melino, Phipps exhibit coordinator. “We're really inviting people to come in from the cold and enjoy their time here. I think the hearth in the Palm Court says it all.”
The homey theme continues in the Sunken Garden, where antique photos of Pittsburghers from the Victorian-era line the wall. A giant, 22-foot Fraser fir — decorated with presents, stockings and ornaments — towers over the pond in the Victoria Room. In the adjacent Broderie Room, pinkish poinsettias fill the teardrop-shape mini-gardens. The always-whimsical East Room shows a bear family, made from palm fiber, enjoying a Christmas party, while cardinals decorate the tree, and Santa Claus flies his sleigh in the background.
Another new feature this year is the outdoor Winter Light Garden, where guests can walk a meandering path among glowing orbs, icicle lights that seem to drip, luminous trees and a fountain of light. All lights used are LED, for energy- efficiency.
Bob Vukich, a McCandless landscape architect, designed this Winter Flower Show, along with about two dozen previous shows. He loved the idea of a warm, homey theme for the holiday show. “It sounds good, and it connects with people,” Vukich says.
Other holiday-related activities at Phipps include Santa Visits (Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 23, plus this Friday and Monday); Candlelight Evenings (Sunday to Jan. 6); Poinsettias and Pointe Shoes with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (Nov. 30); Saturdays with the Sugar Plum Fairy (Dec. 15 and 22); Family Fun Days (Dec. 26 to 30); and the New Year's Eve Family Celebration (Dec. 31).
Phipps also is hosting its annual Holiday Tea, with two sittings at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Nov. 29 and 30 at Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park, Shadyside. Tickets are $27, and pre-registration is required. Details: 412-651-5281.
There also will be a Gifts and Greens Market at the garden center from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 29 and 30 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 1.
Kellie B. Gormly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7824.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Denver wife killed 12 minutes into 911 call, sparking inquiry
- Reward offered in six-year-old homicide in Clairton
- Q&A with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman
- Obama, House Republicans trade accusations in thwarting immigration reform
- Legal experts question prosecuting South Fayette boy for recording bullies
- Peduto says Penguins playoff series will be economic boon
- Elementary school program in Plum shows fun and math can be in same equation
- Chartiers Valley softball team hopes strong start leads to different results
- Yencik key to SSA softball success
- Jailed Hribal ‘fine,’ but family ‘terrible’ as answers in stabbing sought
- Carlynton, Chartiers Valley reaffirm security in wake of FR school stabbings