March 10, 2017
The 188th PHS Philadelphia Flower Show will be at the Pennsylvania Convention Center from Saturday, March 11, through Sunday, March 19. This year, the theme is "Holland: Flowering the World."
The first thing guests will see walking into the show is a brick bridge entryway surrounded by 30,000 flowers and giant windmills. Vibrant pinks, reds, yellows, oranges and purples greet visitors.
Once through the entrance, attendees can wander as they please through the landscape and floral exhibits. Tulips and bicycles are incorporated into many of the designs, as they have become easily recognizable symbols of Dutch culture.
The majority of the exhibitors are local, but leading designers from the Netherlands are featured, too. Nico Wissing, Bart Hoes, Bart Bresser and New Jersey-born Carrie Preston were all invited to show off their talents.
Their exhibits showcase the "Dutch New Wave" movement, which takes a natural and sustainable approach to landscape design.
Visitors will see landscapes depicting realistic Netherlands gardens. Preston incorporates a chain-link fence in her design, while another exhibit re-creates a rooftop garden with a graffitied wall.
The Dutch Ecodome, designed by Wissing and shipped from the Netherlands, is a can't-miss at the Flower Show. He created it in 2016 as a green technology display for a gathering of European Union leaders in Amsterdam. Solar panels and the ability to convert rain into drinking water are two features of the design.
While many exhibits highlight a focus on sustainability or the beauty of the Dutch landscape, some designers chose more unique themes.
A floral design titled "PEDALS: The White Bike Plan" celebrates the creation of Amsterdam's bike-share movement, which started with a group of young activists in 1967.
Another exhibit pulls inspiration from Piet Mondrian's famous painting "Composition with Large Red Plane, Yellow, Black, Grey and Blue."
The exhibits might be the main draw, but this year, the Flower Show is introducing two new features that pull visitors off the show floor. Attendees will want to check out the Dutch Shopping Village and the Garden Spa.
As for returning add-ons, look for the PHS Pop-Up Beer Garden and the Butterflies Live! exhibit.
Tickets for the 2017 Flower Show are available online and at the door.