The reason for the chip on Philadelphia's shoulder is never being able to forget that it is no longer, and never will again be, America's leading city. For this event, however, Philly out-shines anything else like in the country -- if not the world.
Cost is NOT cheap: $24 at the door, $20 in advance -- and you can buy tickets five minutes in "advance" at the Surburban Station. The four to five hours you'll spend will make the visit worth every penny. I'm not exaggerating to say that walking into this show will make you feel like Dorothy leaving her home and walking into the Land of Oz.
Parking during this event is even more of a nightmare than usual, so riding the subway to 11th Street is HIGHLY recommended. Crowds are horrific on weekends and during the day. Arrive at 4 pm and the crowds quickly disappear. By the last hour, the place seems down-right quiet. Food in the hall itself is WAY over-priced and mediocre at best -- get food anywhere but there. Coat-checks are $2 per item. Photography of all kinds is freely permitted -- the pictures below are just five of the 203 I took, with a cheap digital camera and no flash. You can leave the convention hall and return the same day WITH a hand stamp. Toilets and seating are easily found. You WILL need the latter -- tired feet are a constant "problem" of not wanting to sit down when there's so much beauty about you.
In March of each year the Convention Center in Philadelphia is transformed into a garderning wonderland. I had heard about this show and how wonderful it was so finally in 2007 I had a chance to see it. This year the theme of the show was Ireland. When we went in the convention hall, it was filled with displays of flowers and little scenes that could have come from Ireland. It's a breath of early spring. All of the flowers here in the show have been forced into bloom in greenhouses but the effect is spectacular. I took some photos with the flash on my camera. In addition to the garden scenes, there are also individual plants which are judged, lectures on a variety of subjects and vendors selling everything a gardener could want from hoes to frogs to sit in your garden and beautiful pots. We were glad that we were here at 8am when it opened because by 11:00 it was very crowded.
This is something I was attending even as a little girl, when I was more interested in animals than horticulture. It is an extremely well done production and if you go on a weekday/night early on you will miss all the crowds and really enjoy it. You have to check the website for the specific dates each year, but early March is the general time frame. This year's theme was "Legends of Ireland".
Beauty at its best can only describe The Philadelphia Flower Show. In past years, we've viewed vast collections of flowers, exotic plantings, trees and even running brooks incorporated into creative scenes of farmhouses with pastures, a cabin in the deep woods, fantasy gardens or contemporary home landscaping. Each year is a pleasant experience!
There is a large part of the convention hall given over to vendors selling garden related products from plants to dried flowers to herbs to faux ivy-covered lamps. I can browse in this area for a long time!
We stayed at the Marriott Downtown and used the skywalk which took us right into the Convention Center where it was being held. Very convenient!! Ticket sales on line begin in November and then are available at retail shops in January of each year.
Something new has been added in 2006--THE HIVE, a lounge-type area featuring live music and light appetizers for ticket holders. Wine can be purchased in this area, too.
NEXT YEAR'S THEME: Legends of Ireland scheduled March 4-11,2007
At the Convention Center one week a year you'll find 10 acres of lavish, lush, inspirational displays, gardens, floral settings which make this flower show the largest and most prestigious one in the world! It is usually is scheduled the first or second week in March.
Adults (good any day): $22
Children (2–12 years):$12
The Family Fun Pak ($11 savings off regular admission) is available for $55 and includes 2 adult and 2 child (2-12 years) tickets plus a year-round membership in the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. Call 215-988-8776.
Guinness World Records, the universally recognized authority on record-breaking achievement, has designated the Philadelphia Flower Show as the "Earliest Documented Horticultural Show" (Since 1829) and the "Longest Running Horticultural Show."