Where Art Meets Nature

by TheSpot

If we are to close our eyes for a moment and think a good thought, to de-stress, or to visualize, chances are we think of a place of unparalleled beauty.  We then may think of our loved ones or a special person of whom we would like to share that beauty.  What would that beautiful place look like?  Maybe it’s a field, lake, or even an ocean surrounded by flowers. A dreamlike oasis where art meets the natural world.  The Philadelphia Flower Show can is one of the most anticipated events of the year where art meets nature.  Held annually in Philadelphia, it is considered the world’s oldest indoor flower show, drawing over 250,000 visitors.  The economic and social impact to the region is boundless.  

Seth Pearsoll has gardening and landscaping in his blood.  Growing up in the midwest, Pearsoll was always working the land as a hobby and a chore. Curiously, he was studying linguistics and getting ready for finals when an article on landscape design caught his eye.  After making some decisions, Pearsoll headed to Massachusetts to pursue his degree at The Conway School of Landscape Design.  After some years, Seth found himself in Philadelphia and now has the enviable role of Creative Director and Vice President of the Philadelphia Flower Show. 

The Flower Show has been growing exponentially with each passing year.  Forbes calls it “a truly beloved event that has been a staple in the cultural fabric of Philadelphia for 195 years.”  Each year, a theme is selected by a multitude of factors.  We were curious on how a theme is decided upon.  Seth brought up the interesting concept of a before and after covid.  Prior to covid, themes were based on escapism which Seth stresses the positive aspects. After covid, the conversation shifted generating ideas and partnerships with substance.  Partners and spectators were in search of  themes that are timely, applicable, and relevant.  He emphasizes the importance of maintaining a light touch and engagement.  Pearsoll illustrates that during covid, themes centered around mental health and wellness.  Following the two years during the covid, they decided upon a bold and passionate theme: Garden Electric in 2023.  The concept originated from the notion that flowers in their essence ignite sparks within the soul.

Pearsoll explained that this year’s theme, United by Flowers, emanated from a sense of hunger for common ground and shared passions for gardening.  The idea was to build a show around sharing and intersecting passions.  We asked if there’s an ever-growing interest in learning more about nature & gardening in general, and Seth’s answer is ‘yes’. He has two sides to the story. ‘There’s always been an interest in gardening & landscaping in the older generations, but younger generations are moving towards learning & education for themselves rather than out of necessity’ he says. Seth is of the opinion that there is a new generation that is embracing and personalizing gardening and landscaping.

So how does the Philadelphia Flower Show continue to inspire and what can we expect this year?  Community is apparent throughout the exhibition. From the dining rooms to the beauty salons and a huge map of the United States, there is something for everyone. On Artisan Row, visitors can create their own unique and personal floral crowns, construct their own bouquets, and design their own floral handbags. Early Morning Tours are available for purchase for a special tour and a deeper dive into horticulture..  Butterfly Live is a unique experience to see first hand beautiful butterflies resting and gently engaging with visitors in a netted tent.  

The Philadelphia Flower Show has been captivating audiences for almost 200 years.  This one of a kind experience is where we can connect with the outside world, learn more about species and plant life, and ultimately inspire us to create and recognize our own natural habitats and place in the world.  It is our opportunity to learn and appreciate a truly unique event. For tickets or how to become a member, visit http://phsonline.