The Philadelphia Flower Show is not only the oldest botanical exhibition in the country (188 years young!), but it is also considered the biggest. And if this year’s ‘HOLLAND: Flowering the World’ is any indication, PHS is not about to relinquish that title because, with over 30,000 bulbs and perennials in full bloom, everything about this show is grander and more colorful than ever.
When you enter the main hall, you’re greeted with a life-sized brick bridge that passes over a winding canal lined with a riot of multi-colored tulips. Walk around to the other side and become transfixed by the colossal floral canopy suspended over head, consisting of over 6,000 individual blooms. Windmills turn and stare down from above and the 30′ tall, 3,500-square-foot Ecodome showcases the Netherlands’ commitment to green technology. Of course, the tulip, the Netherlands’ most notable floral export, is the star here, and the Flower Show does a laudable job of representing the lush tulip fields that Holland is known for. The other dominant motif is the bicycles. In the Netherlands, there are more bikes than people and here, two-wheelers hang from the ceiling, are upcycled into art, and sit amongst the gardens festooned with flower baskets. Nods to the great Dutch artists also appear throughout the show, from Piet Mondrian’s Compositions to Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’. All week long, there are live presentations from gardeners and floral designers, local and international, and you can take part in a series of classes where you get your creativity on and bring your arts and crafts home with you.
‘HOLLAND: Flowering the World’ runs now through March 19th and given that the rest of the week looks like Old Man Winter’s last stand, it’s the perfect place to escape his wrath.