This year, the show celebrated one of the most important mediums to American culture and to audiences around the world—the magic of movies. The show’s theme, “Lights, Camera, and Bloom,” explored the fantastic realm of cinema, from the studio backlot, to the grand movie palaces, to the films themselves and how they enchant and illuminate our lives.
The students from the JJC’s residential community home Costello Preparatory Academy, under the supervision of their skilled horticulture teacher, Keith Faust, competed in the Window Boxes and Containers category which pays tribute to the leading men and ladies of Hollywood. The JJC’s entry was one of only six in the leading man category and one of only twelve entrants invited to the show in this category.
The students at Costello Prep, paid homage to leading man Tom Hanks in the movie “Cast Away”. Tropical plants similar to those found on a deserted tropical island were incorporated into their window box. Their unique hanging basket depicted the wooden raft and the infamous volleyball “Wilson” used by Hanks in the movie during his voyage home.
Costello Prep received an honorable mention citation for their entry which competed with colleges, other educational institutions and garden clubs.
“The chance to participate in the Philadelphia International Flower Show is an incredible opportunity for our JJC residents,” said Kevin M. Brown, Executive Director. “With the help of their teachers, our students can apply the skills they learn in the classroom to create flower arrangements that can compete with some of the best in the world. This experience allows them to put their knowledge and creative talents to work, while providing them with life skills.”
Under the supervision of horticulture teachers, residents of the JJC spent hours in the classroom conducting research on plants, and weeks nurturing their specimens in preparation for the event. Many of the flowers used in the JJC’s entry were grown by the students in greenhouses as part of their ongoing horticulture curriculum. Students designed and assembled several possible entries, carefully nurturing each to see which would be selected as the eventual entry. Students also have the opportunity to visit the convention center to maintain their entry.
In years past, JJC students have also performed well at the Philadelphia Flower Show winning many awards for individual plant entries and continually placing well in the window box and lamppost category.
The JJC is the state agency responsible for leading the reform of the State’s juvenile justice system. Established in 1995, it serves to coordinate programs and policies affecting delinquent youth throughout the State, and offers juvenile rehabilitation and parole services. In addition to the core educational curriculum, the JJC provides extensive career and technical education to students, including horticultural instruction. The JJC greenhouses produce thousands of plants each year. The plants are used in community service projects and are made available for sale to the public.