The 2024 Philadelphia Flower Show features a theme of United By Flowers.

PHS 2024 Philadelphia Flower Show United by Flowers

In Philadelphia, you know spring is just around the corner when the Philadelphia Flower Show sets up shop in Center City. The 2024 Philadelphia Flower Show is the 195th year of the show, and each year there is a certain excitement and anticipation as you wonder what awaits. This year, there is no snow or ice to slow visitors down as they embrace the theme of United By Flowers.

Landscape design is a prominent feature at the Flower Show.

Vanilla orchids grow up trellises at the Philly Flower Show 2024.

A potting shed inside of a shipping container.

Flowers spill off the walls in the Tissarose Floral display at the Philadelphia Flower Show 2024.

The Philadelphia Flower Show Experience

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) Flower Show is a well-oiled machine but they seem to realize some improvements can be made to this nearly 200-year-old institution. Following a few years of outdoor shows that felt more airy and open, the indoor shows now feature more space around the exhibits.

There will always be some exhibits that invite visitors to walk through and get a more immersive experience. But these layouts tend to cause queuing and bottlenecks and it felt as though there were fewer of these “walk-through” exhibits this year as designers choose to engage in a different way. As a result, the crowds moved a bit more smoothly and it made the overall experience of the show much better. Everything feels more welcoming and inviting.

EMY Flowers showcase "Open the Doors of Your Heart" to meet the theme of United By Flowers.

Robertson's Flowers play with circular shapes at the PHS Flower Show.

Robertson's Flowers bring a pop of color with their Art Deco design at the 2024 Philadelphia Flower Show.

Trends at the Philly Flower Show

But let’s talk about the flowers! Allium, billy buttons, and protea seemed to be especially popular at the 2024 Philadelphia Flower Show. Bright, bold colors were also seen in many of the major exhibits. Bright classic pinks, salmon pink, and rich oranges. The billy buttons and allium, in particular with their fun spherical shapes and long stems, added some variety of movement to arrangements. An Art Deco table setting from Robertson’s Flowers & Events caught my eye and would not have been out of place as the backdrop for a scene in a Pedro Almodóvar film.

The PHS Entrance Garden is always a showstopper and this year featured a large reflecting pool that, thanks to carefully placed mirrors, took its job literally. Tulips in a variety of colors lined the border of the pool while dried pastel pink flower bunches were suspended from above and delicate cherry trees with their blossoms just reaching their peak acted as a backdrop.

The landscape-style exhibits seemed to be fewer in number this year. But what is on display packs a punch. The design offer impressive views along long, narrow pools with arbors or classic follies amidst dense vegetation for a lived-in feel.

But show-stoppers do not have to be big, bold, and loud. Several exhibits focused on native plants and embraced a more overgrown, less manicured appearance. One, from Apiary Studio, even used carefully placed litter to help send a message and reflect a reality that we can change our surroundings for the better.

While so much of the Flower Show is about major showpieces, the smaller competitions should not be missed. Countless gardeners, hobbyists, artists, and more work tirelessly to create and care for their exhibits. It might be an entry into the Store Windows competition, or to a specific category of plants (the schnauzer topiary in the animal topiary category is a perennial favorite of mine), or the artistic pressed plants. There is a lot of talent and hard work on display that is not always the main attraction.

Black Girl Florists fill a salon with dozens of fresh flowers in bright, bold colors.

The tulip garden at the Philadelphia Flower Show is always a favorite.

Pressed Plants in competition at the 2024 Philadelphia Flower Show.

United by Flowers

The “United by Flowers” 2024 Philadelphia Flower Show runs from March 2nd to March 10th at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

Are you looking to save some cash? Then consider the discounted evening “Twilight Tickets” which offer admittance from 4 pm until closing.

Thank you to the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society for hosting me. All photos and opinions are my own.

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