If you’re like us, you’re getting tired of bare lawn, expanses of brown mud, and being stuck inside. The seed catalogs are starting to roll in, and that helps; we’re plotting and anticipating our gardens this year, itching to get our hands dirty and to smell the heady scent of spring blooms.
I can’t make spring come any faster— TRUST ME if I could I would— but the last couple of years I’ve found one way that satisfies that itch for seeing, smelling and touching flowers “blooming most recklessly” before spring officially arrives: the Philadelphia International Flower Show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
This year the Flower Show runs from March 4-11 and promises to be an interactive, immersive tropical paradise in winter with the theme “Hawaii: Islands of Aloha.” There’s always so much to see and do, but the biology/botany dork in me is really excited about seeing the flora of such an exotic locale. Hawaii is so far removed from here and has a climate and ecosystem totally unlike what we have. In my mind, it’s the difference between Kansas and Oz.
Not to mention, the extreme therapy of a mini “vacation” in such lush surroundings. I NEED A VACATION.
Always a grand spectacle (spanning TEN ACRES of exhibit space), 2012 attractions include:
- real-time floral competitions
- world’s largest lettuce wall
- new motion graphics magically transform waterfalls into lava flows and sculptural forms into breaking waves
- free lectures and demonstrations on topics such as lei-making and quilting, green roofs and walls (wicked excited about this one), organic gardening, vegetables, edible landscapes, native plants, tree and lawn care, ornamental horticulture
- daily hula, music and fire dancing performances
- a Family Lounge of children’s activities
- demonstrations, crafts and merchandise in the Grand Hall for home and garden
- free wine tastings presented by the PA Wine & Spirits Store
- farm-to-table and healthy cooking in the culinary room
- new guest chef, celebrities, a Hawaii-themed VIP restaurant at the center of the exhibition hall, and special Hawaii cocktails at the beverage stations.
Family Day on the final Sunday aims to introduce littles to the wonderful world of gardening. WXPN Kids’ Corner host Kathy O’Connell will read Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax to children in the Family Lounge at 2 p.m. March 4, and Lisa Nutter (Mayor Nutter’s wife) will read to kids at 2 p.m. March 11. The Lorax will speak for the trees in person from 2 to 5 p.m. on those Sundays.
Some events do require reservations so check before you go.
Revenues from the Flower Show benefit the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and this year will support City Harvest. (We love City Harvest). This is a really wonderful organization that brings together urban farmers, provides green job training, and grows fresh produce for more than 1,000 families in need each week.
For more info and ticket purchases, visit the Flower Show website.
Excited like me? Get behind-the-scenes stories and sneak previews at the Flower Show blog (the most recent entry features a Flower show shoutout on SNL! This delights me), Facebook and Twitter @PhilaFlowerShow.
Got a fancy smartphone? Really very seriously like to plan your day? (I do.) The Flower Show App will provide free maps, schedules, special offers, Show features, and parking advice. (Parking advice in Philly, always a plus.) Doesn’t look like it’s live yet, so I’ll keep you updated.
This is the first of a series of compensated posts sponsored by the Philadelphia International Flower Show. Information about the upcoming show is provided; all opinions are our own.