It’s a groovy trip back to the summer of love at this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show, which has gone hippie this year with a “Flower Power” theme. Expect a transformed Philly Convention Center, the 10 acres of which will be bedecked in possibly the most blossoms in the show’s long and storied history. The journey through the decade of peace, love, and understanding will begin in an eye-popping way, with an upside-down meadow sixty feet long above visitors’ heads as they enter. The wildflowers are bright and vibrant, and the grass is long, verdant, and swaying in the air. Surrounding it below will be vine sculptures, nearly 8,000 flowers, and vivid pop-art blooms that are reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. And that’s just as you make your way in!
The Convention Center will serve as a setting for both the Flower Show and the concurrent FTD World Cup, an international floral design competition whose entrants first had to win a national-level tourney. Mind-popping designs from nations such as Australia, South Korea, Hong Kong, Russia, Italy and more will intermingle with the tableau and displays on show for the Philly event. Sam Lemheney, chief of shows and events for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, which puts on the show, called the entrants “amazing, spectacular, [and] creative.” The competition has never before been staged in the United States. According to the rules, entrants have the first three days to construct their designs, which will be left up and judged for the remainder of the event. It’s expected that this aspect of the Show will be a big draw.
While staring at all the gorgeous flowers is fun in and of itself – to say nothing of the opportunities for Instagram-perfect snaps! – the show will also feature educational exhibitions for both amateur and professional gardeners including numerous workshops, demonstrations and lectures. There will be high teas held amidst the blossoms in the gardens, as well as a live butterfly garden exhibit, where you can see and touch the lovely creatures as they flit delicately from petal to petal.
If you want a more engaging experience at the Flower Show, splurge out on the tickets for early morning tours, which are led by a trained docent before the show is open to the public. You’ll glean additional knowledge about the show and some of the little details that make it special. For botanical enthusiasts, this experience is well worth the $100 – $110 price tag.
Or you can see and be seen at the Philadelphia Flower Show Preview Party, which is an invitation to view the displays before anyone else, combined with a black-tie gala. Tickets range from $300 to $650 and can be purchased at theflowershow.com/experiences/preview-party. They will, inevitably, sell out. If you fancy an extremely special evening of wandering through the fanciful indoor gardens will sipping champagne and dining on gourmet fare while rubbing elbows with the upper crust of Philly society, buy your tickets sooner rather than later.
From Penn Live:
It’s not the only Flower Show party, though. After opening day, there’s Flowers After Hours. This themed party is embracing the 1960s with music by The Beat-Tells (a Beatles tribute band). There will also be wine and spirit samplings and interactive games from various Philadelphia museums. Flowers After Hours is $75 in advance and $85 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at theflowershow.com/experiences/flowers-after-hours.
As you can see, there are many ways to experience the Flower Show, depending on the depth of your pockets and your enthusiasm for magnificence in the field of gardening and horticulture. This event is a beloved perennial event on the Philadelphia calendar, and must be seen to be experienced.
The Philadelphia Flower Show will run from March 2nd through the 10th. Tickets at the door range from $38 – $48, depending on the day. You can save money by purchasing your tickets online ahead of time, when costs range from $29.95 to $34. Several experiences at the Flower Show have a separate fee, such as the garden teas.
Your money is going towards a good cause: all funds raised by the Philadelphia Flower Show go towards the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, which is focused on using horticulture to help communities grow through planting street trees, creating public gardens, and cultivating displays meant to contribute to city beautification.