Life sized blooms that look like something out of a Dr. Seuss novel stand tall along the promenade at the 2023 Philadelphia Flower Show in the Pa. Convention Center. (Erin Blewett for Billy Penn)

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The Philadelphia Flower Show, the nation’s oldest and largest horticultural event, is back indoors and as gloriously colorful as ever.

This year’s theme of “Garden Electric” is a nod to the spark of joy found in giving or receiving flowers — an excitement evident in the glowing reviews of attendees as they entered the Pa. Convention Center.

One guest twirled around the main corridor, trying to take everything in. “It’s SO whimsical, look at all of it!” she crooned.  

“Can you imagine how long it takes to put this all together?” asked another. 

“I didn’t know flowers could do that!” exclaimed a third. 

A two-year stint in FDR Park, spurred by the pandemic, was the show’s first time outdoors in its 194 years. The atmosphere and location brought out many younger people, but the unpredictability of weather and atmosphere made maintenance of the floral beauty much more difficult.

Organizers at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society worked to infuse some of the best of the outdoor vibe into this edition. They invited exhibitors to create much larger gardens, at sizes up to 2,900 square feet — more than three times bigger than previous indoor iterations. There’s a winding path that takes visitors through the show, something that worked well outside in South Philly. And there are musical guests, including DJ Aktive and Snacktime. 

The show features lush jungles that would look at home in “Jurassic Park,” glittering strands of crystals roped with bright blooms, neon walkways with hidden scenery, and plenty more set pieces that give a range of experiences, from stumbling into a secret garden to landing on the moon. 

Tickets are $45 for adults, $30 for students aged 18-24, and $20 for kids 5-17 (the event is the major fundraising vehicle for PHS, helping fund its greening and fresh food efforts around the region). Dates are Saturday, March 4, to Sunday, March 12, with various pop-up events throughout, like early morning tours, flower craft tables, a butterfly pavilion, and after-hours parties.

Scroll down for scenes showing off the best of the region’s green thumb.