Philadelphia Flower Show has '60s vibe with 'Flower Power'

PHILADELPHIA — From a floral recreation of Woodstock to an exploration of the optical effects of psychedelia, the 2019 Philadelphia Flower Show reinterprets 1960s counterculture in a spectacularly trippy way.

This year's show, aptly named "Flower Power," opens Saturday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and runs through March 10.

Some highlights:

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SUSPEND DISBELIEF

The flower show's Entrance Garden draws inspiration from the Pop Art movement, particularly the work of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Sculptures of towering vines, nearly 8,000 flowers and a 1,200-square-foot (112-sq. meter) meadow suspended 25 feet (8 meters) up greet visitors as they walk through the door.

The '60s vibe continues inside with a "Groovy Garden" of pressed flowers, a wedding scene from the Summer of Love and a garden that recreates the view from the Woodstock performance stage. Visitors can learn to arrange flowers in themed classes that include "Mood Ring," ''Lava Lamp" and "Sit In."

The mood will be set opening night with a dance party celebrating — what else? — Beatlemania, featuring a Fab Four cover band.

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THE WINNER IS ...

It's not all about hippies and peace and love.

In a coup for the flower show, top floral designers from 23 nations will compete in the Interflora World Cup, the floral industry's most prestigious design competition. The World Cup hasn't been held in the U.S. since 1985, and it had never been held at the Philadelphia Flower Show.

Competitors — the national champions of their respective countries — must create a hand-tied bouquet that explores the interplay of color and light, design a table-for-two setting that evokes a feeling of love through flowers and complete other challenges. It'll be held at the Entrance Garden.

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TRY THIS AT HOME

For green thumbs (and those who aspire to be), the flower show debuts a Home Gardening Hub with educational exhibits, author talks and guided "potting parties" in which visitors will plant flowers and greens and go home with their own decorative pot.

The flower show — launched in 1829 by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society — is the nation's largest and longest-running horticultural event.

"We have literally known the power of flowers since the beginning of our organization," flower show chief Sam Lemheney said.

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