With spring officially in the air, sponsors of the 193rd annual horticultural festival turned out to the lush South Philly park Monday to a give a heady whiff of what’s in store for revelers just a few months from now.
Bouquets, flower crowns, and snacks on display were just a tiny sampling of what will await guests at the event June 11 through 19.
With this year’s “In Full Bloom” theme, the show is dedicated to the restorative and healing powers of nature, organizers say.
It will be only the second time the show has been held outdoors. Last year, concerns over COVID-19 led the show to experiment with an open-air event
“We could not be more grateful to the entire team at PHS,” said Kathryn Ott Lovell, city parks and recreation commissioner, “for taking that leap of faith and having it at FDR. It was absolutely extraordinary, and it’s going to be even better this year.”
This year’s wide variety of displays will include works of notable landscape architects, garden designers, and florists, with an emphasis on diversity — both the exhibitors and their designs.
In Full Bloom will feature more female exhibitors than ever before,highlighting women’s achievements in the field of landscape and garden design, according to organizers.
Landscape architect Martha Schwartz, a Forbes 2021 “50 Under 50″ recipient, will show an 1,800-square-foot display that, according to show planners, “will depict the beauty of the mushroom in a way that both challenges our understanding of beauty norms, and artfully portrays the allure of fungi.”
Lauded exhibitors will include Ann Marie Powell, a Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show award-winning garden designer, and noted landscape designer Wambui Ippolito, winner of last year’s Best in Show.
The Garden for the Greater Good, another show feature, is the PHS’s showcase of horticulture’s potential for social and environmental change. It will include plant life from the region’s woodlands and meadows.
Flower Show 2022′s offerings will include more than breathtaking flora, as spectacular as that will be. The Marketplace will feature over 100 vendors with gardening wares, plants to buy, artwork, jewelry, and more.
New this year will be the Kids Cocoon & Play Space, an outdoor area with daily programming, including story times and crafts.
On Father’s Day, June 19, Flower Show visitors will be invited to the Family Frolic, a day of floral and gardening activities and live music tailored to young families.
Creative crafters can try their hand at the Artisan Row, also new this year. There, visitors will get to make candles, flower crowns, and botanical jewelry, or try out floral design. Artisan Row, like some other features, involves an additional cost besides the flower show entrance fee.
In Butterflies Live!, another paid exhibit, show organizers promise hundreds of native butterflies amid an assortment of flowers and plant life.
And, of course, it wouldn’t be Philly without ample opportunity for good eats and partying. The Flower Show will have multiple venues for both.
The Food Bazaar will have over a dozen vendors, including those catering to vegans and vegetarians. There will be DJs and live music daily and the flower show’s official cocktail. That would be the Botanical Lemonade, featuring Ketal One Botanical Grapefruit, rose, lemonade, and fresh lemon.
The Boathouse cafe will offer a full-service bar, casual fare, and good views.
And then there will be The Lake, a 300-seat pop-up restaurant with classic bistro cuisine from chef Jean Marie Lacroix, creator of his namesake restaurant at the Rittenhouse Hotel and a past James Beard Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic, recipient.
The folks from Fine Wine and Good Spirits will be hosting free Happy Hour events this year — specialty drink tastings, celebrity bottle signings, and live music.
As speakers at Monday’s event noted, proceeds from the flower show historically are used to support PHS’s community greening and to support efforts in over 250 neighborhoods in Philadelphia and the surrounding area.
For more information about flower events or tickets already on sale, visit the horticultural society website, phsonline.org.