Ushering in Spring this year meant traveling to the Philadelphia Flower Show to embrace all that Spring has to offer…in advance.  Usually, I am either sponsoring or a participant on a bus trip to see the Philadelphia Flower Show. It has been an odd year of unanticipated changes, so I thought I needed to experience this Spring Advance Showing with a different set of eyes.  In a way, I am glad I did.I have visited the Philadelphia Flower Show for over 20 years and have never regretted going. Some of the themes were not appealing to me at the time, but when I look back, an exhibit, a vendor or a moment, always lingered in my mind….at least until the next show. To anticipate my personal Flower Show in my mind always starts with my yearly trek to the Philadelphia flower Show.This year, the theme was Holland. When I think of Holland…well bulbs naturally come to mind. All kinds of bulbs from Tulips to Daffodils, Muscari to Galanthus to Hyacinths – bulbs mean Spring no matter where you go.  This year’s Philadelphia Flower Show did not disappoint from the inspirational bulb displays to the creative combinations.  Distinctive displays shared how plant material, such as trees and shrubs, can be integrated into the Spring landscape and complimented by a underplanting of bulbs.Greeted by a phenomenal arch of assorted bulb combinations, the fragrance of spring, the fresh foliage filled the aired, causing the world outside to be a distant memory. It was a pleasant surprise to find out that some of the bulbs I would see were from a familiar vendor, Brent & Becky’s Bulbs out of Gloucester, Virginia. Such an awesome merchant with such a wide range of bulbs not just for Spring, but for any season.  There were some very soft, feminine, as well as bright, bold and colorful tulips, artfully arranged in diverse landscape interpretations.There were large displays with outrageous interpretations of landscape options.   Big displays, small displays, minimalist displays… and over the top displays. There was the theme of bikes, alternative means of transportation made beautiful simply by adding flowers. I also seemed to find a lot of wire and floral collaborations.  The diversity of bikes, wire and light bulbs…yes light bulbs, was uniquely integrated into inspirational floral fantasy. This yearly trek always includes a little shopping with the vendors located on site.  From a simple souvenir to ornamental flags to whip in the breeze in front of my house as a constant reminder of a wonderful day. Light shopping this year…but this year, it was all about the memory as well as the escape from the world as I know it. A limited edition pin, mug, GROW magazine, and key ring, were just what I needed. When I sip from my coffee mug at work, my smile merely reflects the memory of a great day at the Philadelphia Flower Show.The Philadelphia Flower show ushers in Spring and has for quite some time.  Quite honestly, I cannot imagine Spring without my yearly trek to be in the City where I can immerse myself and find the creative interpretation of all things Spring.  Thank you, Philadelphia Horticultural Society for all you do to help us embrace a new season, every Spring.

The theme for the 2018 Philadelphia Flower Show is Wonders of Water. Featuring how water is used in the landscape as well as creative features on sustainability and conservation….alas…something to dream about until next March. The show dates for the Philadelphia Flower Show 2018 are  March 3 – 11. See you there???

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