Riviera backyard hangout inspiration at the Philadelphia Flower Show 2020.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2020 Is Best in Years

There is no surer sign that spring is approaching than the arrival of the Philadelphia Flower Show. For nearly two centuries, the world’s largest indoor flower show, and the country’s oldest, has acted as a bit of an oasis for those suffering from the winter doldrums. And this year is certainly no different. The 2020 Philadelphia Flower Show celebrates a Riviera Holiday theme that inspires with visions of luxurious Mediterranean vacations spent relaxing by the pool or along the waterfront while enjoying the sweet smell of nearby fresh plants and flowers.

In 2019, it was Flower Power. 2018 was Wonders of Water. 2017 was Holland: Flowering the World. The themes of the Flower Show are wide-ranging and exciting. But Riviera Holiday provides more ideas that you can take home and utilize to rejuvenate your backyard into a European getaway. (Not to mention that this is the first year in recent memory where there wasn’t snow on the ground for the show!)

Looking for the latest? Read about the 2023 Philadelphia Flower Show!

The opening flower gate at the Philadelphia Flower Show 2020.

Hanging plants on an arch at the Philadelphia Flower Show.

Plants in competition at the Flower Show.

What to Expect at the Philadelphia Flower Show 2020

With more than ten acres of exhibitions, the Flower Show has a consistent layout. There is always an impressive opening showpiece that leads to a number of designs by mostly local landscaping companies who provide inspiration for your own indulgent backyard getaway. It is all about relaxing hang out spots from which to unwind whether that be with a glass of wine or a good book.

There are also thoughtful showpieces by other schools and organizations from around the region, many with educational messages like the importance of using native plants. Another exhibit blends Philadelphia with the Riviera with the Princess Grace rose garden, surrounding a statue wearing Kelly’s famous wedding gown with dozens of beautiful roses in a variety of colors.

And, of course, there is a large number of competition pieces by enthusiasts. These are perhaps some of the most fun to look at. Among the many different categories, there are dozens of romantic balcony displays inspired by the European way of life and carefully crafted works of art using pressed flowers. And then there is row after row of competitively grown plants showcasing the best of each variety and style. The terrariums amaze with just how many plants they fit into such a small glass container while it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the topiary in the shape of a schnauzer was best in show in my book.

The Princess Grace Rose Garden exhibit at the Philadelphia Flower Show 2020.

A selection of succulents and plants set against colorful walls.

A Mediterranean inspired backyard landscaping exhibit at the Flower Show.

Inspiration You Can Take Home

As always, the interpretation of the show theme is loose. But this year, the atmosphere is intoxicating. It’s refreshing and it’s simpler. While the French Riviera provides the inspiration, there are hints of the Mayan Riviera with beautiful cacti and succulents set against bold colors of coral and yellow while citrus plants create a gorgeous canopy overhead.

The Philadelphia Flower Show 2020 is one of the best in years. The focus is more on the plants and less on ornaments and props. There are more tips that the average homeowner can use in their own backyard without being a master landscaper. And sometimes that just means a garden of potted plants with some chairs where you can enjoy it.

A potted succulent sits in an alcove surrounded by blue tiles.

A Riviera feel with plants surrounding architectural buildings.

Get Philadelphia Flower Show Tickets

PHS makes attending the Flower Show really easy. Tickets are good for any day at any time. You can buy Philadelphia Flower Show tickets online to really make the process easy: simply walk into the Pennsylvania Convention Center and you’ll be able to head right into the show.

A classical guitar surrounded by plants.

A greenhouse set amongst the plants.

Tips for Visiting the Philadelphia Flower Show

  • You can avoid the inevitable crowds by visiting the Flower Show on weekday evenings. Or, if you have a membership to the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) there are special members-only hours where crowds are a bit lighter.
  • Pace yourself. The Flower Show allows same-day readmission. Simply get your hand stamped before exiting.

Thank you to PHS for hosting me at the show. All photos, as well as all opinions, are my own. This post contains an affiliate link.

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