-Courtesy of Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) has announced the exhibitor list for its 2021 Philadelphia Flower Show, “Habitat: Nature’s Masterpiece.” This year will feature the most designers, gardens, and floral displays in the Show’s history, with over 75 unique installations for guests to see and interact with, spanning the Show’s 15-acre outdoor footprint.
The Show will feature an impressive lineup of 34 major exhibitors, whose displays average approximately 1000 square feet. Almost half of these will consist of the large-scale, ornate displays that the Flower Show is famed for. This year, these sizable and imaginative floral and landscape creations are inspired by the Show’s outdoor setting and the late-blooming spring season. The Show will also welcome 8 brand-new major exhibitors displaying gardens at the Show for the first time. These fresh voices represent varied styles and artistic viewpoints that stem from each exhibitor’s personal and creative background. From sculptural, majestic floral design to the usage of superb low maintenance native plants in innovative configurations and layouts, each garden design reflects a unique aesthetic that will delight guests.
For the first time in the Show’s 193-year history, it will be presented outdoors. Designers will take advantage and inspiration from the Show’s alfresco location in South Philadelphia’s FDR Park – a registered historical district – filled with beautiful vistas surrounding a serene lake.
In addition to the Show’s major exhibits, the Show offers dozens of additional floral and landscape gardens, educational experiences, and horticultural exhibits throughout the Show grounds of FDR Park. Visitors can learn more about plant and flower species with installations from prominent floral and plant societies or interact directly with dozens of smaller gardens that will provide beauty and additional touchpoints for interaction with guests.
Some key designers and exhibits to look for at this year’s Flower Show:
Upon entering the Show grounds, guests will be greeted by the work of iconic floral designer, Jeff Leatham, Artistic Director for Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia. Leatham’s creations are bold statements — using shape, color, and simplicity to produce dramatic effect. Known for his grand, architectural floral installations that utilize thousands of flowers, he will create Jeff Leatham’s “Habitat” presented by Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia. A captivating installation where nature meets architecture, this work will re-create the explosive energy and movement of overgrown vines in vibrant hues of orange and purple sculpted around the iconic columns of the Olmsted Pavilion, the iconic structure guests see as they enter the Show.
Wambui Ippolito is an established East African horticulturist and landscape designer whose style is influenced by her upbringing in the Great Rift Valley in Africa and lifelong travels. Ippolito’s show garden Etherea, is inspired by memories of her childhood years in East Africa. It is a contemporary re-interpretation of the moorlands where humanity’s earliest ancestors lived and evokes light, air and peace in nature. Ippolito is the founder of the BIPOC Hort Group, and an advocate for the recognition of the First Nations, African American, and immigrant communities’ contributions to horticulture.
Patrick Cullina is a landscape designer, horticultural consultant, and photographer with a diverse portfolio of projects across the country with extensive experience designing, creating and maintaining dynamic urban landscapes in New York City such as the High Line Park. His installation will communicate that the constructed aspects of a city do not rob it of its potential to be a landscape that is both dynamic and transformative. Utilizing spontaneous vegetation that rises through voids within the urban hardscape, this garden emphasizes the role that plants can play beyond ornamentation — whether by providing habitat for pollinators and other wildlife or by offering a host of other ecological benefits ranging from improving air quality to filtering stormwater runoff.
Balmori Associates is a NYC-based landscape/urban-design studio that produces green infrastructures that invite community interaction with the space. Balmori Associates’ garden design visually references the “edge effect” — an ecological concept that identifies greater biodiversity at the boundary between two or more different habitats. Thickening and curving of typically straight human-made boundaries will create more interaction between living things, boosting biodiversity, and will allows for new relationships between humans and nature.
Donald Pell is an international award-winning garden designer known for bold, naturalistic landscapes. This exhibit explores how we can intervene in nature to build harmonious, beautifully designed places that are integrated seamlessly within a landscape. Set inside an idealized woodland, a neatly decorated table, water feature, and bench beckon guests to come together among the flora and fauna of their own habitat to relish the beauty of nature and their place within it. The dynamic swaths of color and texture woven throughout evoke a sense of wildness while maintaining legible design and serenity.
