10 Reasons Why the Philadelphia Flower Show is the Best Garden Show in the US

Philadelphia Flower Show, 2018
The Wonder of Garden Shows: the Philadelphia Flower Show.

10 Reasons Why the Philadelphia Flower Show is the Best Garden Show in the U.S.

I just got back from the huge Philadelphia Flower Show last Monday and I’m still reeling about the show. It was awesome. This is my third time going to this show and it truly is the best garden show in the United States hands-down. Here are 10 reasons why.

Philadelphia Flower Show, 2018
I missed getting this volunteer’s name but her hat is divine…

1. It’s All About Volunteers

The Philadelphia Flower Show is hosted by the Philadelphia Horticultural Society and is completely organized and driven by volunteers. The simple fact that it’s built by volunteers takes the pressure off the money and puts the focus back on the plants, education and gardening.

Philadelphia Flower Show, 2018
All protein, no carbs! Lol! This show doesn’t have any filler-booths with food or junky home decor. The booth space is always sold out too.

2. It’s All About the Plants

95% of the show is about gardening, plants and the environment – including the marketplace. You won’t find rows and rows of food vendors hawking their mustard, nor a whole sections of shabby-chic indoor decor just to fill up the booth space.

Philadelphia Flower Show, 2018
Collaborating with other professionals and businesses forces them to come up with more and more creative solutions each year. This show just keeps getting better and better.

3. They Collaborate

As you walk through all the exhibits and competitions you notice that all kinds of schools, universities, garden clubs – and kid’s garden clubs, societies, museums, art galleries, small businesses plus a large number of visual artists and floral designers are involved throughout the show in many different ways. It seems no one is pigeon-holed into only having one way to participate.

The huge garden displays are built by many different companies to create wonderfully creative displays that are dramatic and memorable. There were a number of displays representing different countries as well. How refreshing!

Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center

Philadelphia Flower Show, 2018
One of the many different displays of artwork made from the garden! How awesome is this necklace??

4. They Think Outside the Garden Bed

Among the garden displays are many different categories of garden art made for the garden and from the garden. Sculptures, paintings, abstract arrangements of all shapes and sizes, Ikebana, and jewelry – my favorite – everything is made from nature but it never looks like it!


Philadelphia Flower Show, 2018
There is always a strong art-element to this great show. This is just a small part of the 1280 square foot mural that was in the middle of the show.

5. They Love Art

OMG. I can’t say enough about how the PHS and the city of Philadelphia work together to promote the arts. Not only does it make a great flower show, it makes for a great city too. Giant tulips sticking out of buildings and huge bronze sculptures – art is everywhere in Philly!

6. It’s Very Accessible

The Philly Flower Show is held in the Philadelphia Convention Center which is right on top of train station. Easy for everyone.

7. They Give Back

Proceeds from this show drives the Philadelphia Horticultural Society’s “green” projects for around the greater Philadelphia area. A great example is their Tree Tender Program  plants over 2000 trees annually, since 1993.

8. They Keep Growing After the Show

The PHS has a very long reach into garden education and outreach programs that happen throughout city and state for the rest of the year. They have community gardens, parks, public landscapes that involve thousands of city residents “to make the city a more livable, likable and vibrant place to live and work.”

This year the Philly Flower show added a “Water Summit” to their agenda that was open to everyone – and for anyone. They brought in leading environmentalists and industry experts to educate us on real-world solutions to the issues we face in keeping our fresh waters clean and drinkable.

Philadelphia Flower Show, 2018
My Best of Show pick from the Miniature Garden Settings exhibit. The artist is Nancy Grube.

9. They Honor Different Ways to Garden

Within the show itself, the different classes of competitions help to remind us of the many different types of plants and trees that we can grow AND they encourage and inspire us to do so. But, more importantly from my perspective, they include our beloved Miniature Gardening. They have two classes of miniature gardening PLUS the Miniature Setting Exhibit which is one of the best attended exhibits with a constant line up from the time the show opens right to when it closes.

Philadelphia Flower Show, 2018
The PHS honors many types of gardening. This is just a fraction of it – the Wardian case competition.

10. It’s Not About the Money

It’s about community, education, the environment, art and gardening. Sure they need to make money to keep it going, but that’s not the focus – the people are. Yes, there is a marketplace within the show for shopping, but most of the floor is devoted to the exhibits with a few stages for education sprinkled throughout the floor plan.

And, its official, I’m jealous. Lol!

Philadelphia Flower Show, 2018
There were a lot of lovely displays by floral designers too.


Philadelphia Flower Show, 2018
The garden displays kept going and going… it’s always lovely and inspiring!


Philadelphia Flower Show, 2018
While some of the displays were totally out of the box, other displays could easily be replicated at home. Very inspiring!


Our Gardening in Miniature book set! Shipping is included with this set – and let us know if you want them autographed!

7 thoughts on “10 Reasons Why the Philadelphia Flower Show is the Best Garden Show in the US

  1. Wow!!! This show will have to be on my “bucket list”. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pamela Goldman 16/03/2018 — 7:17 pm

    Thanks for your input. I am In fla, so I couldn’t attend . Can’t wait to Meet up With u on chicago

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  3. I went to the Philly flower show and it was amazing. I’m just sorry that I couldn’t be there the same day Janit was. I would have loved to meet her and have her sign my book!


  4. Migdalia Tomalinas (Dolly) 23/03/2018 — 7:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing pics from Philly. When I lived in NJ. this show was always a welcome spring event. Now living in Florida I miss attending every year.
    I will plan on attending next year and hope to meet you in person.
    My fairy and mini garden power point presentation is becoming popular with Charlotte County garden clubs. I hope many people will be inspired to try this wonderful hobby.
    Also, I helped with a display at the Charlotte county home and garden show. It was a big hit, attracting families with children and other gardeners.
    Dolly Tomalinas

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for helping to spread the joy of gardening in miniature, Dolly!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Joyce Rosselli 24/03/2018 — 6:56 am

    Janit; Thank you for sharing the Philadelphia Flower Show. I enjoyed your informative comments and the photos. A friend of mine did share some photos. I hope I am able to visit it someday. I especially like the Miniature Gardens since I am a miniaturist and the jewelry photo since I make jewelry. I am in a Garden Club and make Glass Garden Art. Was there any garden art at the show? Greetings from Joyce, in South Florida

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Joyce, There was a lot of full-sized garden art in the marketplace. I think there was one vendor with small glass animals – but I can remember for certain as we just had our garden show here in Seattle. It’s hard to keep them straight if I don’t document it.


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