Just as Philadelphia is in the grips of winter weather, the annual Flower Show offers a glimpse of the summer to come.
For the second year, due to the pandemic, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has pushed the Philadelphia Flower Show from March to June, from inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center to outside in FDR Park in South Philly.
This week, the PHS released hand-drawn renderings of what we can expect.
“We are styling it with these great garden arches that you walk under, with these beautiful hanging sky garden elements,” said design director Seth Pearsoll of the plan for the entrance walkway. “I just got off a call: some really cool garden plantings on either side that are as if you were standing in a flower meadow, a flower hill.”
Pearsoll said the floral design of the entrance will send all visitors down a central walkway that will go past the designer gardens, so everyone will have the same experience. Then the path will open up to various routes through the space that people can choose.
The gardens will be color-oriented, with spaces favoring red, for example, and others with orange, and pink.
“So beautiful alliums, some rich echinacea that you might not have found. We’ve got some great grasses,” said Pearsoll. “It’s really the color palette that we’re having some fun with.”
The Flower Show will expand its children’s play area this summer. The Kid’s Cocoon will have nature-inspired play structures and open spaces next to an enclosed butterfly pavilion.
Pearsoll said the PHS has learned from last year’s outdoor show – its first time outside since the Flower Show began in 1829. This summer’s show will feature more seating areas for guests, more areas shaded from the sun, and cooling misters.
The theme of this summer’s Flower Show will be “In Full Bloom,” which is meant to highlight the therapeutic qualities of plants and gardening. Invited designers will create spaces that foster wellness and mental health.
“To be in full bloom is to be living at your best moment. At the peak of your moment, you will have proper sunlight, proper soil,” said Pearsoll. “You will have grown into a healthy version of you, right? That’s the mental health connection.”
Proceeds from the Flower Show fund the Horticultural Society’s year-round programming, including neighborhood beautification projects, supporting urban gardening in the city, and expanding Philadelphia’s tree canopy.
Saturdays just got more interesting.