Flower show chief excited by outdoor venue

by Diane M. Fiske
Posted 3/10/21

Flower Show chief designer Sam Lemheney has a springtime present for the quarter million loyal Philadelphia Flower Show attendees who go to the Horticulture Society event each year in the freezing …

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Flower show chief excited by outdoor venue

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Flower Show chief designer Sam Lemheney has a springtime present for the quarter million loyal Philadelphia Flower Show attendees who go to the Horticulture Society event each year in the freezing temperature of February.

The present is that this year the flower show will be scheduled in toasty warm June 5 -13 in South Philadelphia at FDR Park next to the sports complex. The festival will be presented in a larger space than the usual confined space in the Convention Center.

The show will be titled “Habitat: Nature's Bounty.”

This year is the first time the 192-year-old Flower Show is scheduled outdoors and the first time since 1996 it is not in the Convention Center.

Lemheney, Chief of Shows and Events at the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society, said in a telephone interview that he is excited about the change because it affords him and his team the opportunity to try new things in an outdoor setting. The new site will take up a lot more space: 15 acres, compared to the one-acre location at the Convention Center where the Flower Show is usually held in February.

This does not mean that he and his fellow designers have not been working on the theme for this year’s show for years.

"Usually we work on a show for about three years and we have done so with this theme,” Lemheney said.

They switched last year to the outdoor setting when they realized the situation the whole country was in with the pandemic. He expects to return to the February date next year as a long-standing event in Philadelphia. Lemheney said he and his teammates consider the outdoor situation to be safe at this point since many attendees will have received their vaccination shots by June.

One of the things he was exited about was the staff’s ability to try out new plants and arrangements outside. Lemheney said the outdoor event this year is a good opportunity to plan for the event in the future and a good break after the harrowing year of 2020 considering the pandemic.

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