Philadelphia Flower Show
I've been working this week on a package of stories for Friday's LIVE section of the Baltimore Sun on the Philadelphia Flower Show, and that's kept me pretty busy.
(The Show opens Sunday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in downtown Philadelphia and continues through March 7.)
The stories include information on driving, parking and ticket costs and a preview of the show. (It is kind of hard to write about something you haven't seen from a description provided by someone else who hasn't seen it! The show takes only days to stage.)
The Philly Flower Show is the most ambitious indoor garden show in the world and it covers 10 acres inside the Convention Center. That's a lot of ground to cover, so here are some tips for the Flower Show visitors.
And finally, the Flower Show Web site has all the information you need, and more. You can even purchase your tickets on line. Go to theflowershow.com.
(Note: I didn't get to include these tips in the LIVE package on the show. Only Garden Variety readers will see them!)
- The best time for viewing the show is after 3 p.m. on weekdays. Weekends and mornings can be pretty crowded. More than a quarter-million visitors are expected during the eight days of the show. If you have enough money, you can spring for a private early morning guided tour of the show -- before it opens.
- Wear comfortable shoes and light clothing. There is a coat check service - use it. It is warm, humid and crowded in the show. You won't need a coat inside. And the show covers 10 acres. That's a lot of walking.
- Take paper, pen and camera to record plant names and groupings, landscape ideas and advice from experts. A backpack instead of a purse will leave your hands free.
- Pick up a map of the show floor and a schedule of lectures and demonstrations so you can plan your day. If you go in a group, make plans to meet if you get separated. A good place is PNC Park, which has a message board, seats and should be near bathrooms and water fountains.
- There are lots of options for food and many of them are on the show floor. But my friend Lisette and I drove from Annapolis and ate an early lunch at a wonderful restaurant in nearby Chinatown on year, and that kept us for the day. When Betsy and I went with her husband (miracle of miracles), we found a cheese-steak place first and then went to the show. You can always get your hand stamped for re-entry and take a break to get something to eat. The Reading Terminal Market across the street resembles Baltimore's Lexington Market with lots of choices, but it can be very crowded.
- One of these years, I am going to make reservations and take a break in the Flower Show Tea Room. Beautiful music and, of course, beautiful flowers, petit sandwiches and desserts and nice hot tea! There are two seatings daily, 12:30 - 2:00 pm and 3:45 - 5:15 pm, tickets are $28 each, plus a same-day Flower Show ticket. Go to theflowershow.com to make reservations.
- Make the Marketplace your lost stop so you don't have to carry your purchases around the show. If you plan on doing a lot of shopping, you might want to bring some bags of your own!
- Finally, it is going to take you at least four hours to do the show justice. More if you have the energy. But of course you do! Gardeners have LOTS of stamina.