7 Key Trends We’re Taking From The Philadelphia Flower Show

Showcasing dazzlingly flamboyant floral arrangements and landscaping designs, the Philadelphia Flower Show 2024 also revealed the key themes that should be on every gardener's agenda this year.

Entrance garden from the Philadelphia Flower Show 2024
(Image credit: Philadelphia Flower Show 2024)

The Philadelphia Flower Show 2024 delighted visitors with floral creations that combined themes of sustainability and unity with pure indulgent fantasy.

For a whole week in March, attendees were able to shake off the bleakness of winter and immerse themselves in all the colors, scents, and textures of spring and summer flowers.

The world’s biggest indoor flower show, Philadelphia Flower Show is also the longest-running, launched in 1829. Each year the event draws gardeners, professional floral artists, landscapers, and plant lovers to the city, who are presented with breathtaking flower arrangements from all directions.

As well as being a feast for the senses, the show highlights the key garden design trends that will be on the horizon for the foreseeable future. The overarching theme was "United By Flowers", which was evident in the collaborative approach and messages of connection seen throughout the show.

Take a cue from these trends, and be inspired to emulate them in your own garden design.

Colorful Robertson's Flowers exhibit from Philadelphia Flower Show 2024

(Image credit: Philadelphia Flower Show 2024)

1. Joyfully Bold Colors

This year’s show was unashamed in its celebration of all that is bold and beautiful about flowers.

The entrance garden set the scene with fantastical displays including floral “clouds”, reflected in water features to create a dynamic interplay of color and light. 

Elsewhere, Jacques Amand’s Circle Of Color showcased seasonal spring bulbs in every color imaginable, while Robertson’s Flowers created a stunning display of neon bright flowers and geometric shapes.

Jennifer Designs floral map of the USA, from the Philadelphia Flower Show 2024

(Image credit: Philadelphia Flower Show 2024)

Jennifer DesignsAmerica In Bloom went one step further with a floral map of the whole USA, using different blooms to reflect the various USDA planting zones across the country, and in homage to the great American road trip.

Alliums, billy buttons, protea, and foxgloves were especially popular at the show,” says Katie Dubow, trend forecaster and president of Garden Media Group. “Bright, bold, neon colors were embraced – think magenta pink, salmon pink, and bold orange.”

Shaffer Designs Connected display at Philadelphia Flower Show 2024

(Image credit: Philadelphia Flower Show 2024)

2. Connecting Through Flowers

This year’s show theme “United by Flowers,” showed how plants and gardens can bring people together – whether strangers, communities, or families across generations.

Shaffer DesignsConnected: A Floral Legacy embraced collaboration and took inspiration from its friends around the globe, combining plants from wet and tropical environments to create an immersive floral walkway. 

Susan Cohan's Generations display at Philadelphia Flower Show 2024

(Image credit: Philadelphia Flower Show 2024)

In Susan Cohan’s garden, Generations, the designer revealed how flowers help to bring us together and make a connection through our family trees. Half of the garden was a traditional gardener’s retreat featuring nostalgic plants including foxgloves and dahlias; the other half featured a contemporary space for extended family gatherings.

It represented the idea of flowers as living heirlooms and helped to tell a story of how we pass down our knowledge and passion for gardening and plants through the generations.

Meanwhile, Tissarose Florists showcased how flowers are so often central to life’s celebrations. Its Need for Ceremony display revealed a dinner table setting festooned with flowers.

Tissarose florists of Drexel Hill Need for Ceremony showcase

(Image credit: Philadelphia Flower Show 2024)

3. Landscapes Reclaimed By Nature

The blooming revolution was on stage for all to see, as garden designers showed how forgotten spaces could be reclaimed with vibrant flora. 

“Witness the transformation of dilapidated city lots and roadside wastelands into lush sanctuaries, showcasing nature's resilience and mankind's dedication to revitalizing urban landscapes,” says Katie Dubow.

In Kelly NorrisA Beautiful Disturbance, an abandoned industrial lot finds new life as a novel ecosystem. The scheme won several awards including The Governor's Trophy and The American Horticultural Society Environmental Award. 

Kelly asks: “How can gardening amplify dynamic, spontaneous vegetation to promote a message of renewal, hope, and community? In this era of global change, we need to reimagine the vegetation of cities as homes for future nature.”

