Philadelphia Flower Show makes a historic move outdoors

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Wednesday, May 5, 2021

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- It's springtime, which means flowers are beginning to bloom, trees are beginning to re-leaf, and the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show must be around the corner.

But take note: after almost 200 years of being held in the spring, this year the Flower Show will take place in the summer! From June 5-13 to be exact, the Flower Show will be held outdoors for the first time in its storied history, bringing together the beauty of flowers, the health benefits of being outdoors, and bringing the theme of "HABITAT: Nature's Masterpiece" to life in South Philadelphia.

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has moved its award-winning event to FDR Park in South Philadelphia, with an exquisite backdrop of trees, grass, lakes, and sunshine. Visitors will delight in the floral and landscape displays over 15 acres of the park (a space increase of 45% over past years), with dated and timed tickets to allow for a safe, healthy experience.

With the opportunity to re-imagine the Show layout, this year the Show will be divided into three districts for visitors to enjoy: the Design District, featuring large-scale floral and landscape designs; the Plant District highlighting the variety and diversity of plants; and the Garden District, where guests can learn how to implement innovative ideas in their home gardens. The new Show venue translates to even more space for safe distancing and more gardens to see, with a 360-degree perspective around the displays.

This year's Show will have all the experiences that visitors have come to expect - like the Hamilton Horticourt with a spectrum of plants at their peak, towering exhibits full of flowers and other plant spectacles, plus shopping for gardeners and those interested in unique home gifts. Other perennial Show favorites include guided, two-hour Early Morning Tours, with interesting tales of exhibitors before the Show opens each day to the public. Experiences also include the beauty of nature at Butterflies Live!, where visitors of all ages can commune in a natural, open-air setting with these delicate pollinators.

In addition to the favorite guest offerings, new experiences like reserved Park Picnics, a family-friendly day on Friday, June 11th called Family Frolic featuring lots of free kid activities, and of course the outdoor location will satisfy new and returning visitors. Food and beverage choices will also be expanded, ranging from festival favorites to specialty plates, with a variety of options for families, kids, vegan, and vegetarian eaters.

For those who want to 'dig in' to gardening, the newly-designed Gardeners Green will serve as a nod to an historic public commons and offer approaches for enhancing everyday living through horticulture. Areas will include displays and curated information on edible landscaping, flowering vines and trees, perennials all in bloom, a formal vegetable parterre, interesting plant combinations, and various structures including a Victorian greenhouse. Not to mention a chicken coop with live chickens, and beehives with tenders to talk with!

The annual Flower Show features some fun -and fundraising - events as well. PHS's annual fundraising gala "Evening at the Flower Show" on Saturday, June 5th, features an outdoor oasis for visitors, with a special view of the Show under the stars, featuring live music, small plates, craft cocktails, and an unmatched experience for all. For those who want to wear their floral best, the annual Flowers After Hours dance party will have a theme of "Hort Couture!" Taking place on Saturday, June 12th, will allow guests to safely view the Show while enjoying live music, socially distanced dancing, and food and beverages. Entertainment includes performances by SNACKTIME PHILLY and DJ Aktive. Guests can compete in a costume contest for a chance to win prizes.

Public safety is a critical component of the upcoming show. Reserved tickets for morning or afternoon sessions, with other health and safety measures, such as maximum occupancy limits, required masks, and adherence to government health recommendations, will help keep Show attendees, staff, and volunteers safe.

Learn more about "HABITAT: Nature's Masterpiece" here and purchase your tickets. Revenue from the annual Flower Show supports the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's innovative greening programs that help strengthen communities throughout the region.