Ali Lawrence has been gardening since she was five. She was born and raised in Alaska but now resides in Pennsylvania where her family grows a large garden every year. Her passions include writing haikus and finding new ways to use her essential oils! Read more articles from Ali at and connect with her on Pinterest.


2017 Philadelphia Flower Show Highlights
by Ali Lawrence - posted 03/14/17

If you're tired of the snow it may be time to take a Holland. The world is full of brilliant colors and sweet smells at the 2017 Philadelphia Flower Show. 

Whether you plan on visiting before the flower show ends on March 19th or if you are just looking for some cheerful spring photos to get you through winter, this post will walk you through the highlights of the 2017 Philadelphia Flower Show. 

What to See at the 2017 Philadelphia Flower Show

Give yourself a full day to take in the Philly Flower Show. First thing I would suggest doing is to mark any studio classes or timed events you would like to visit. Find a list of classes and events here that will take place at the Designer's Studio. You'll want to plan your visit around those classes. They also have other events such as garden teas at certain times that require additional tickets.

Try to go to the show as early as possible to view the main attractions before they get too busy. You'll enter through Hall A to view a breathtaking bridge surrounded by tulips. 

2017 Philadelphia Flower Show Pictures - Alicia Lawrence Photographer

Philadelphia Flower Show - Alicia Lawrence Photographer

The amount of detail put into the show is enthralling. About every half hour a music and light show would go on around the bridge lighting up the entrance display. Behind the bridge was a floating rainbow floral canopy consisting of 6,000 blooms. That's in addition to the 30,000 flowers already in the display. 

Floating floral canopy at Flower Show - Alicia Lawrence Photographer

The designers did a wonderful job at capturing the quaint feel of The Netherlands with creative interpretations of bikes. Speaking of bikes, metal work was a prevalent theme within the displays.

White Pedals - Philly Flower Show - Alicia Lawrence Photographer

Bridges and windmills played important roles in several of the displays, many of which adorned various plants, bringing ordinary objects to life.

Philly Flower Show Landscape Dutch Garden - Alicia Lawrence Photographer

The Dutch Ecodome made its first appearance in North America, brought to the U.S. by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. The Ecodome was born out of the passion of award-winning landscape architect Nico Wissing, who also designed the landscape display entitled "Reconnection." Nico and his team built the structure last year to accommodate EU ministers and agriculture counselors coming to discuss the future of Common Agricultural Policy. The dome is filled with innovations inspired by nature. After the flower show, the Dutch Ecodome will continue to Indonesia.

Dutch Ecodome - Alicia Lawrence Photographer

One of the highlights for me at the Ecodome was talking to Bart Bresser from the Parfum Flower Company who helped put together the Dutch Ecodome. All the plants in the Ecodome traveled from Holland, including a beautiful display of fragrant roses from the Parfum Flower Company. Bresser was a joy to speak with and was happy to answer any questions by visitors. 

Parfum Flower Company - Photographer Alicia Lawrence

Bresser is one of four leading Dutch designers from Holland whose work was displayed at the Flower Show.

The landscape display titled "Reconnection" was designed by Studio Nico Wissing and won The American Horticultural Society Environmental Award along with the silver trophy for landscape exhibits. Wissing's style is all about intertwining sustainable materials with human function and well-being. His landscape was the epitome of what has been called the Dutch Wave Movement, which takes a natural sustainable approach to landscape design. A wooden wicker wound throughout the display in a wave fashion.

Studio Nico Wissing Flower Show display - Alicia Lawrence Photographer

Studio Nico Wissing - Reconnection - Alicia Lawrence Photographer

My personal favorite exhibit from the Flower Show was designed by Robertson's Flowers and Events, which is located here in Wyndmoor, PA, with the theme Bike Ride Over the Canal. It received the best in show award, special achievement award of the garden club federation of Pennsylvania and the Phyllis M. Craig award for demonstrating the best use of color and innovation in flowering and foliage plants.

Robertson's Flowers & Events - Alicia Lawrence Photography

Robertson's Flowers and Events - Photo by Alicia Lawrence

Apart from the main landscape and flower displays, you can find over a hundred vendors that sell everything from lotion to flower-flavored syrups to bronze garden statues. If you like trees, don't forget to stop by Bartlett Tree Experts to answer any tree questions you might have. They were also giving away various rooted tree cutting while I was there. Across from the main halls is the Grand Hall Concourse, where most of the events take place including the Garden Spa (new this year) and Butterflies Live! (additional $5) where you can go into a canopy area where hundreds of butterflies are floating around. There is no time limit but you probably would only spend around an hour in the area playing with butterflies and learning about different plants that attract them. 

Butterflies Live! Flower Show - Photo taken by Alicia Lawrence

One of the benefits of the Flower Show that not many visitors take advantage of is talking to the leading designers and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society members in the information booths to give advice and tips to Pennsylvania gardeners. 

I asked one of the members of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society at the information booth what plant is one of the best plants for PA residents. She said the native Oakleaf Hydrangea was a popular choice in the 2017 PHS Gold Medal Plants exhibit. Each year, PHS displays plants for zones 5-7 that are renowned for their year-round beauty and hardiness. The Oakleaf Hydrangea produces tiny clusters of white flowers that resolve to light pink. The foliage also changes colors through the season. These plants can also be purchased the Flower Show.

There is so much to see at the Flower Show so below I've included a few other highlights in pictures.

Designer's Studio Flower arrangement - Alicia Lawrence Photography

Flower Exhibit - Photographer Alicia Lawrence

2017 Flower Show - Photo by Alicia Lawrence

Design Gallery Centerpieces - Flower Show 2017 - Alicia Lawrence Photographer

Pink Champagne Orchids from flower show -Photo by Alicia Lawrence

Landscape Design - photo by Alicia Lawrence

Burke Brothers Landscape Design/Build - Photo by Alicia Lawrence

Keep up to date with my garden adventures on Instagram, click here to view.



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