National Parks visit the Philadelphia Flower Show
Visitors to the Philadelphia Flower Show can ‘see’ Yosemite, Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon without leaving Pennsylvania. This year, the show theme is “Explore America”.
The Pennsylvania Horicultural Society invited the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) to this week’s flower show, and by all accounts, the party is a big success. Since the NPS is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, it seemed a good fit to show off some of the more famous parks in flowers and landscaping.
The show continues until Sunday, March 13, open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, Saturday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Cost at the Convention Center door is $34 for adults, $22 for students. Amtrak costs about $32 round trip for an adult Saturday ticket. The connection on SEPTA is free and drops passengers off at the Convention Center.
Some of the parks are shown as they truly are with log cabins, lighthouses, trail signs, brilliant flowers and trees, including one tree you can walk through. Another, Arches National Park is Utah, is a conceptualized version of the park with brilliant red flowers to match Utah’s red rocks. There’s also an arch with yellow flowers, and sandstone-looking arches with flowers adorning their tops. Truly an artist’s vision. Redwood National Park in California is another large display with lights, a trail and a ‘forest’ of trees.
Great Smoky Mountain National Park is represented, but with a tiny square, far away from the main projects, much to the dismay of locals who visit the Smokies much more often than Yosemite.
Other exhibits include Muir Woods National Monument, Valley Forge, Acadia, Hawaii’s Volcanoes, Lincoln’s Boyhood Home, Olympic, Saguaro, Cape Cod National Seashore, Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. And more.
NPS has brought along its own park rangers to give talks about their sites. Seats during their programs were usually full.
Of course, the show continues its reputation of hosting beautiful displays, bonsai and hundreds of retail outlets boasting everything from gardening tools, to food, swings, seeds and books.
The show is known as one of the nation’s finest, and as a result, crowds jam the convention center at opening and through the day. Wait until the buses leave, and the crowds thin out in a hurry. At 4 p.m., it’s easy to get around. By 7 p.m., the place is almost quiet. Weekends, however, are only for the brave.