The Philadelphia Flower Show is the largest flower show in the United States and the largest indoor flower show in the world. For 2005, the theme was America the Beautiful.
During its eight days of operation, the Flower Show receives upwards of a quarter of a million visitors. It takes 33 tractor trailer loads of mulch, 15 to 20 truckloads of paving stones, and innumerable plants to bring the 50 major exhibits to life. Elsewhere, some 3,000 individuals and groups enter individual plants, dish gardens, windowboxes, floral arrangements, artwork made from plant material, room sets and complete gardens. The Flower Show would not be possible without the hard work of 3,500 volunteers.
Every year for the past three years, I have left the house before 7:00 and traveled to the Convention Center to give behind-the-scenes tours to groups before the official show opening at 10:00. I do it because it is a wonderful way to experience the show as part of the Flower Show family, and because it is a wonderful way to share my love for Philadelphia with our Flower Show guests.
Here is a sampling of photos I took during the course of my volunteer time at the show. As in previous years, I've discovered after the fact that I have missed several exhibits that were breathtaking in their scope and brilliant in their execution -- those of Jamie Rothstein, the Taylors of Penny Hill, Waldor Orchids, and Temple University come immediately to mind, but there are others.
If you have never been to the Philadelphia Flower Show, I encourage you to plan a visit. If you have been here before, I hope you will visit again, or even become one of the many Philadelphia-area residents who find that volunteering at the show gives them a foretaste of spring and a host of new friends.