Treeline Designz, founded by internationally renowned research scholar Iftikhar Ahmed, Treeline Designz helps brings natural living into the urban environment. Treeline Designz garden, “Dancing with Nature” green spatial and organic structure will be anchored by a bamboo forest that rises through natural vegetation surrounding reflection ponds. The muted colors in the outer landscape will lead into the inner peace garden, a relaxed setting for meditation and socializing, and a sanctuary for insects and birds.
PHS’s Gardeners Green will take visitors on a journey through multiple garden “habitats” from a formal kitchen garden with parterre-style beds, to espalier fruit-tree tunnels, from an edible landscape to a greenhouse overflowing with seedlings. Each day, gardening experts will be on hand to provide visitors with a personalized experience, sharing ideas, solutions, and inspiration specific to each gardener’s unique tastes, growing conditions, and amount of gardening space. Guests can gain new ideas and approaches and get answers to their most challenging gardening topics.
The above listing is merely a sampling of the many varied experiences and artistic visions that guests can experience at the 2021 Philadelphia Flower Show. Exhibitors continue to be added, with more information available online on the Show website at: www.PHSOnline.org/the-flower-show.
Currently Confirmed Flower Show Installations
American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD)
American Rhododendron Society, Greater Philadelphia Chapter
Arrange, Floral and Event Design
Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve
Burpee Seeds and Plants
The Green Room
Delaware Valley Fern and Wildflower Society
Delaware Valley University, Landscape Architecture and Environmental Science
Donald Pell Gardens
Dorothy Gillespie Sculpture
Fairmount Park Conservancy
Green Mountain Energy
Grounds for Sculpture
Horticulture Academy at Abraham Lincoln High School
Hudson Valley Seed
Ikebana International, Philadelphia Chapter
J. Downend Landscaping
Jacques Amand LLC
Mark Cook Landscape & Contracting LLC
Pennsylvania Bonsai Society
Petit Jardin en Ville
Philadelphia Cactus & Succulent Society
Philadelphia Society of Botanical Illustrators
Refugia Design, Ltd
Renee Tucci Creative LLC
Star Roses and Plants
BLOOM curated by Streets Dept
Subaru of America
The Men’s Garden Club of Philadelphia, Inc.
The Print House by Bok (Scout Urban LLC)
Trust for Public Land
University of Delaware
Wish Unlimited LLC
About the 2021 Philadelphia Flower Show
The 2021 Philadelphia Flower Show has been re-imagined for a new, safe experience in a historic Philadelphia park. This is the first time in the Show’s 193-year history that it will be held outdoors. The Philadelphia Flower Show dates are June 5 – 13, 2021, giving guests a chance to experience the beautiful vistas and rolling landscape of FDR Park. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted – one of the designers of New York City’s famed Central Park – FDR Park is an inspiring venue that contributes to the splendor that the Flower Show is known for, while also being easily accessible by public transportation and car.
In its new location, the Show will span 15 acres of the Park’s footprint, expanding in size to nearly 450,000 square feet of exhibits, activities, and open space, a 45% increase from previous Flower Shows held inside the Philadelphia Convention Center. Each year, the Show contributes a beautiful kickoff to the spring growing season and provides an important economic impact on the region of more than $62 million.
An increased footprint in 2021 is intentional, as the Flower Show seeks to offer new experiences for its audience, while also adhering to best practices regarding social distancing. Public safety is a critical component for the upcoming Show, focused on guests and staff alike. This year’s Show will feature reserved tickets for morning or afternoon sessions, with other health and safety requirements such as: maximum occupancy limits; required masks; social distancing; and strict adherence to recommendations from the CDC and City/State health officials to keep all Flower Show attendees safe.
The departure from the Show’s typical late winter timing will allow for a spectacular presentation of the nation’s most looked-to gardening and floral attraction. The early June dates are at the height of the gardening season, allowing for new possibilities for guests to experience seasonal flora. The early summer timing, the outdoor location, the Show’s new District layout, more shopping opportunities, and outdoor-centric add-on activities allow a safe, exciting experience for all ages. The Flower Show will also offer exceptional beauty and an increased diversity of flowers and plants, with the most designers ever showcased.
Each visitor who purchases a ticket, attends a Flower Show special event, or becomes a PHS member allows PHS to further its work planting trees, supporting neighborhood greening, establishing community gardens, providing job training, managing public gardens, and connecting people with horticulture and one another. Full details for the 2021 Philadelphia Flower Show can be found at: www.phsonline.org/the-flower-show.