The 2013 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show “Brilliant!” kick-off began at our press conference February 1, hosted by the Four Seasons Philadelphia Hotel. Representatives from our sponsors, exhibitors, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, and other guests were treated to a proper afternoon tea, saw our spirited promo video, and learned about the importance of the Flower Show in not only raising money for PHS initiatives like City Harvest, but also about the Show’s impact on the city of Philadelphia.
PHS President Drew Becher explained that this year’s Flower Show, which PHS has hosted for 183 years, relies on 35,000 volunteers in addition to PHS staff and is expected to be seen by more than 250,000 visitors with a $61 million economic impact on the region and $8 million in city, state, and federal tax revenue.
Drew also announced that beginning with this Flower Show, two of the world’s premier horticultural organizations—PHS and Britain’s Royal Horticultural Society—are joining in a new international alliance that will benefit all their members and the communities they serve. This partnership will include a “digital membership” in PHS for all RHS members and joint events both here in the States and in England.
The RHS has assisted in bringing special presenters and judges from Britain to this year’s Show, and an amazing display of photos and royal signatures from Her Majesty the Queen’s visits to the Chelsea Flower Show over several decades.
Flower Show designer and PHS Senior Vice President Sam Lemheney described the grand central feature of the Show, and also gave insight into some of the added attractions such as the New Plant Showcase (some of which will be available for purchase) and the unveiling of the newest additions to the PHS Gold Medal Plants.
Other speakers included Michael McHale, Director of Corporate Communications, Subaru; Thomas C. Woodward, Philadelphia Market President, Bank of America; and Oliver Franklin, Honorary Consul to Great Britain from Philadelphia.
The afternoon was not complete without a visit from the Queen, who posed for pictures and entertained guests. You’ll be seeing more of her in the weeks leading up to the Show, so stay tuned about her whereabouts through our website. Cheers!