Baltimore Sun

Philadelphia Flower Show: We're on our way!

For years, the Philadelphia Flower Show has been the unofficial first day of spring for gardeners up and down the Mid-Atlantic.

Again this year, I will be driving the two hours up Interstate 95 on Saturday, the show's media day before its official opening on Sunday, and I will be sending photos on Facebook and Twitter so Garden Variety readers can come along for the ride!

The theme for this year's show is "Springtime in Paris," and the centerpiece will be, of course, and Eiffel Tower!


The show is in its 182nd year and it generates about $61 million in tourist money for the area around the city during its 8-day run, March 6 to 13.

More than 250,000 attend and, indeed, if you don't pick the time of your visit carefully (after 4 p.m. on a weekday), it can feel like they are all there with you.


It costs the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and its co-sponsors, about $8 million to stage the show, and the proceeds from the tickets -- about $1 million -- go to greening programs in Philadelphia.

There are 10 acres of displays inside Philadelphia's Convention Center -- plus 170 high-quality vendors.

The Flower Show is to Philadelphia what the Kentucky Derby is to Louisville -- a high profile event with a national reputation.

It can cost $20 to park near the mid-town convention center and another $25 for a ticket to get in. And you are sure to spend money at The Marketplace.

But in the gray of winter, it is worth every penny.