2017 Philadelphia Flower Show

Christopher Tremoglie, Managing Editor

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“It is a family tradition,” said Gabriella Mruk, “we come every year.”

The Philadelphia Flower Show was at the Pennsylvania Convention Center from March 11 – March 19th. It is an annual tradition that is synonymous with the kicking off of the Spring season in Philadelphia. Recently, the past few years there has been a “Flower Show 5k” that preceded the event as a welcoming, sort of kick-off event. According to their website, each ticket to the Philadelphia Flower Show benefited the year-round programs of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, including PHS City Harvest, Philadelphia LandCare and the Plant One Million campaign.

This spring tradition is the perfect place to take the family on a botanist adventure and take photos of your favorite flowers and, with the emergence of social media, the perfect selfie-spot. The Philadelphia Flower Show is the world’s oldest and largest indoor event of its kind and draws hundreds of thousands of people to Center City Philadelphia every year. Entering its 188th year, visitors stroll the Convention Center while observing spectacular floral displays of a variety of shapes and sizes.

This year’s theme was “Holland: Flowering the World” and visitors were transported to a region of vivacious Dutch tulip fields through floral displays from world renowned botanists and landscape artists from all over the globe. One of my particular favorites was the display which had windmills overflowing with flowers and wooden shoes budding vibrant blooms which I found out was a popular attraction of travelers who actually vacation to the Netherlands. Here, the flower show brought the Netherlands to us! This year’s new addition of a Dutch Shopping Village and a Garden Spa was an entertaining extra to amuse guests after they exited Exhibition Hall.

An entertained and well-informed guest who claimed to be a part of the Flower Show informed me that the inspiration for the show was the Dutch’s enormous flower industry. Professional floral designers from all over pitched in and worked together to reconstruct the cityscapes of Holland while using 30,000 flowers to erect iconic Dutch backdrops like bridges, gardens, canals and, a show favorite, windmills. While many know Amsterdam for the lax rules regarding a different kind of flower, this spectacle sought to give one a trip to the amazing landscape.

With the Holland Theme, an immense part of the spectacle was the Holland inspired Entrance Garden. The massive entrance garden was vintage Amsterdam featuring a brick bridge adorned with, as I was informed, “Delft tile patterns” and immersed with flower boxes over flowing with blooms. Additionally, there was an amazingly beautiful floating floral canopy to mimic a flower field in Holland with 6,000 flowers suspended overhead the visitors in the exhibit. Another garden had sycamores, a myriad of flowers and cherry trees that would make George Washington envious.

“I’ve never seen anything like this!” exclaimed yearly visitor Heather Morris, “This is my favorite year yet!”

The windmills were a fan favorite of this Dutch themed spectacle and were symbolic of Holland’s historical wind energy harvest attempts. Another fan favorite were bicycle inspired floral arrangements. There was a eccentric fountain made of bike parts that highlighted spinning wheels that kicked water in the air. Another display by the entrance featured spokes that were created an abstract sculpture. There was also an enchanting futuristic eco-dome that was made in Holland but shipped here solely for the Flower Show. A huge 70 by 30-foot futuristic dome, one could enter and marvel at the solar energy production and additional green technologies. And, of course, adhering to the latest trend, there was a Pop-Up Beer Garden.

I highly recommend taking in this show next year. It is a sight to see, a long Philadelphia tradition and an overall exciting event that would excite even the most pessimistic visitor!

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2017 Philadelphia Flower Show