Your guide to the 2023 Philadelphia Flower Show
The 2023 Philadelphia Flower Show will be held indoors for the first time since 2020 — and the theme is “The Garden Electric.”
Why it matters: We hardly need to say, do we? Before the pandemic, some 250,000 of us (and plenty of out-of-towners) would hit the nine-day exhibition every year.
- Plus, the event brings about $60 million in tourism to the city, event organizers tell Axios.
What's happening: The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society shared renderings for the show, which will take place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center —its longtime home — March 4-12.
- The show will incorporate elements of the last two years’ outdoor events, like the arrangement of the gardens.
What we're watching: This year's show will highlight world-renowned architect-turned-florist Harijanto Setiawan, a Singapore-based creator who has collaborated with brands such as Chanel, Dior and Hèrmes. This will be the first time his work is displayed in the U.S.
- Setiawan's “totally wild” walkthrough exhibit called "Florid Electron" incorporates architectural and floral elements that will come together to give off the appearance of an “endless infinity view of flowers,” Seth Pearsoll, the show’s creative director, tells Axios.
New activities this year include:
- Live music from the Philly brass band SNACKTIME, featuring artists RECPhilly, Zeek Burse and DJ Aktive.
- Students from the city school district will perform on Family Frolic day.
- A “design and dine” event where you can craft your own floral arrangement ($40, separate from admission).
- Activities for children inside the “Kids Cocoon.”
- A Studio 54-themed disco party by Philly boutique shop ILLExotics, featuring a floral DJ, bartender and dancers, constructed from an unusual assemblage of aroids to orchids.
Plus: The return of “Fido Friday,” when guests can bring their dogs, and “Artisan Row,” a hub for creating floral and gardening crafts alongside makers. This year's show will also feature a winding, promenade-style walkway that will allow visitors to see all the exhibits.
Additionally, plant experts at the show offer a rare opportunity for visitors to get how-to advice about the displays and exhibits, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society president Matt Rader tells Axios.
- If you want to make an Instagram-worthy houseplant and have no idea how to begin, stop by the Hamilton Horticourt info booth to get all your questions answered.
What they’re saying: Pearsoll says he wants the event to feel bold, daring and full of unexpected color combinations.
- It’s “going to focus on exciting, celebratory aspects of flowers and gardens,” he says.
Rader says it’s a mad scramble every year to pull off the annual event.
- Organizers ship in thousands of flowers, some endemic to other parts of the world, and employ “force flowering” tactics to get certain out-of-season flowers to bloom in time for the show.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to include new details about the show.
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