The 2020 Philadelphia Flower Show theme, “Riviera Holiday,” highlighted Meditteranean-inspired gardens through a display of bright flowers and luscious canopies.
From Feb. 29 to March 8, crowds visited the Philadelphia Convention Center to admire the various garden designs and flower arrangements that were inspired by the romantic aesthetic of southern Europe.
As people walked through the geranium and rose-lined pathways, they took a few moments to admire the colorful tiles, pottery and fountains that accented the adjoining floral designs and structures. Pergolas of varying heights hovered overhead, showcasing roses and vines that crisscrossed between the framework to create a blanket of green. Although the Convention Center has grey walls and ceilings, the flower show was able to transform the space to make people forget they were even inside.
One side of the Convention Center was dedicated to different styles of gardens and art pieces that transport viewers out of the city to somewhere warmer and greener. The other half provided space for vendors to display their plants, flowers, jewelry, clothing and much more for purchase. Most of the businesses that were represented at this year’s show were small businesses and their focuses were on creating fair-trade and locally-sourced goods that work to promote sustainability.
Some of the previously mentioned landscapes included water features such as pools, fountains and waterfalls to accent the surrounding greenery. Specifically, one exhibit called the “Lumiere de Jardin” included a pool to showcase a hillside villa with a garden that framed the space.
Other exhibits focused on how to effectively use plants in a space, especially smaller and tighter ones. “From Cliffs of Monte Carlo” took a coastal approach to its design and showcased how to incorporate native plants that help maintain shorelines and combat erosion.
The winner for Best in Show for a floral exhibit in this year’s flower show was the piece titled “The Streets of the Five Lands.” The artist used vibrant colors like yellow, orange, teal and green to bring to life the city streets of Cinque Terre while simultaneously adding a flowery representation of what summer looks in an Italian town. Orchids draped over the sides of the small, window box displays and fluorescent lights beamed down onto the structure to mimic the street lights that line the city walkways. Crowds of people waited in line to see walk in between the rows of this artwork, snapping pictures and taking in the details of each flower arrangement.
This year’s flower show provided sustainable and low maintenance garden designs that could be implemented into city spaces to help improve the environment. Specifically, the designs centered around reducing the amount of water needed to keep the plants alive and incorporating native plants into gardens to help increase the bee population.
Although this year’s flower show has ended, it has carried on its almost 200-year tradition by bringing a new theme to Philadelphia as well as new competition that will compete for best garden displays, garden presentations and floral arrangements. The event will also continue to promote gardening that incorporates both beauty and sustainability to help reduce the effects of climate change.