You shouldn’t tiptoe through the 30,000 tulips at the entrance garden of the upcoming Philadelphia Flower Show—but you can stop to smell all the Dutch flowers.
From a hanging field of tulips to a giant dome, the endless natural beauty of the Netherlands comes to the Philadelphia Flower Show with “Holland: Flowering the World” next month. All proceeds benefit the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society, the organization behind the annual Flower Show. Although the Dutch are known for their horticultural achievements at major flower shows in Europe, this is the first time their craft will be celebrated at a large flower show or festival in America.
“There have been trade wars over tulips — how silly can you get?” says Dutch Ambassador to the United States Henne Schuwer. “More than 75 percent of tulips come from the Netherlands. This is a very important part of our agriculture.”
Breathtaking fields of flowers are common in Holland. Think corn fields in in the Midwest, but more colorful. Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Director of Shows and Events Sam Lemheney plans to bring that to life in the Pennsylvania Convention Center by suspending them from the ceiling.
“We inverted that idea and are creating floating flower fields,” says Lemheney. “It will be a canopy of flowers in gradient colors that make it look like it’s fading into the distance. It’s going to be a show stopper.”
In addition to the Dutch blooms, windmills and canals admired around the world, the Flower Show will also celebrate the dedication to sustainability.
“There’s a whole style of ‘eco design’ that the Dutch have made popular around the world,” says Lemheney. “We will have three designers coming from Holland to represent that style.”
The three Dutch designers will have their own exhibits at the Flower Show, but will also help construct something that is sure to stand out because of its size. Standing at 60 feet tall and spreading out with a diameter of 70 feet, the Eco Dome is a display for sustainability concepts and ideas hailing from the Netherlands.
“There’s a lot more to growing flowers than just putting a bulb in the ground and waiting for three months,” says Ambassador Schuwer. “I want to show what we do with that and why we are the largest exporter of flowers in the world.”
The Philadelphia Flower Show runs March 11-March 19 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, located at 1101 Arch St. Tickets range from $17-$35.