Thousands Of Philadelphia Flower Show Fans Receive Royal Treatment As Brilliant! Exhibit Opens At Convention Center
by Bonnie Squires
The British-themed 2013 Philadelphia Flower Show is wowing anglophiles, and thousands of visitors as it opened its doors at the Convention Center this weekend.
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) Philadelphia Flower Show is the nation’s, probably the world’s, largest indoor flower show, which blooms every March at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The show features the country’s premier landscape designers and florists, who turn 10 acres of the Convention Center into a floral fantasy world with beautiful plants and cutting-edge designs.
In addition to the major garden displays, the Flower Show hosts world-renowned competitions in horticulture and artistic floral arranging, hundreds of gardening presentations and demonstrations, special events, a mammoth indoor Marketplace, and a city-wide Flower Show Week celebration throughout the Philadelphia region.
The Premier Sponsor of the 2013 Flower Show is Subaru, and the Exclusive Sponsor is Bank of America. This year the patrons and sponsors gala was moved up to Friday night, allowing the Philadelphia Flower Show to run for nine days, adding an extra Saturday.
Proceeds from the Flower Show benefit the year-round programs of PHS, which is celebrating its 185th year of gardening, greening and learning. PHS initiatives include the PHS City Harvest program, which creates green jobs and supports a network of community gardens that raise fresh produce for more than 1,000 families in need each week during the growing season.
The British have a word for something that’s inventive, dazzling, extraordinary. They say it’s “Brilliant!”
The 2013 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show, entitled “Brilliant!,” promises to be all those things and much more.
Inspired by the majestic beauty and creative genius of Great Britain, “Brilliant!” will be presented March 2 through 10 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Magnificent floral and garden exhibits, special programming and new attractions will pay tribute to centuries of influential British culture, culminating in the urbane style of 21st-century London.
“This will be a Flower Show that celebrates Britain’s amazing landscapes and cultural icons, as well as the city that has become the design capital of the world,” explained Drew Becher, President of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. “It will also lift up the British passion for gardening, which has contributed so much to the appreciation of horticulture and its role in our lives.”
PHS has developed partnerships with Britain’s Royal Horticultural Society in preparation for “Brilliant!” and will feature British experts and designers, including presentations by Mark Lane, Gardens Manager at Buckingham Palace. The British-American Business Association is working with PHS to bring specialized products from Britain to the “British Village” in the Convention Center’s Grand Hall, which will also house a photo exhibit of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee visit to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
New days and attractions
The PHS Philadelphia Flower Show will open a new chapter in its 184-year history by adding an extra day to the show’s run in 2013 to provide greater opportunity for visitors to see the nation’s premier horticultural event. For the first time, the show will open on a Saturday and will include two full weekends.
The revised schedule will move the black-tie Preview Party to Friday, March 1, at 7 p.m. The celebration will be held entirely on the show floor, where guests will get the first look at the just-completed displays and witness the new ceremony for the Best in Show winners. (The PHS Young Friends’ After Party swings in at 10 p.m.)
The Flower Show will introduce an exciting variety of new features in 2013.
For the first time, the public will be invited to purchase Pre-Show Sneak Peek ticket packages to visit during set-up week, Feb. 25 to 28, allowing behind-the-scenes access during construction of the elaborate exhibits, plus refreshments in a room overlooking the show floor.
The colorful “New Plant Showcase” will introduce recently developed varieties of flowers and plants by internationally acclaimed growers.
New “Make & Take” workshops will offer opportunities for visitors to design, craft, and take home their own fashionable “fascinators” – stylish hats popularized at the Royal weddings — or other creative projects.
A new attraction especially for guys will be “The Backyard,” a room devoted to outdoor living, featuring decks and patios, grills and fire pits, new garden tools and techniques.
All the entrants in the competitive heart of the Flower Show will be awed by the unveiling of the “PHS Hamilton Horticourt,” a grand, redesigned structure and staging for the individual plants grown by veteran and novice exhibitors.
Opening Gala At Flower Show Draws Big Crowd. See gallery below. Click photograph to enlarge image.