Flower to the People

There’s a little event going on in Philly this week, you might have heard about – The 2017 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show. It’s the show’s 188th year, so it’s not new to the area.

While it’s the oldest and largest indoor show of its kind, many people have not ventured to the Convention Center. After so many years of spectacular exhibitions, these no-shows have really cropped out.

You might be skeptical and think it sounds way too frilly and feminine to attend, but this event packs some big bulbs. It’s not just for the “ladies who lunch” or the Main Line equestrian women wearing jodhpurs and clutching their pussy willows – no one’s grabbing them.

I once was a Flower Show naysayer, but I was converted over ten years ago. I once believed the show was just a group of ‘blue-haired’ garden club ladies waxing their bougainvillea and polishing their garden weasels.

They’re busy assigning blue ribbons to each other’s potted petunias, while sipping chamomile tea. The place would smell of moth balls, Ben Gay, and maybe a few pungent funeral lilies.

That’s a misconception by those who haven’t tiptoed through the tulips. If you go, you’ll find a diverse, educational, entertaining event that inspires everyone through the beauty of nature. If you’re lucky you might grow a green thumb. Which is much more useful than a brown nose.

For all horticultural virgins, there’s no better way to pop your cherry blossom than at the annual Flower Show. The convention hall blooms into a colorful display of flowers, plants, and trees all in amazing landscaped exhibits.

It’s an explosion of color, aroma and sound. Think of sticking your head in a bag of really fragrant potpourri and listening to the soothing sound of waterfalls, and that’s a glimpse of the flower show.

If you’re a real he-man and you’re into NASCAR and WWE, you might shy away from anything with “flower” in the title. Don’t deny yourself the pleasure Tommy Testosterone, because there are plenty of big phallic cactuses or multiple stamen floral varieties to high five over.

Beer and wine is served on the show floor, and you might find a juicy kielbasa. So, gas up the Ford F-450, invite the old lady, and go enjoy some horticulture. You might decide to start a blue-ribbon garden at home. Give your poker buddies peony envy when you tell them you learned it all at the flower show.

The show only runs for nine days, so it can be crowded. It draws people of all ages, so prepare yourself for strollers, canes, walkers, wheelchairs, scooters and maybe a gurney. Some attendees have been strolling through the show since 1829. A word to the budding novice – don’t walk behind any of the aforementioned objects, or you may miss your ride home.

If you’re looking to make your debut at a less crowed time it’s suggested to attend the show after 3 PM on weekdays. That’s when the senior crowd heads for Old Country Buffet.

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society produces a unique experience for every show. This year you can “Go Dutch” with their theme of Holland – Flowering the World.

Don’t be a wilted wallflower and procrastinate another year. There’s power in the flower, and your vine could wither at any moment. Plant your roots in a new annual tradition. Better a late bloomer, then to never have bloomed at all.







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3 thoughts on “Flower to the People”

  1. I’m so ashamed to say I’ve never gone. Now, I don’t know what to do…is it a curmudgeon badge of honor to stay away? Oy, I just hate crowds. How many days do I have to decide?

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