March Madness: 2013 Philadelphia Flower Show – Brilliant!
March madness has a whole new meaning for me; move over basketball!, I’m going to the Philadelphia Flower Show. This show is mad. If you go this year, you will get the royal treatment as the Flower Show prepares for a British Invasion, featuring the culture and horticulture of the United Kingdom. Brilliant!
Sponsored by the Philadelphia Horticultural Society (PHS) , a not-for-profit membership organization, founded in 1827, the Flower Show is held in the Pennsylvania Convention Center, under 33 acres, with 10 acres in the main exhibit hall. It’s not only our nation’s largest flower show, it’s the largest indoor flower show in the world. You can’t compare this event with any other show you’ve ever seen.
The PHS is mad about horticulture, and each year presents the Flower Show to more than 250,000 visitors. It takes a dedicated effort of a well established organization to sponsor such an event. Within a week’s time, 7,000 Belgian blocks will be brought in, with 3,500 volunteers lending a hand; along with plumbers, carpenters, and electricians to help feature more than a million plants. It’s madness.
There are more than 50 major exhibits and amateur gardeners contributing to more than 2,000 entries in 330 competitive categories. Exhibitors will have spent a better part of a year designing their exhibit; and during installation, experts will style, fluff, and buff all for the sole purpose to enhance the visitor’s experience–to make you mad about horticulture, too.
Last year, I attended the event for the first time. Over the years, I’ve wanted to go, but it took me a while to make my way there. I now know, first hand, what I’ve been missing. There is something for everyone. Activities for the novice gardener to the experienced horticulturists, and flowers used in ways you’ll insist are not flowers at all…but they are.
My camera was snapping away at unique designs, over-the-top displays that I knew I could never duplicate but appreciated the wow factor as I did a 360 around an exhibit. This is the place to be for the lastest trends in floral design; the place to see and hear what’s hot in horticulture.
The shopping was also superb. The display side of the indoor exhibit transitions to the shopping side. Here, you can get instant gratification. From Kokedama (string garden) to planted containers and handblown garden art glass, you can go home with ready made inspiration. Or, design and build your own inspiration with the latest trends in containers, accents, and design styles.
There are free cooking and gardening demonstrations, lectures, and an area where you can try out the latest gardening gadgets. This year, the Flower Show will be open for an extra day to accommodate the many visiting enthusiast.
This March, be brilliant by going mad for the British Invasion.
DIGGING DEEPERIn less than an eight-hour drive from Raleigh, you can attend the 2013 Philadelphia Flower Show, and be apart of the British Invasion: Brilliant!
March 2 – 10
Pennsylvania Convention Center
12th & Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Be sure to make reservations for a proper English tea served at 12:30 and 3:45.
The Flower Show
Area hotels range from a budget night’s stay at the Best Western Center City
501 N. 22nd St., Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA, 19130
To some of the best the city offers at the Crowne Plaza Philadelphia Downtown
1800 Market St., Center City West, Philadelphia, PA, 19103
During your stay, be sure to head across the street to the Reading Terminal Market, to enjoy a meal or do a little shopping. Next time I go, I’m plan to bring an empty cooler, and will stock up on local meats and seafood.
Beat the crowds and plan to begin your day when the doors open or later in the afternoon and stay until closing. Check your coat, and wear comfortable shoes. Don’t let anything stand in your way for an extend stay.
Just two blocks east will take you into Chinatown for even more local flavor.
All proceeds from the Philadelphia International Flower Show, including tickets and sponsorship contributions, support The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and its acclaimed urban greening programs, including City Harvest.