Home & Design

Green Acre #231: Time to Posy On Down to Philly?

IT TOOK SEVERAL years for my hair to adjust to DC’s swampy weather, but once it did, I found the climate here near perfect.

There’s about a month of winter, which we’re experiencing as I write. There’s just enough cold to make you (meaning me) appreciate the balmy springs, which frequently last for months. 

. . . flowers . . . / Photo by Stephanie Cavanaugh.

Then follows summer, a month or two of stifling heat (actually less than we—meaning you—complain of). Fall often lasts almost too long, with sweater weather bumping up against jingle bells and eggnog, making it difficult to get into the spirit. 

I once spent Christmas in Barbados and found the measly strings of colored lights between palm trees a sad spectacle, though the palms and jungle growth would be historically accurate. That was an aside.

Getting back to now. Mid-February is usually the time for itchy anticipation of the Philadelphia Flower Show.  Normally held in March, a month before it’s safe to plant anything in the garden, around here anyway, it’s a pleasurable torment. Gardening S & M. 

Last year, the nation’s largest and longest-running horticultural event, brainchild of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, was held as usual. This year it will be held for the first time in June. Instead of the cavernous convention center, the show has been moved outdoors to Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park, where existing plantings and trees and the lake will be incorporated into the overall design. 

Then! We can all run home positively blossoming with ideas—or collapsing in a puddle at the futility of our annual gardening efforts, moaning that September will yet again arrive and a review of a season in the soil will reveal another without zinnias, a joyous flower always considered child’s play to grow, yet for some adults always managing to fizzle. That would be me. 

. . . and even more flowers . . . / Photo by Stephanie Cavanaugh.

Anyway. The FDR Park setting offers 15 acres of display space, and we can expect the usual over-the-top landscape and floral design fantasies, competitions, educational sessions and plenty of booths with plants and seeds for purchase, and garden-related tchotchkes.

“Habitat: Nature’s Masterpiece,” the theme of this year’s show, will run June 5 through June 13. Social distancing and so forth will be strictly expected (no mask and someone will chase you with a rake—or worse). On the upside, there shouldn’t be the usual crush and press of bodies struggling for up close and personal views of the vignettes.

No word yet of what will happen should there be a monsoon.

Guests must reserve a date and time of visit (morning or afternoon entry) when purchasing tickets. Tickets are limited. To get your preferred choice of day and time, guests are encouraged to purchase their tickets early.

—Stephanie Cavanaugh

The Philadelphia Flower Show, June 5 through 13; FDR Park, 1500 Pattison Avenue and South Broad Street, 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19145; phone 215-988-8800. Admission: Adults: $45; Young Friend (18-29): $30; Child (5-17): $20. Admission for children ages 4 and under is free. Young Friends tickets are available for weekday afternoons. For more information and tickets visit https://phsonline.org/the-flower-show.

LittleBird “Stephanie Gardens” loves everyone’s flowers, not only her own.


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