PHS to Salute National Parks at 2016 Philadelphia Flower Show

Mikhail Kolesnikov/

Yosemite National Park | Mikhail Kolesnikov/

After a nod to Tinseltown last year, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) has decided to go with an even more wholesome, distinctly American theme for its 2016 Philadelphia Flower Show: a salute to our national parks.

“Explore America” will celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service, with floral displays drawing inspiration from our 408 national parks—every place from Cape Cod and Valley Forge to Yosemite and the granddaddy of them all, Yellowstone. The displays will include flora and fauna indigenous to these landscapes, so expect wildflowers, desert plants, greenery from towering redwood forests and fragrant pinelands, the whole shebang.

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Was Drew Becher Too Ambitious for Philly?

Drew Becher and Rachael Ray at the 2014 Philadelphia Flower Show.

Drew Becher and Rachael Ray at the 2014 Philadelphia Flower Show. | Photo: Bradley Maule

Let me be frank: I have no facility with plants or flowers; anytime a green thing comes into contact with my fingers, it wilts and dies, as though my antidepressants are leeching through my pores. Still, I’m deeply attuned to the flora of our city. For one thing, we’re fortunate to live in a verdant metropolis with an enormous park system. For another, we have a robust horticultural society that presents the largest flower show in the hemisphere. And lately, well, we’ve got these pop-up gardens that celebrate plants and flowers — and also offer beer. We mustn’t forget the beer.

And I’m not alone. Residents of Philadelphia care deeply about our ample green space. That’s why it hasn’t surprised me to be on the receiving end, for several months now, of rather urgently phrased whispers about potential problems at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS). The problems, people told me, all related to its president, Drew Becher, and the changes he’s implemented since he arrived in 2010 to replace Jane Pepper, who was president for 29 years before she retired. Modernization is never easy, and change agents have it especially hard in this town. But the level of vitriol directed at Becher surprised me — and this was coming from people outside of PHS, without an ax to grind.

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Dan Aykroyd Will Donate to Family of Fallen Philadelphia Police Officer Robert Wilson III

Actor and comedian Dan Aykroyd is at the Philadelphia Flower Show today to promote his Crystal Head Vodka company. According to CBS 3, earlier in the day he got up to make an announcement that he and the company would donate to the family of Officer Robert Wilson III, the eight-year police veteran who was killed in a shooting yesterday evening at GameStop.


Philadelphia Flower Show Black-Tie Gala and Afterparty


The 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show opened on Friday, February 27, 2015, with a black-tie gala. Guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and a cocktail party under a marquee of beautiful flowers while surrounded by Caribbean pirates, playful rats, princesses, and chickens in the barnyard. This year’s theme is “Celebrate the Movies,” and as you may have guessed, there’s a large contingent of displays inspired by Disney movies as well as Hollywood classics. After the cocktail hour, dinner took place among the floral displays. As dinner ended at 10 p.m., guests joined the afterparty where DJ Montone and DJ Jason Weiss kicked off dance party which continued well after midnight. The Flower Show runs through March 8, with a schedule full of special events, celebrity appearances, and lots and lots of beautiful flowers and shopping.

More photos from the Flower Show Gala after the jump »

PHOTOS: G Philly’s LGBT Party at the Philadelphia Flower Show

Bette Midler, Evan Urbania, Liza, Drew Becher, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Ian, Crystal Electra. Sam Lemheney, PHS Flower Show Designer and James Bond.

“Bette Midler,” Chatterblast co-founder Evan Urbania, “Judy Garland” Drew Becher, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Brittany Lynn, Crystal Electra. Sam Lemheney, PHS Flower Show Designer, and “James Bond.”

Despite the fact that ice was falling from the sky, more than 200 revelers came out yesterday for our fifth annual LGBT Party at the Philadelphia Flower Show. The afternoon kicked off with opening remarks from openly gay Pennsylvania Horticultural Society President Drew Becher. Our special guest, film legend Pam Grier, was there as an ambassador for Dining Out for Life. She was presented with an award from Subaru for her dedication to the gay community, particularly her work to bring an end to HIV/AIDS.

I got to sit down for a Q&A with her, where, despite some unfortunate technical difficulties, we chatted about her involvement for Dining Out for Life, and her next film project—a film adaptation of her 2010 memoir Foxy: My Life in Three Acts.

The rest of the afternoon was spent catching up with friends, and eating and drinking from our fab lineup of food and drink vendors. Our good buddy HughE Dillon was there to snap some photos, which you can see below while hitting a few of the highlights in the captions.

If you missed out, the Philadelphia Flower Show is running now through March 8th. More information can be found here.

See shots from last year’s party here. Man, how time flies.

One of Us: Drew Becher, Philadelphia Flower Show Honcho

Illustration by Andy Friedman

Illustration by Andy Friedman

My name is … Drew Becher, but my full name is David Andrew Becher Jr.

I am a … nature lover.

I live in … Chestnut Hill, one of the greatest neighborhoods in the country. My partner Eric and I have lived in a lot of places. We love the houses, the village, the people, and being next to the Wissahickon. It’s like being on vacation 24/7.

I grew up in … Dayton, Ohio, until I went to college. Life in Dayton was wonderful. That’s where I got my penchant for gardening, from my grandmother. That said, I don’t know that I’d want to go back. But it’s a nice place to be from. Read more »

What To Eat (And Drink) At The Philadelphia Flower Show

PHS Cider | Photo by HughE Dillon

PHS Cider | Photo by HughE Dillon

This year, the Philadelphia Flower Show‘s theme is “Celebrate The Movies” and they’ve taken their inspiration from Disney and Pixar films— which has been causing quite a bit of excitement among the sorts of people who can get excited over garden displays inspired by Finding Nemo.

But if you’re not the type of person who gets excited over flower displays shaped like clown fish, talking rats or Disney princesses, fear not. There’s other attractions you can check out if you find yourself at the Flower Show–and many of them have to do with food. Or booze. Or both. Which is awesome.

There are plenty of Flower Show food and drink options to choose from and each vendor has their own movie theme. Here’s a list of what they’ll be serving.

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Philly Film Festival Will Host a Pop-Up Film Festival at the Flower Show

Ghostbusters is among the films playing at Philadelphia Film Society's pop-up film festival at the Philadelphia Flower Show.

Ghostbusters is among the films playing at Philadelphia Film Society’s pop-up film festival at the Philadelphia Flower Show.

This year’s Philadelphia Flower Show is themed “Celebrate the Movies,” so it’s no wonder they’ve teamed up with the Philadelphia Film Society on a pop-up film festival that will take place in the Grand Hall of the Pennsylvania Convention Center throughout the run of the Flower Show. Among the films being shown are classics, like Ghostbusters, Wizard of Oz and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, all shown on loop during regular show hours. Check out the full schedule below:

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WATCH: Video Shows What Entrance to Philadelphia Flower Show 2015 Will Look Like

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) YouTube’d a video that shows architectural details of the 2015 Flower Show entrance. Staying true to its movie theme, it features a big ol’ Hollywood sign, and surrounding props, like a theater marquee and a series of palm trees, that’ll make you feel like you’re strolling into a movie theater in Tinsel Town. Check it out below:

The 2015 Flower Show is set to open Saturday, February 28th. More information can be found here.

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