Dutch treats in store for Philly Flower Show visitors

The annual Philadelphia Flower Show is just three weeks away. And, on March 11, the oldest and largest flower show in the U.S. will present the floral wonders of Holland.

The show will also show environmental sustainability innovations from the Netherlands.

Holland is the world’s largest exporter of flowers and floriculture — 77 percent of all flower bulbs in the world come from the province in the Netherlands. Most of those are tulips, Holland’s signature flower.

During the flower show, Holland will unveil a new tulip hybrid, which is yet unnamed. A limited number of bulbs will be for sale.

Inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the show will feature Dutch icons, including windmills covered in tulips and bridges that look “plucked right out of Amsterdam,” said Sam Lemheney, chief of shows and events for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

“We also want to try to get deeper. That sustainable and green messaging they want to push out there is something unexpected,” he said. “Everybody thinks of tulips and color, but they don’t think of the green. That’s what PHS is about, too.

“We’re about the green and sustainable horticulture and gardening.”

The centerpiece of the show will be a huge geodesic dome created by the Dutch government. The EcoDome was created last year by a Dutch landscape designer to show off materials and technologies developed in Holland for sustainable architecture, including vertical gardens; recycled concrete; paving that absorbs carbon dioxide; furniture made from plant by-products; and a moss exterior that removes vehicle exhaust from the air.

“It gives us an opportunity to show Holland as the country of the flowers, but not only the flowers,” said Joanneke Balfoort, a Dutch deputy ambassador. “Also a country of innovation, of sustainable living.”

The Philadelphia Flower Show will be the first venue outside Holland where the EcoDome will be on view.

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