A diverse group of 40 of the world’s best landscape artists and garden designers delighted visitors at the 2022 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show, held June 11–19, with spectacular exhibits filled with bold color and dramatic beauty in their interpretations of this year’s theme, “In Full Bloom.”
According to show organizers, the theme–intended to be an antidote for our ongoing struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic—represents the good health, positive well-being and passion for life attainable through the restorative power of gardening and nature. It also highlights the importance of mental and emotional health that contribute to a person being “In Full Bloom.”
David Rubin Land Collective, winner of a PHS Silver Medal (Landscape)
The show was again held outdoors at Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) Park, the second time in its nearly 200-year history. Designed by the Olmsted Brothers—sons of Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of New York City’s famed Central Park—FDR Park spans 15 acres and offered an inspiring venue for the show.
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) presented at least 30 awards for horticultural excellence and mastery of this year’s theme, with highlights including:
The coveted PHS Philadelphia Flower Show Cup—Best in Show (Landscape) was presented to Mark Cook Landscape & Contracting LLC of Doylestown, Pa., for its “Entangled”exhibit, which featured a small pool with “ever-changing reflections that present serenity within the entangled branches of the garden.” The landscape artists also picked up The PHS Gold Medal Award—Best Use of PHS Gold Medal Plants and a PHS Gold Medal (Landscape).
Mark Cook Landscape & Contracting LLC, winner of the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show Cup—Best in Show (Landscape)
Susan Cohan Gardens of the New York/New Jersey metro area earned The Philadelphia Flower Show Silver Trophy (Landscape), as well as the Pennsylvania Landscape & Nursery Association Trophy (Landscape) and a PHS Gold Medal (Landscape) for “A Garden of One’s Own.” Inspired by Virginia Woolf’s essay, “A Room of One’s Own,” the landscape artists imagined a feminine place of rest and renewal “inspired by the multiple roles that women have had to play during the pandemic years.” Susan Cohan Gardens was one of many female-led firms designing major exhibits this year, the most ever in the show’s history.
Susan Cohan Gardens, winner of The Philadelphia Flower Show Silver Trophy (Landscape)
Philadelphia-based Schaffer Designs took home five awards, including The Mayor’s Trophy—Innovative and Unique Design (Floral), the Special Achievement Award—Garden Club Federation of Pennsylvania (Creativity, Under 1,000 Square Feet), The Phyllis M. Craig Award—Best Use of Color (Floral), the PHS Gardening for the Greater Good (Floral) Award and a PHS Gold Medal (Floral).
Schaffer Designs, winner of The Mayor’s Trophy—Innovative and Unique Design (Floral)
The Governor’s Trophy was awarded to Refugia Design of Bala Cynwyd, Pa., for “The Inner Landscape,” an exhibit that integrated diverse native plants and sustainable materials with innovative, playful soundscapes and biodata sonification. Additional wins for Refugia included the Special Achievement Award—Garden Club Federation of Pennsylvania (Creativity, 1,000 Square Feet and Over) and a PHS Gold Medal (Landscape).
Refugia Design, winner of The Governor’s Trophy
The Philadelphia Trophy, meanwhile, was given to Auburn University’s Landscape Architecture Program for “Conquer the Soil,” a striking exhibit that made best use of color with flowering plants. Auburn also picked up The Bulkley Medal of The Garden Club of America, the Special Achievement Award—Garden Club Federation of Pennsylvania (Education, Under 1,000 Feet) and a PHS Gold Medal (Landscape).
Auburn University’s Landscape Architecture Program, winner of The Philadelphia Trophy
In addition to the landscape and floral exhibits, there were many new activities and events for attendees to enjoy such as Artisan Row, where guests could partake in a variety of arts and crafts projects, including creating fresh-floral crowns, personalized candles, dried-floral arrangements and botanical jewelry. Children of all ages also had a new treat this year with the family-friendly Kids Cocoon & Play Space offering an interactive outdoor experience filled with play structures, garden-inspired crafts and story times.
The Garden for the Greater Good—the PHS’s annual display of gardenscapes that celebrate the belief that horticulture has the power to make positive social and environmental change—transported guests through a dazzling outdoor oasis filled with plant life found in the region’s woodlands and meadows, including native trees and plants from the PHS’s distinguished Gold Medal Plant program. Guests also had the opportunity to engage with PHS staff and gardeners to learn more about how thoughtful gardening practices can have a substantial impact on their community.
Petit Jarden en Ville, winner of a PHS Silver Medal (Landscape)
Potting Parties, meanwhile—always a show-goer favorite—offered a container-gardening workshop hosted by acclaimed floral designer Tu Bloom, where attendees made their own vibrant container display. Guests could also dance the night away amid the stunning beauty of the floral and garden exhibits under the stars at Flowers After Hours.
An outdoor Butterflies Live! exhibit, where guests could get up close with hundreds of spectacular, native butterflies; a marketplace featuring more than 100 vendors offering plants, unique gardening wares, gardening supplies, branded merchandise and other shopping treasures; and several new dining options rounded out this year’s show experience.
Arrange, Floral and Event Design, winner of The PHS Council Trophy—Most Accomplished Display of Unique and Diverse Plants
The PHS Philadelphia Flower Show is the nation’s largest and longest-running horticultural event. The International Festivals & Events Association has honored it as the best event in the world, competing with events such as the Kentucky Derby Festival, Tournament of Roses Parade, Indianapolis 500 Festival and other international celebrations.
The PHS, an internationally recognized nonprofit organization founded in 1827, plays an essential role in the vitality of the Philadelphia region by creating healthier living environments, increasing access to fresh food, growing economic opportunity and building deeper social connections between people.
Top image: Wambui Ippolito, winner of a PHS Bronze Medal (Landscape)