The Philadelphia Flower Show 2017


Think Holland is across the ocean? This year Holland comes to America at the Philadelphia flower show! With spinning windmills of flowers, bridges, canals, and bikes galore, and a rainbow of tulips and daffodils that dance in the music and light, this year’s flower show could turn any thumb green (or orange).


There is something for everyone at this year’s show at the Philadelphia Convention Center. I was impressed by all the beautiful ways that floral designers incorporated Dutch culture into their displays. From blue & white Delft pottery and tiles, to towering stacks and fountains of bicycles and bike parts that remind people to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle, there was no question what the 2017 theme was.


Think that flower shows are for stuffy horticultural enthusiasts who are obsessed with pruning their roses? No! The Philadelphia Flower Show has something for everyone. We saw people of all ages enjoying the flowers with glee. I was struck by how many of the installations were closely related to contemporary art. The beautiful colors and textures of flowers and plants being used in the displays just added a natural element to the towering sculptures.


The artful displays drew attention to the qualities of different flower types. Ornamental grasses, gerber daisies, and tulips were even shown off as elaborate “hats” in one display.


Periodically, the hall would erupt into a musical lightship featuring the windmills. Everyone would stop to watch how the flowers changed colors in the synchronized lights.


The best part of this was how the lighting raced through the hanging curtain of pommanders overhead.


Towards the back of the convention hall were smaller displays, each featuring plants indigenous to Holland. Many of them appealed as secret gardens. One even showcased the ecological advantages of grass roofs on traditional Dutch houses.


The center of the hall featured awarded winning botanical specimen in their respective categories. We had a lot of fun looking at terrariums, succulents, and African violets. Our favorite by far were the beautiful Bonsai trees! Some of the trees had been carefully “trained” by their gardeners for over fifty years.

The rest of the show is dominated by shopping kiosks featuring seeds, tropical bulbs, garden ornaments, flags, containers and even designer greenhouses.

Whether or not you have a green thumb, you are sure to enjoy the annual Philadelphia Flower Show!


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