When I was growing up, I vaguely recall that once a year my grandmother, who lived with us would meet up with her friends and they’d ride into city for the Philadelphia Flower Show. I’ve really never had much interest in the show until I saw photos from last year’s show. It was more than just a few flowers assembled together. It was nature. It was art. It was spring. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it to last year’s show but I promised myself I wouldn’t miss this year’s show.
The Philadelphia Flower Show touts itself as the largest indoor flower show in the world. Since 1996, it has taken place annually in Center City Philadelphia at the city’s convention center. The 2015 theme for the show was the movies, specifically those from Disney and Disney Pixar.
The Flower Show is fun. There are these huge, incredible displays that dominate the convention center floor as well as your attention. There are fresh tulips everywhere, plenty of exotic trees reaching up for a sun that isn’t there and countless other flowers and plants in every color and shape that you can think of. But there’s also a lot of other displays, some in competition and some not in competition, that are just as enjoyable. There are simple plants in pots — big cacti with “hair” and small, delicate, flower-like succulents — to window box arrangements, pressed flowers, shop window displays, artistic displays in large and miniature, the list goes on and on. In particular, I enjoyed reading the comments the judges left for each in competition piece as well as admiring the beautiful botanical drawings.
Admittedly, the theme disappointed me a bit. Here I was hoping for Gable and Garbo, Hitchcock and Hepburn. Alas, it was not to be. They do, to be fair, have a special side entertainment, so to speak. Gene London’s Hollywood Collection brought a number of Hollywood costumes and clothing to the show. The downside? Admission to this event isn’t covered by the cost of the ticket. Neither is the Butterfly Experience. Other additional cost events make sense to be additional: the make & take room for creating things on the spot as well as the garden tea.
Since the event has been running for over a week now, it’s understandable although disappointing, that many of the displays weren’t as fresh as they likely were when the designers put them there. That said, there is still plenty to see and enjoy at the show. I really enjoyed seeing all of the plants arranged in so many different ways. It offers so many ideas for things you can do and try at home. That said, if I go next year, it’ll be early on in the show in order to enjoy the plants at their freshest!
If you’re interested in visiting the Philadelphia Flower Show, you had better get moving. This year’s show ends on Sunday, March 8th.