By Melissa Komar
If you thought your mind was playing tricks when 3D floral figures sprung up last year in Fishtown at the onset of autumn, they were no optical illusions.
And, they’ll bloom once again in a few weeks.
Kensington-based Jig-Bee Flower Farm and Maura Rose Events will present the third annual Fishtown Floral Crawl.
Co-organizer and Jig-Bee proprietor Cassie Plummer said the idea of the event stemmed from flash floral pop-ups in the Big Apple.
“Two or three years ago I was inspired by the flash flower installations that were taking place in New York by Lewis Miller, and I was also working with other flower farmers and local floral designers and wanted to bring that element into Fishtown and Kensington and do these flash pop-up installations,” she said.
Large-scale floral installations created by Philadelphia floral designers will be viewable at select Fishtown businesses over a three-day span.
The showcase is one of the featured events for the 2019 Design Philly Festival, a 10-day festival curated by the Center for Architecture and Design that promotes local designers and seeks to present the impact of design to the public.
Aside from providing the community with eye-catching art, Plummer wants to highlight the local floral scene.
“We’re featuring locally grown flowers to try to raise awareness to the community and other floral designers,” Plummer added.
Plummer and Maura Feeney match florists with businesses for the crawl. Local farms provide a selection of flowers to Jig-Bee and the designers choose what they need to create their installations.
Confirmed participating businesses include PlayArts, Weckerly’s Ice Cream, Vestige, La Colombe, Cake Life, Suraya, Nunu, and Riverwards Produce.
The event kicks off with a guided tour and reception on Monday, Oct. 7, but the public is welcome to stop and see (and smell) the installations from Oct. 7 to Wednesday, Oct. 9.
The designers have creative license to craft what they please. Past crawls have included everything from a bird seemingly swooping over the wall to two women taking tea with their dog.
“Sometimes it’s cascading greenery that crawls up the side of the building and then there’s some that are really whimsical,” Plummer said.
Plummer gets in on the action, too, aside from simply supplying flowers.
“One of the ones I did last year was inspired by Jim Henson. I made these big floral monsters that were sitting outside of Cake Life [Bake Shop],” she said, laughing. “You know the Sesame Street Yip Yips monsters that are like aliens? I made one of those and it was a big green monster with pink googly eyes. It was pretty fun.”
First choice to participate is given to designers who usually work with the local flower farms, but the invite is extended on a first-come, first-served basis to the local floral community and customers.
“It’s really a creative outlet for the designers to really flex their creativity and inspiration,” Plummer said. “They do work with the businesses as far as installation goes, but there’s no specific theme. It’s whatever the designer wants to create.”
Details for the Fishtown Floral Crawl guided tour are TBA. For the most up-to-date info about the event, visit fishtownfloralcrawl.com or follow fishtownfloralcrawl on Instagram.