Kelly D Norris' A Beautiful Disturbance garden at Philadelphia Flower Show 2024

(Image credit: Philadelphia Flower Show 2024)

Meanwhile, Apiary Studios' Right of Way featured mirage-like scenes of roadside America with a dynamic planting design including many native plants. The remarkable scheme won The Philadelphia Flower Show Cup, Best in Show and the Anne Vallery Award.

“The designs sparked many conversations about how nature and urban spaces collide, and how horticulture plays a major role in cultivating beauty in unexpected places,” says Katie.

“Plants have the power to breathe new life into our communities.”

Apiary Studios Right of Way garden at Philadelphia Flower Show 2024

(Image credit: Philadelphia Flower Show 2024)

4. Quiet Reflection

The sensory journey began right at the entrance of the Philadelphia Flower Show, where the trend of reflection transformed garden displays into oases of tranquility.

“The entrance exhibit featured a pool – the show’s biggest ever water feature – and mirrored boxes, which bounced images of pink tulips, purple hydrangeas, blooming cherry trees, and other brightly-hued buds around the open space,” says Katie.

“Amidst the bustling show, these aquatic havens offered moments of quiet reflection, inviting visitors to pause, breathe, and reconnect with the soothing rhythms of nature.”

The theme of quiet reflection continued into the Men’s Garden Club of Philadelphia Garden, Quiet Respite, Japanese Garden Harmony, which highlighted Japanese cherry blossoms and a tranquil landscape combining to create a harmonious ambiance. “This intimate oasis serves as a respite, drawing inspiration from nature’s artistry, and fostering meaningful connections that transcend borders.”

Quiet Respite Japanese Garden at Philadelphia Flower Show

(Image credit: Philadelphia Flower Show 2024)

5. Going Native

The importance of native plants was highlighted throughout the Philadelphia Flower Show, and how these beautiful species have an integral role to play in our gardens. 

“From Kelly Norris’ A Beautiful Disturbance to Apiary Studios’ Right of Way, each exhibit told a story of resilience, sustainability, and transformation,” says Katie.

“From the majestic mullein and hardy yarrow, to the vibrant hues of coneflowers and rudbeckia, this is a trend here to stay.”

The United States Geological Survey even joined the exhibits this year to display different bee species and information on pollinator-friendly plants.

Irwin Landscaping and Prairie Wind Lost Garden

(Image credit: Philadelphia Flower Show 2024)

6. Fairytale Fantasy

One of the most stunning landscaping schemes at this year’s show was the Lost Garden, by Irwin Landscaping and Prairie Wind. Winner of The Philadelphia Trophy and Pennsylvania Landscape & Nursery Association Trophy, the scheme evoked a dreamlike fairytale.

Slowly the display revealed a once-treasured sanctuary – journeying through a long, contemporary black-water pond beneath a wooden pergola, surrounded by beautiful plantings. The path culminated in a wall fountain and gazebo covered in a bare vine that conjured a gothic fairytale, enhanced by a rusted iron gate.

Irwin Landscaping and Prairie Wind Lost Garden pergola water feature at Philadelphia Flower Show

(Image credit: Philadelphia Flower Show 2024)

“As you explore, the dreams and designs of those who came before whisper through the space,” explain the designers. “Even as walls crumble and unbridled plantings bloom for no one, you begin to see the garden in its past, present and future forms. Though you may never learn its whole story, you have already begun to write the next chapter.”

Foraged flowers at Philadelphia Flower Show 2024

(Image credit: Philadelphia Flower Show 2024)

7. Foraged Flowers

A world of wild beauty was on display at the Philadelphia Flower Show, where the trend of foraged flowers took center stage.

”Attendees were exposed to the three steps of foraging to create gorgeous arrangements – seek, prep and create – by Oasis Forage Products,” says Katie. 

“Visitors explored the artistry of nature's bounty as skilled florists showed how to craft arrangements using blooms and foliage from your own garden.”

Melanie Griffiths
Senior Editor

Melanie has worked in homes and gardens media for two decades. Having previously served as Editor on Period Living magazine, and worked on Homes & Gardens, Gardening Etc, Real Homes, and Homebuilding & Renovating, she is now focusing on her passion for gardening as a Senior Editor at Gardening Know How.

Melanie has spent the last few years transforming her own garden, and is also a keen home grower, having experimented with pretty much every type of vegetable at some point.

In her spare time, she loves to explore inspiring gardens and historic properties.