The greatest flower show on earth, just up the road from us in Philadelphia, is over for 2014 and the reviews are in.  I wrote one myself over at GardenRant, which is tellingly titled
“Best Philly Flower Show Ever”. That was the assessment of Silver Spring-resident and long-time Flower Show volunteer and organizer Don Slater, who showed me his favorite parts of this year’s show and which I shared in that GardenRant post.


I’ve been to a handful of the shows myself and this was my favorite of the bunch, thanks largely to the commentary by Don (because I don’t always read the signs – my bad!).

It may be that place-oriented show themes, like the recent Britain, Hawaii and Italy themes, don’t evoke as much creativity in the show’s displays as did this year’s more abstract theme – ARTiculture, the convergence of plants and art.  I loved how designers interpreted paintings in large gardens, on walls, in vases, and more, with the huge Calder-inspired floral mobiles at the entryway getting visitors in the spirit of it all.

Floral interpretation of a painting.

Floral interpretation of a painting.

Garden designers especially seem to love this year’s show.  New Jersey designer Susan Cohan, president of the Assoc of Professional Landscape Designers, found inspiration throughout the show.  Designer Fran Sorin agreed.  Baltimore-area designer Claire Jones also loved the show.

YET I heard from a neighbor who’s been to over 15 shows that this one was her least favorite.  I wonder if it’s because she looks forward to getting ideas for her own garden at the Philly Flower Show, in which case this year’s would clearly be a disappointment.  It definitely wasn’t a try-this-at-home kind of show, and next year’s may not be, either – the theme in 2015 will be plants at the movies.  But I’ll be there!

And Photographed


Kathy Jentz (of Washington Gardener Magazine) has a terrific and large collection of show photos right here.  She was tour guide/leader for a busload of show-goers who left from the Behnkes store in Beltsville.

There’s a great collection of photos here on this Philadelphia website.


I love this – not photos of the show itself but other photos on the theme of ARTiculture on Pinterest.

Post and photos by Susan Harris.

Filed under: Local Groups & Events