Smell the Roses: 2020 Philadelphia Flower Show Recap

The 2020 Philadelphia Flower Show transported visitors to the picturesque coasts of Europe through its “Riviera Holiday” theme, which paid homage to Grace Kelly, the former Princess of Monaco who was born in Philadelphia. As the longest-running horticulture event in the nation, this year’s show captured the vivid tones and aromas of the European Mediterranean and drawed 250,000 visitors from around the world as it ran from February 28 to March 8. 

Visitors were greeted with gorgeous floral displays as they entered the show, complete with citrus plants at every turn and an eye-catching 25-foot olive tree. In honor of Princess Grace, the Princess Grace Rose Garden spotlighted several mementos, such as her jewelry and photos, surrounded by an exact recreation of the Monaco Rose Garden. At the heart of the exhibit was a beautiful replica of her wedding dress, which she wore when she married Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956. Princess Grace last visited the Philadelphia Flower Show in 1976, with the organization noting that she was a long-time practitioner of the floral arts and even studied pressed flower compositions with storied competitor Katie King. 

This year’s show featured a variety of beautiful exhibits in addition to the Princess Grace Rose Garden. For example, one exhibit showcased a hallway with a flower-adorned entrance, with plants wrapping around a frame that was hanging over a table set for enjoying meals with friends and family. Other memorable exhibits included a small beach scene with sand, a wooden boat, beach chairs, glass bottles, and plants; all that was missing was the sea and the warmth of the sun. 

This year’s show also provided visitors with expert gardening advice, such as tips and resources for those interested in learning more about horticulture. Other resources included garden concepts, various flower arrangement designs, gardening tools and even garden furniture sold by the event’s vendors. 

For 191 years, visitors from across the globe have flocked to the Philadelphia Flower Show to get a glimpse at the horticultural Mecca of Center City. Created by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society in 1829, the show has sought to highlight the latest developments in the gardening world. Additionally, the show hosts competitions in horticulture and artistic floral arranging, gardening presentations and demonstrations, special events, an indoor marketplace and the Bloom Philly Festival in the weeks leading up to the big event. 

The Philadelphia Flower Show announced at the beginning of March that its theme for 2021 will be “Habitat,” which will largely revolve around pollinator gardening and other wildlife-friendly techniques, according to Penn Live. For more information on the Philadelphia Flower Show, visit their website here

 Article by Jonathan Fragozo-Gonzalez and Amelia Winger on behalf of the Global Philadelphia Association