1. Adj.: Describing a person born between 1 Jan. 1946 and 31 Dec. 1964
2. Adj.: Description of a person, place or thing possessing Baby Boomer je ne sais quoi
3. See also, Boomer, Esq.: A Baby Boomer who is also a licensed attorney (See, e.g., About).

The Philadelphia Flower Show, A Harbinger of Spring, March 2 – 10, 2013

by Suzanne Fluhr on March 3, 2013 · 7 comments


Rittenhouse Square Philadelphia winter scene

This is the dismal gray, muddy, leaveless March scene that greeted me in Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia this morning.

By the beginning of March, most people residing above approximately 37 degrees north latitude have about had it with Old Man Winter. In my hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that’s when the Philadelphia Flower Show opens to rescue us from our winter blahs. Since I can remember (i.e. a long time), the annual Philadelphia Flower Show has appeared as the first real harbinger of spring — providing a hefty dose of all things flora to remind us that winter won’t last forever.

As with many traditions in our historic city, the Philadelphia Flower Show has a long history, starting with the first show in 1829 sponsored by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. Since 1968, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has again been the show’s official producer. But, it’s no longer your great, great, great, great grandfather’s Philadelphia Flower Show. It has grown with the times. In 1829, 25 Society members displayed their plant treasures.  Today, the Philadelphia Flower Show is the largest indoor flower show (and competition) in the world. Last year’s attendance topped 270,000.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2013 Official Logo

Philadelphia Flower Show 2013 Official Logo

This year’s theme, “Brilliant!” is a tip of the hat to Great Britain, including a central exhibit featuring a somewhat controversial digital Big Ben and masses of roses. Other exhibitors, some international, have interpreted the theme with such Anglophilia as a Cotswold cottage garden; the Crown Jewels; a flower, crystal and umbrella filled water feature ode to the legendary wet British climate; a garden bordering a cricket pitch (field); and an at least vaguely disturbing Jack the Ripper themed setting.

The show now covers 33 indoor acres at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, including 10 acres of exhibits, and space for lectures, demonstrations, culinary presentations, garden teas and 140 Marketplace vendors, including some that will feed you. If you have a hankering to create your own “fascinator”, a la the slanted headgear worn by English ladies at formal affairs, you can even do that too at the Flower Show.



The show opened on Saturday, March 2nd and runs through Sunday, March 10th. Adult tickets at the door are a somewhat hefty $32, but a garden enthusiast can easily spend an entire day. Proceeds from the Philadelphia Flower Show benefit the impressive Philadelphia Green program run by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

The Pennsylvania Convention Center is located at 12th and Arch Streets in Center City Philadelphia, an easy walk from the Market East regional rail station. There seem to be two “official” websites with information about the Philadelphia Flower Show:, and the more detailed, but less elegant,  Of course, the Philadelphia Flower Show has a twitter handle and a Facebook page.

If you’re missing this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show, come next year, March 2nd through March 9th, 2014, and get a head start on spring!

Are you planning on attending the Philadelphia Flower Show? If you’ve been, what’s your opinion of this year’s show? (Share your comments below).

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Steven Albelda March 3, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Sounds like a great exhibit- just the thing for a blah March day!


Roz Warren March 3, 2013 at 8:37 pm

I’ve never been into the FS. But I agree with you about the weather. I’m ready for spring!


Leigh March 4, 2013 at 2:31 pm

This is one show I’ve always wanted to see. I was lucky enough several years ago to visit the Chelsea Garden Show in London but I haven’t been to a show since then. I also love garden tours.


Just One Boomer March 4, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Leigh, I just read your posts about your hike in Colombia. It’s hard for me to imagine you happily spending much time looking at flowers indoors, but I do hope you’ll come to Philly one year to check out our flower show. We even have hiking in our city park system.


Madaline Fluhr March 4, 2013 at 4:39 pm

I have fond memories of trudging around the Philadelphia Flower Show with mom, perhaps the only person in our family with a slightly green thumb! I remember mom always bought us those bamboo type sticks that you put in a glass of water and they sprouted – very low maintenance. I believe they inevitably died under my care, but hope sprang anew each year! Glad to know the show is alive and thriving (unlike my “bamboo” sticks).


Just One Boomer (Suzanne) March 4, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Hey Mads, interestingly, our mother has no interest in going to the Flower Show this year. When I asked her if she wanted to go, her response was basically, “Been there. Done that.” I also didn’t inherit any of her plant sense. Or household has always been strictly Darwinian when it comes to plants. If a plant could survive in our care, it could stay. Otherwise…… P.S.: Our only current plants are artificial. ‘Nuff said.


Andrea March 5, 2013 at 7:14 pm

In a sad attempt to name-drop, I went to elementary school with the daughter of the florist who won Best In Show. He once made a floral arrangement for me when I was 10 and home sick for a week. The line for my autograph starts at the door 🙂

I wouldn’t mind attending the Flower Show, even though flowers are close to the very bottom of the list of things that interest me. It would be just an excuse to say, as a life-long Philadelphian, that I actually went. Ben and I did the Car Show a few years ago, that was pretty cool, so hopefully if I should decide to drop $32 to enter, I might be interested in some flora, too!


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