Lonely Planet Writer

Philadelphia is in full bloom with the biggest flower show in the US

The City of Brotherly Love will be in full bloom next week, and not just because of the unseasonably warm weather. The Philadelphia Flower Show, the country’s largest and longest-running horticultural event, debuts “Holland: Flowering the World” on Saturday, 11 March.

Design for the 2017 flowe show entrance garden.
Design for the 2017 flower show entrance garden. Image by Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

Founded in 1829 by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, past flower shows have channelled Paris, Italy, and Hawaii, and this year’s theme will honor the Netherlands. “We’re looking forward to a very exciting show this year that celebrates a culture that is world renowned for its incredible flowers, but also its forward-thinking approach to sustainable living and gardening,” Alan Jaffe, Director of Communications for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, told Lonely Planet. “The Netherlands is a natural focus for PHS, which shares its emphasis on transforming landscapes and improving lives through the power of horticulture.”

Image from the 2016 flower show.
Image from the 2016 flower show. Image by Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

Upon entering the Pennsylvania Convention Center, guests will be greeted with a dramatic installation of over 30,000 blooms, with an additional 6000 suspended overhead for a floating floral canopy that’s meant to evoke Holland’s seemingly infinite fields of flowers. The scene will also feature a brick bridge inspired by those spanning the canals of Amsterdam, windmills, and plenty of verdant gardens exploding with color.

Design for the 2017 flowe show entrance garden.
Design for the 2017 flower show entrance garden. Image by Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

Inside the ten acres of exhibition halls, visitors will find displays, demonstrations, a pop-up Beer Garden, and 180 vendors showcasing fresh cut flowers, crafts, and horticulture supplies. New for 2017 is the World Market with a Dutch Shopping Village, as well as a Garden Spa for relaxing among the tulips with an impromptu massage and a glass of wine. Also new this year is an opening night dance party. “The show is also offering a wonderful way to see the exhibits in a new way: the ‘Flower After Hours’ party on the opening night, March 11” said Jaffe. “This is going to be a fantastic, musical celebration in one of the most beautiful settings possible.”

Design for the 2017 flowe show entrance garden.
Design for the 2017 flower show entrance garden. Image by Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

The Philadelphia Flower Show runs from 11-19 March.

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