I’m sharing a few photos from this year’s annual Philadelphia Flower Show, an event put on the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. This year’s theme is Holland.
I had the opportunity to attend this year’s Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Philadelphia Flower Show, thanks to a pair of complimentary tickets from FTD. I’ve attended once before, in 2015, and enjoyed the experience, and was excited to go back.
This year’s theme is Holland. Holland is a region on the northwestern coast of The Netherlands, and sometimes used to refer to the entire country of The Netherlands, though the citizens of the country don’t always appreciate that.
As soon as you enter the main showroom, you walk under a tall bridge, with flowers and plants on it, under it and around it. On the other side is a breathtaking display, suspended from the ceiling by cords, with balls of flowers at the end. The cords are varied in length, making a beautiful rolling hill formation.
When you hear “Holland,” you probably think tulips, right? Well, yes, and there are 35,000 tulips at the Flower Show this year! But Holland is the #1 exporter of lives trees, bulbs, plants and cut flowers, too.
In addition to thousands of tulips, I also saw lots of daisies, daffodils, sunflowers, as well as hundreds of other varieties of flowers and plants that I couldn’t name. There are markers all over to help you identify the flowers and plants in the exhibits.
There are so many exhibits in the main show room: landscapes, floral displays, gardens, and more, by individuals, schools, florists, landscape companies, and many more. The entire show is actually a competition with many different categories. This year had a competition for tablescapes, front entrances, balconies, windowsills, mini arrangements and more!
I think my favorite was this exhibit, “The Secret Annex” by the Horticulture Academy at Abraham Lincoln High School, based on Anne Frank, who lived most of her life in or near Amsterdam. Beautiful sentiments during these uncertain times in our country.
And that’s just the main show room. Yes, there is more! There is a live butterfly exhibit ($5, not included in general admission), and a garden spa ($20 to $30, not included in general admission), a make-and-take area ($10 to $15, not included in general admission).
There are also presentations on everything from The History, Production and Trends of the Dutch Flower Bulb Industry to Zero Landfill Gardening. While I was at the show, a presentation on Saving the Bees by Dr. Noah Wilson-Rich was going on — very informative!
Also stop by FTD’s #ILookToHer booth on the exhibit hall concourse near the West Entrance. Take a photo at the booth, then tag a woman that you look up to, and hashtag the photo with #ILookToHer. FTD will be surprising some people who use this hashtag with free flower bouquets!
Also stop by FTD Designer Studio where, each day at 1pm, they have a celebrity guest on stage with FTD’s lead floral designer presenting unique arrangements and design ideas to the audience. The celebrity guests range from actors to bloggers to a former White House florist!
So, the fast facts about the Philadelphia Flower Show:
When: March 11th through March 19th
Where: Philadelphia Convention Center, 12th and Arch Streets
Saturday, March 11: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Sunday, March 12: 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
Monday, March 13th – Friday, March 17: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Saturday, March 18: 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
Sunday, March 19: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
Tickets are available online and at the door. Visa and Mastercard are accepted, as is cash. Proceeds from the Philadelphia Flower Show benefit the year-round programs of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society that have become national models of urban greening, including City Harvest, which creates green jobs and supports a network of community gardens that raise fresh produce for families in need.
- If you go to the Philadelphia Flower Show, wear comfortable shoes. The Convention Center is huge, you’ll be doing a lot of walking.
- Check your coat.It isn’t overly warm in the showroom, but it is crowded, and the less you have in your arms, the better. Coat check is available for $3.
- Go in the evening, if possible. On my way to the show, I ran into two women who had just left. They said it was elbow-to-elbow in the main showroom. I arrived around 6 p.m. on the first day, and while there were definitely lots of other people there, it didn’t feel crowded.
- That being said, leave yourself lots of time. I’m not really a “flower person” (I have a black thumb, not a green one), and even I spent well over two hours at the show. There’s so much to experience!
- Stop by The Marketplace! Lots of florists are there, selling bouquets at prices much lower than you’ll see anywhere else. I bought myself a beautiful bouquet of a dozen peach roses. There are also merchants selling seeds, herbs and spices, home and garden decor, and much more!
Did you know that gin originated in Holland? There was an entire display centered around a gin distillery, with a copper and glass complementing the plants and flowers.
You’re probably wondering, what’s with all the bikes? The Netherlands is the bicycling capital of the world. There are more bicycles than residents in the country! The government encourages residents to bike with cycling infrastructure such as cycle paths, cycle tracks, protected intersections, widespread bicycle parking and by making cycling routes shorter, quicker and more direct than car routes.