Philly flower show going on now
Itmay seem oddwriting about a flower show that is held all the way across the country in Pennsylvania, but this impressive event, which runs from the end of February to the first week in March, is the largest indoor horticultural show in the world, providing gardeners much in the way of inspiration and resources, no matter where you live.
Held annually at the Philadelphia Convention Center, the Philadelphia Flower Show is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS), a nonprofit membership organization founded in 1827, whose mission is to motivate and educate people to improve the quality of life and create a sense of community through horticulture.
Since its inception, the annual PHS Flower Show has offered visitors a magical setting filled with large-scale themed gardens, elaborate landscapes created by regional companies, and over-the-top floral creations by local and national designers. There is also live entertainment, culinary and design demonstrations, gardening how-to workshops, and lectures.
Bringing in over 260,000 attendees from all over the world, The PHS event is the second largest overall flower show, with the Royal Horticulture Society’s (RHS) Hampton Court Palace Flower Show ranking number one. Attracting more than 300,000 visitors each year, the English show is held from the end of June through the first week of July. Another very popular flower show, the RHS’s Chelsea Flower Show, is also held annually, from mid-May until the end of the month.
Each year brings a newtheme to the PHS Flower Show, and this year it has partnered up with Disney to create a “Celebrate the Movies” theme where large floral installations are constructed based on Disney/Disney-Pixar movies, as well as Hollywood films, sets and backdrops.
As always, there will be many other special features to the show, like the Designer’s Studio, where top U.S. floral designers compete in front of a live audience to create elaborate and unique designs that visitors will judge. Wine and Spirit Tastings will return to the Grand Hall, and this year the Pop Up Garden will treat visitors to an exotic, palm-treelined red carpet that leads them into a lush garden setting where light fare, PHS’ new hard cider, and beer is served while Hollywood movies play on a large screen in the background.
Another much anticipated attraction will be the “The Butterfly Experience,” staged in the grand concourse. It features 30 species of domestic and exotic butterflies in an environment that simulates their natural habitat. This year promises to have some of the rarest and most exquisite butterflies yet, with hand-painted backgrounds of the sky creating an ethereal experience of walking on clouds while being surrounded by beautiful flying insects.
Hollywood costume collector and historian Gene London will have a special room where he will showcase over 50 glamorous film costumes from his privately assembled collection from filmdom’s Golden Age. Gowns and outfits worn by Marilyn Monroe, Vivien Leigh, Greta Garbo, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Rita Hayworth and many others will be on display.
The Marketplace, which features over 180 vendors, will once again be in the back section of the Flower Show to sell fresh-cut flowers, orchids, unique plants, garden furniture, hand-crafted jewelry, garden tools, and art.
This year’s PHS’s Flower Show will be sure to impress, but if you don’t go, their website blog will have many highlights that will inspire the flower lover in all of us: http://phsblog.org.
Carole has been in the floriculture industry, from international wholesale and retail sales to event planning, for over 20 years. She has floral studios in Santa Fe and Baltimore, was a Santa Fe Master Gardener, and supports local/national flower farms and beautification projects. She is available for demonstrations and lectures. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www. flowerspy.com.
A resplendent still life snapped at the Philadelphia Flower Show in 2009