As the sun rose over the Philadelphia skyline on the morning of September 17, a giant floral sculpture, dubbed The Stars Project, was taking shape on the lawn of the National Constitution Center to commemorate the 225th anniversary of the signing of the US Constitution.
The Stars Project was a gift to the city by the husband and wife floral design team at Schaffer Designs, Bill Schaffer and Kris Kratt. Inspired by hearing that the Constitution was “an umbrella protecting the rights of our citizens,” Bill and Kris designed a 12 foot tall and 16 foot wide steel sculptural umbrella from which they hung large spheres of red and white flowers which gently swayed in the breeze, and over 200 stars.
Each star was contributed by floral designers from almost every state in the country, plus Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom, and many were made from natural materials indigenous to the state of origin. 95 people contributed hand-crafted stars to this project, plus the students and staff at Garfield Park Academy in Willingboro, NJ.
A local artist contributed the huge steel umbrella sculpture that provided the frame for the Stars Project.
Materials were donated by 4 companies, including the foam spheres, star forms, and the flowers used in the project. And Bill and Kris of Schaffer Design donated their floral artistry design skills, their time, and their expertise to make this project a reality.
17 local people also donated their time to create this floral pop-up artwork in the early dawn hours, including local floral designers, a videographer, and two photographers (I was so honored to be one of the photographers).
You can watch the Stars Project unfold here:
I was struck by the significance of this creative project being created in front of a building emblazoned with the words “We the People….” because this beautiful artistic display could not have happened without so many people coming together. It truly does take a village.
As Kris Kratt said in my interview with them, “Without the combined efforts of the over 100 people who contributed to this project, we never would have been able to accomplish this.”
And I’ve been thinking ever since about the power of bringing a team of people together in common cause. Each of us is passionate about creating welcoming habitat for wildlife in our own gardens, but what would happen if we worked together as a team? What if we created a Tribe of fellow wildlife gardens to become stewards of our neighborhoods, our towns and cities?
Could we band together with our neighbors to turn that abandoned lot on the corner into a beautiful butterfly garden?
Can we restore that piece of neglected woodland, prairie, or natural habitat?
What else could we do for wildlife, for our own environments if we worked together as a team, as our own “village” or tribe?
I’d love to hear about your experiences in creating wildlife gardens with your neighbors, in your communities, and the world around you. Please share about your wildlife garden village by leaving a comment below.
Please check out Bill Schaffer and Kris Kratt’s book Taking the Flower Show Home: Award Winning Designs from Concept to Completion. “In this extensively and beautifully photographed compendium, these veteran flower show exhibitors reveal the excitement and challenge of realizing large scale artistic visions. The book includes all you need to bring the show home to you, with construction tips, ideas, material lists and flower selection, and insightful techniques to help you create floral designs of your own.”
And if you want to know more about Schaffer Designs and the creative work they are doing, please check out their website. Tell them Carole sent you.
Carole Sevilla Brown lives in Philadelphia, PA, and she travels the country speaking about Ecosystem Gardening for Wildlife. Check out her new free online course Ecosystem Gardening Essentials, 15 free lessons delivered to your inbox every week.
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