For the first time in in the show’s 193-year history, the Philadelphia Flower Show is being held outdoors.

While this feat is a daunting challenge the audience and attendees are reaping the rewards. With weather wavering between heat wave and thunderstorms the endless visually stunning and creative exhibits, polka dotted with a plethora of food and beverage options (cocktails too!) are keeping guests more than happy. For their inaugural outdoor event the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has outdone themselves.

The 2021 Philadelphia Flower Show theme, “Habitat: Nature’s Masterpiece” is featuring the most designers, gardens, and floral displays in the Show’s history, with over 75 unique installations for guests to see and interact with, spanning the Show’s 15-acre outdoor footprint.  

The Show features an impressive lineup of 34 major exhibitors, whose displays average approximately 1000 square feet. Almost half of these will consist of the large-scale, ornate displays that the Flower Show is famed for. This year, these sizable and imaginative floral and landscape creations are inspired by the Show’s outdoor setting and the late-blooming spring season. The Show will also welcome 8 brand-new major exhibitors displaying gardens at the Show for the first time. These fresh voices represent varied styles and artistic viewpoints that stem from each exhibitor’s personal and creative background. From sculptural, majestic floral design to the usage of superb low maintenance native plants in innovative configurations and layouts, each garden design reflects a unique aesthetic that will delight guests.

In addition to the Show’s major exhibits, the Show offers dozens of additional floral and landscape gardens, educational experiences, and horticultural exhibits throughout the Show grounds of FDR Park. Visitors can learn more about plant and flower species with installations from prominent floral and plant societies or interact directly with dozens of smaller gardens that will provide beauty and additional touchpoints for interaction with guests.

Some key designers and exhibits to look for at this year’s Flower Show:

Upon entering the Show grounds, guests will be greeted by the work of iconic floral designer, Jeff Leatham, Artistic Director for Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia. Leatham’s creations are bold statements — using shape, color, and simplicity to produce dramatic effect. Known for his grand, architectural floral installations that utilize thousands of flowers, he will create Jeff Leatham’s “Habitat” presented by Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia. A captivating installation where nature meets architecture, this work will re-create the explosive energy and movement of overgrown vines in vibrant hues of orange and purple sculpted around the iconic columns of the Olmsted Pavilion, the iconic structure guests see as they enter the Show.

Wambui Ippolito is an established East African horticulturist and landscape designer whose style is influenced by her upbringing in the Great Rift Valley in Africa and lifelong travels. Ippolito’s show garden Etherea, is inspired by memories of her childhood years in East Africa. It is a contemporary re-interpretation of the moorlands where humanity’s earliest ancestors lived and evokes light, air and peace in nature. Ippolito is the founder of the BIPOC Hort Group, and an advocate for the recognition of the First Nations, African American, and immigrant communities’ contributions to horticulture.

Patrick Cullina is a landscape designer, horticultural consultant, and photographer with a diverse portfolio of projects across the country with extensive experience designing, creating and maintaining dynamic urban landscapes in New York City such as the High Line Park. His installation will communicate that the constructed aspects of a city do not rob it of its potential to be a landscape that is both dynamic and transformative. Utilizing spontaneous vegetation that rises through voids within the urban hardscape, this garden emphasizes the role that plants can play beyond ornamentation — whether by providing habitat for pollinators and other wildlife or by offering a host of other ecological benefits ranging from improving air quality to filtering stormwater runoff.

Balmori Associates is a NYC-based landscape/urban-design studio that produces green infrastructures that invite community interaction with the space. Balmori Associates’ garden design visually references the “edge effect” — an ecological concept that identifies greater biodiversity at the boundary between two or more different habitats. Thickening and curving of typically straight human-made boundaries will create more interaction between living things, boosting biodiversity, and will allows for new relationships between humans and nature.

Donald Pell is an international award-winning garden designer known for bold, naturalistic landscapes. This exhibit explores how we can intervene in nature to build harmonious, beautifully designed places that are integrated seamlessly within a landscape. Set inside an idealized woodland, a neatly decorated table, water feature, and bench beckon guests to come together among the flora and fauna of their own habitat to relish the beauty of nature and their place within it. The dynamic swaths of color and texture woven throughout evoke a sense of wildness while maintaining legible design and serenity.

Treeline Designz, founded by internationally renowned research scholar Iftikhar Ahmed, Treeline Designz helps brings natural living into the urban environment. Treeline Designz garden, “Dancing with Nature” green spatial and organic structure will be anchored by a bamboo forest that rises through natural vegetation surrounding reflection ponds. The muted colors in the outer landscape will lead into the inner peace garden, a relaxed setting for meditation and socializing, and a sanctuary for insects and birds.

Ticketing Information
Tickets are currently available for sale online. Tickets are priced as follows:

Adults: $45

Young Friend (18-29): $30

Child (5-17): $20

Child 4 years and under: Free

This year, tickets must be reserved in advance for either a morning session or an afternoon session. The ticket is good only for the guest’s reserved session. PHS membership provides discounts or free Flower Show tickets at specific membership levels. A special Member’s Preview Day is held on Friday, June 4th from 2 – 6 p.m. Member Premium tickets are also valid from Sunday, June 6th – Sunday, June 13th with a special members-only arrival time of 9 a.m., one hour prior to the Show’s public opening at 10 a.m. Reservations are not necessary for Member Premium Ticket time slots. Detailed membership information is available on the PHS website.

Flower Show Dates and Hours
The Flower Show will host 2 sessions each day from June 5 – 13. These timed sessions help to promote safety and social distancing. Session hours are as follows:

Sunday, June 6 – Sunday, June 13: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Morning Session: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Afternoon Session: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.

The last guest entry each day is 30 minutes prior to close.

FDR PARK –1500 Pattison Avenue and S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park (FDR Park) is Philadelphia’s iconic 348-acre park carved out of the tidal marshes in South Philadelphia. Designed by the Olmsted Brothers in 1914, FDR Park’s sequence of picturesque lakes with adjacent lawns are connected by a network of carriage and foot paths. In 1926, the park hosted the national Sesquicentennial Exhibition and several grand civic buildings, including the iconic Boathouse, opened for the first time.

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