*Please see all the state flower show links at the bottom of this page.
With the number and scope of flower shows occurring in the United States each year, it’s a wonder avid green-thumbs have to time to tend their gardens.
No longer do flower shows consist only of row after row of potted plants and bouquets. Instead, garden societies, amateur and professional florists and even national flower clubs bring their best designs and new floral varieties to compete for cash prizes and recognition. Experts present seminars on floral photography, botanical drawing and more. Inventors can’t wait to put their multi-plant, hydroponic high rises in your hands, and landscape designers create gardens that promise to bring fantasyland to your backyard.
Flower shows aren’t just a feast for the eyes either. Organizers round out the experience by inviting top chefs, local craft breweries and wineries. More, since flower lovers often come accompanied by little flower lovers, activities like worm farms, butterfly gardens, crafts and even rides intersperse the flower exhibits and vendors.
The first flower show ever to take place in the United States has become the world’s largest indoor exhibition. The Philadelphia Flower Show debuted 1829 when 25 participants duked it out with their best blossoms in a drafty meeting hall. Now 60 professionals in the garden and floral trades compete for attention of 250,000 guests in that City of Brotherly Love. Texas puts on seven flower shows, three of which are devoted to Azaelas, and daffodils get their very own weekend in Nantucket—complete with a daffodil hat pageant.
Hundreds of flower shows take place across the United States each year. While some may hunt for those closest to them, others can use the excuse of a big show to travel to a different state. No matter which one you choose, flower show exhibitors and experts are sure to give you new ideas for sprucing up your yard and garden. Just talking to other flower lovers reenergizes. Use this flower show guide to help you pick the right event for your interests and needs.
Northeast:The northeast region offers more than car-tours of its fall leaves. Local and statewide garden clubs get nature lovers off the road with robust flower shows as well. With most shows opening their doors during the months of March, April, May and June, a regional tour hitting one floral spectacle after the other could be an option. The Philadelphia Flower Show may be the nation’s oldest show, but the Connecticut Flower & Garden Show is considered one of the most prestigious. Dozens of other shows present unique attractions, seminars and activities to suit the fancies of any flower lovers. Why work crossing your flower varieties all alone in your garden shed? Attend a show where amateur and expert horticulturalists long to talk to admirers and hobbyists about the new strains of flowers they’ve brought to life that year. Whether you attend to enter your own flowers and floral designs or to get inspired by displays, there’s a flower show to fit your needs. Read on to find the ideal flower show in the Northeast for you!
Looking for a side of history served with your flowers? The southern states won’t disappoint. At Arkansas’ Annual Jonquil Festival, thousands of blooming jonquils (some planted by early settlers) weave through a 19th-century restoration village. Wilmington, North Carolina’s Azalea festival put its colorful past on display along with fabulous displays of this widespread flower. But Azaleas don’t deserve all the attention in the south. Dogwood, azaleas and cherry blossoms have their very own shows throughout the region as well. At these single-focused exhibitions, fans showcase the decorating, landscaping, care of and more for each particular bloom. Keep reading to find the Southern states’ most fun and informative flower shows. Dates, locations, fees and websites appear under each flower show description.
When spring rolls around, the Midwest’s Danish, Swedish and Dutch immigrant descendants make sure their homeland’s tulip gets the recognition it deserves. After all, months of snow would make anyone crave the rainbow of color that tulips display. Even those who can’t claim a Dutch heritage enjoy the clogging, quilt-making displays and parades that the tulip festivals bring.
Despite their zeal, Midwest tulip fans may be outnumbered by those who love azaleas. Texas offers three Azalea flower shows alone, and there’s one each in Oklahoma and Illinois.
Not all gardeners are so single-minded, and the Midwest abounds with shows that offer landscape and decorating ideas for all types of flowers as well. Guests enjoy seminars from experts, entertainment and children’s activities while strolling around the gardens. Whether you choose stick close to home or venture a state or two away, this flower show guide helps you start the process of researching the event in the Midwest you’ll get the most from.
Flowers shows in the West offer as much variety as the climatic regions involved. Unique flowers thrive from the cool, wet cliffs of the northwest to California’s hot Central Valley to Colorado’s high plains.
This region is home to one of the largest floral events in the world: The Portland Rose Festival. Recognized by the International Festivals & Events Association as one of the best festivals (of all festivals, not just flower shows!) in the world, it culminates in the crowning of a Rose Festival Queen.
Where two million people attend the Portland Rose Festival, neighbor Washington state isn’t too far behind with one million attending their Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. Lasting the entire month of April, the festival is decentralized, with activities, displays and entertainment occurring in many of the cities, towns and farms that comprise the abundant valley.
Not up for flower shows of this size and scope? Keep reading. Western States offer dozens of others every year. With dates, locations and contact information provided here, you’re well on your way to attending the best of the West.