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The 2018 Philadelphia Flower Show: What to expect

Water, lots of water

The 2018 Philadelphia Flower Show Entrance Garden will feature a rain curtain and a cascading waterfall.
Courtesy of PHS

It’s still nearly two months away, but details about the 2018 Philadelphia Flower Show have been revealed by the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society (PHS). If the Entrance Garden alone is any indication, this year’s show is going to be pretty wet and wild.

With a theme of “Wonders of Water,” this year’s flower show is expected to be one of the most interesting and varied displays of plants in the show’s 189-year history. More than 3,000 plants will be on display in the Entrance Garden alone and water will be flowing from each and every direction.

So as we wait out the winter, here’s a sneak peek of what to expect at this year’s flower show.

When is the 2018 Philadelphia Flower Show?

This year’s show runs from March 3 to 11 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The hours are different each day:

  • Saturday, March 3, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 4, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Monday-Friday, March 5-9: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 10, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 11, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

What is this year’s theme?

While last year’s show heralded Holland’s gorgeous tulips and horticulture, the 2018 theme is Wonders of Water. The show will celebrate all things H20- and horticulture-related, from rain forests to the Delaware River watershed to rain gardens.

What is the Entrance Garden going to look like?

Speaking of water, the always highly-anticipated Entrance Garden will be an impressive 10,000 square feet and feature one of the more diverse displays of plants in the show’s history. The entrance will feature a 25-foot waterfall amid a lush rain forest filled nearly 4,000 tropical leaves and plants, including orchids, birds of paradise, and a huge water lily from the Amazon that will stretch three feet in diameter—it’s currently being grown by the PHS.

Any new displays or features?

Like every year, the Philadelphia Flower Show will showcase gardeners’ plants, competing for blue ribbons in the Hamilton Horticourt. And yes, numerous organizations, designers, and landscape artists will have their water-themed displays all around.

But this year will have a few new features to check out:

  • Self-guided audio tours of the flower show
  • An inaugural Philadelphia Water Summit, featuring a panel of environmental and industry experts talking about water issues and solutions.
  • Make-and-take tables where visitors can make their own mini-water gardens or flower crowns.
  • Plant galleries where visitors can learn about new plant varieties for their home gardens.
  • A ‘70s-themed Flowers After Hours disco party, featuring the Village People.

Show-goers will also have the chance to vote for their favorite proposal for the redesign of the Philadelphia International Airport’s landscape. Last year, the airport and PHS teamed up and sought designers’ proposals for the reimagining of the airport’s 130 acres.

The four finalists’ designs will be on display at the flower show. The airport and PHS will then take the comments and votes into consideration to pick the winning design.

Convention Center

1101 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19107