Flashback Friday: Philadelphia Flower Show

The Philadelphia Flower Show has been a tradition of the city since 1829. Every year, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society gathers some of the best gardeners, floral designers and landscapers from around the world to produce and incredible array of floral attractions. This year’s theme focused on the booming flower industry of the Netherlands and was titled “Holland: Flowering the World”.

Although I have lived in the Philadelphia area for most of my life, this was my first time attending the famous flower show. I went the first day it opened with my mom and we were blown away by the beautiful displays from the minute we walked in the door. As soon as we got off of the train, there were huge colorful signs with arrows pointing to the entrance of the show. As we got closer, there was miniature displays set up along the path.

From the moment we entered the show, it was clear what the theme was. Giant, windmills and bicycle displays were seen throughout the venue. The first thing we saw when we walked in was a huge bridge decorated with lights and bicycles over a gorgeous field of tulips. One would think this was the main attraction, but it only got better from there.

From there, it led to the bigger displays, which appeared to be modeled after typical backyards found in the Netherlands. Bicycles, water gardens, and cobblestone were all a part of these landscapes.  There was even a tulip field dedicated in memory of Anne Frank.

In addition to the bigger displays, there were also smaller categories called the Design Gallery, which showcased designer’s floral arrangement skills in various settings. This included windowsills, front doors, tablescapes and balconies. Pictured below is the second place winner in a competition that challenged designers to create an arrangement using bicycle tires.

As if the actual flower show wasn’t enough, there was also the Garden Spa, the Beer Garden and crafts for kids. Towards the back of the venue, there was the marketplace. This is where dozens of vendors set up for visitors to shop a variety of items such as jewelry, pots, outdoor decorations and you guessed it, flowers. My favorite however, was the Butterflies Live! room. For this, we went into a room, also decorated in the Holland theme, but only this time, with butterflies. We were given a stick dipped in nectar to attract the butterflies to us. Some people were covered all over in butterflies. It was the perfect ending to the show.

Overall, I would give this year's flower show two thumbs up. Between the variety of color and landscapes and the separate attractions like the butterfly room, it was impossible not to have a good time. If you are thinking of going next year, I highly recommend. It’s a wonderful event to kick-off the spring season and a great way to be part of the city’s beautiful tradition