Philadelphia Flower Show Tour 2019
Every March, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society hosts the Philadelphia Flower Show—one of the city’s most beloved and anticipated events of the year. With its debut in 1829, the flower show is the nation’s largest and longest-running horticultural event, bringing the best floral and landscape designers from all over the world to our city. As Philadelphia locals with passion for plants and flowers, we always look forward to seeing the inspired, beautiful displays these talented folks create.
This year, the show’s theme was Flower Power, playing on the joy, creativity, and freedom of the 1960s peace movement. Our friend and photographer, Jen Rudy, stopped by the convention center last weekend to capture the ephemeral beauty of these installations so we could share her stunning photos and experience with you here! Read on to see Jen’s favorite display, hear what the show’s design director divulged, and learn what you can expect to see when you visit.
terrain: Have you been to the Philadelphia Flower Show before? What was your personal experience like this year?
Jen Rudy: This is the third Philadelphia flower show I’ve been to! I feel like I say this every year, but this was one truly was my favorite. I loved how everyone took a different approach and really played with their idea of the theme Flower Power. Every set up was so different yet everything flowed together so beautifully. The opening display by Robertson's Flowers and Events was beautiful and really captured what I picture the 1960s to look like—lava lamps, tons of flowers, peace signs, and good vibes.
terrain: Did you have a favorite installation of the show?
Jen: My absolute favorite display was All Along the Watchtower by McCullough’s Landscape and Nursery. I immediately felt a sense of calm, like I was transported into a beautiful spot in nature while standing in a busy convention center. It was inspired by the Woodstock stage and features a keyhole garden with a small reflecting pool. It had the most amazing textures of plants and mixtures of materials like wood and metal.
terrain: Was there a display you felt had a particularly unique take on the theme?
Jen: I thought Kaleidoscope by Waldor Orchids was really cool! The use of mirrors, water, and motion made the display really stand out in an interesting way. I loved the way it completely changed when you moved around the display and was always different, referencing a kaleidoscope.
terrain: Did you talk to anyone who was working on the displays or at the show? What did they have to say? Any good behind-the-scenes scoop?
Jen: I was so lucky to get a little tour by Seth Pearsoll, the design director of the flower show. He talked a lot about how most of the plants and flowers used in the show aren’t blooming this time of year, so they have to be forced under just the right conditions indoors. I’d never thought of that before! Forcing these plants to peak during the show is an art in itself! He also talked about how one of their goals this year was to encourage displays that are more interactive, so the viewer could really experience each display physically.
terrain: For anyone who has yet to visit the flower show, what do you think is the most special aspect of the experience?
Jen: I think it’s so engaging because there are so many different aspects to appreciate. There are the main exhibits, which are out of this world, but there are also tons of other different kinds of displays that anyone can appreciate. One of my all-time favorite parts of the show is the Horticourt, where garden enthusiasts compete with their container-grown plants to win recognition for being the best. There are so many really interesting plants you don’t see everyday! There’s also art, Japanese flower arranging, terrariums, jewelry, miniatures, games, and so many vendors selling beautiful plants and flowers.
There are still three more days to see the Flower Show if you’re in Philadelphia!
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