“In full bloom” at a flower show in Philadelphia

Last March, the day after the first official day of spring, I had the opportunity to attend a special press event organized by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, which showcased the upcoming annual flower show. The event took place at Franklin Delan Roosevelt Park (FDR) in South Philly, where the exhibition will be held for the second year in a row.

Last year, for the first time in the nearly 200-year history of the exhibition, the event was held in the fresh air. To adapt to the brand new venue, a lot of changes had to be made (see: parking, weather factors, etc.), but the show was a huge success. I asked Sam Lemhini, head of PHS shows and events, if there were any unexpected good surprises at last year’s show. The answer was yes, and it was significant.

First, Lemhini told me, “I didn’t expect how spectacular the background would be.” I could imagine that. The show takes place near one of the seven lakes of the park and a beautiful gazebo. Here the landscape just catches the eye and takes on a journey. And what is better than exposing plants where they grow, ie, outdoors?

Second, “we had a much more diverse audience,” Lemhaney said. The location in another area – the outskirts of South Philadelphia, not Center City – and perhaps simply because it was on the street, attracted much more young people and families to the event, as well as more ethnic diversity. From what Lemhini said, I realized that the scene in the park seemed more mundane (sorry for the pun) and accessible. It’s great that this event – the first flower show in the US and the largest and longest flower show in the world – attracted people who would not normally attend.

Third, Lemhaney revealed: “It opened our eyes to the possibilities. We had to start thinking about new ways to do what we always did, and it helped us see new opportunities that we would not have been able to imagine otherwise. ”

Finally, and a little strange: “The gardens looked better at the end of the show,” – said Lemhaney. Being more in a natural environment open to the sun and rain, the plants did not look so “tired”. It was nice to hear, and that means visitors don’t have to rush to see the exhibit for the first few days before the exhibits potentially start to sag a bit.

This year’s theme is “In full bloom”, welcoming all visitors, as we embark on a journey to explore the restorative and healing power of nature and plants, learning all that gardening has to offer to improve our lives. This year’s theme is good health, positive well-being and passion for life, which ends with a chic and colorful spectacle. Guests will meet the outdoor gardens at the peak of seasonal perfection and beauty that will inspire everyone to plan for a better tomorrow. ” (

This year’s show runs from Saturday, June 11, to Sunday, June 19. Unlike last year, you don’t need to book a date and time to visit when buying a ticket. To get tickets, go to

Pam Baxter is an avid organic gardener living in Kimberton. Send an email to or mailbox 80, Kimberton, Pennsylvania 19442. Share your gardening stories on Facebook at Chester County Roots. Pam’s nature books for kids and families are available on Amazon, at

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