MODA botancia: Certainly not Your Typical Florists

Not by a long shot.

The three Philadelphia partners in MODA botanica derive their pleasure and inspiration from art, from architecture, from the auto supply store and from Home Depot.

In the case of the Philadelphia International Flower Show, where they’ve just racked up five major awards – including Best in Show – they stacked six cargo containers on top of each other and filled them with flowers, lights and mirrors.

“You know, shipping containers, just like at the ports,” Armas Koehler, one of the partners, said. “They’re beat up, with a lot of markings and graffiti, and in mixed colors – rusty orange, a darker orange, a light blue and a dark blue.”

They used theatrical lighting and mirrors to make the displays look bigger than they actually are. The bottom of one is covered in a meadow of goldenrod, and mirrored on the ceiling. In another, flowers hang from the walls. In still another, a dining room table is fabricated from common warehouse pallets.

The firm had to purchase their containers because they wanted to cut the ends off so visitors could walk through them.

“It is very unconventional,” Armas said. “We pride ourselves on doing something different and totally unexpected.”

Their display there is purely their own vision. But they do sit down with clients, listen, and then interpret their wants and needs for weddings, dinners and special events. “We like to put our own spin on what they say they want,” he said.

Imagine that.

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Photo by Pete Prown at PHS