Students Prepare for the 2020 Philadelphia Flower Show

Feb 24, 2020

Students Prepare for the 2020 Philadelphia Flower Show

Credit: Delaware Valley University. Delaware Valley University students designed and built a tree and root system that Philadelphia Flower Show guests will be able to walk under at the 2020 show. DelVal Assistant Professor Howard Eyre is celebrating 30 years of guiding DelVal students through creating Flower Show exhibits this year and 50 years of marriage to his wife. The initials in the tree are to commemorate his wedding anniversary.

Each year, students at Delaware Valley University have the opportunity to design and build an exhibit for the Philadelphia Flower Show, the country’s largest and longest-running horticultural event. The show gives students a chance to apply what they’re learning to real-world design challenges and allows them to meet and network with top landscape designers. The 2020 show, “Riviera Holiday,” runs Feb. 29 through March 8 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

For this year’s Flower Show exhibit, “Gamba Dell'albero,” the DelVal students explored the “nature of nature.” The focus of the exhibit is botany. Students have been working on the display since early fall, starting with design concepts and bringing those ideas to life during the construction phase. The DelVal display includes a more than 20-foot living tree and a water feature. The students also constructed a tree with large roots that guests will be able to walk under. Student volunteers created educational signs to place throughout the display to teach guests more about the plants in the exhibit. 

Daijah Barrett ’20, a horticulture major, brought some experience to the student team. Barrett created a Philadelphia Flower Show exhibit during her time as a student at W.B. Saul High School in Philadelphia. Growing plants for the display and educating the public are her favorite parts of the Flower Show.

“I hope people learn more about how plants work, what they need, and about nature,” said Barrett, who also worked on research for the educational signs. 

Landscape Architecture Program Administrator Michael Fleischacker and Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Science Howard Eyre guide the students through the process of designing and constructing a display each year. 

DelVal students and assistant professor Howard Eyre work on the Flower Show exhibit.
Credit: Delaware Valley University. From left: Assistant Professor Howard Eyre, Ian Olender ’20, a landscape design build major, Sean Maley ’20, a landscape design build major, Daijah Barrett ’20, a horticulture major, and Michael Milazzo ’20, a landscape design build major, work on this year’s display. In addition to studying at DelVal, Olender is running his own business, Ian’s Lawncare and Landscaping.

Eyre is celebrating 30 years working with DelVal students on Philadelphia Flower Show exhibits this year. He’s also celebrating 50 years of marriage. The initials on the tree the team built are to commemorate Eyre’s wedding anniversary.

The DelVal team always tries to create interactive, educational experiences so that Flower Show guests can go into the displays, not just look and read. Students in the Flower Show course are required to be part of the whole process and are graded on everything from the construction stage to being at the show to staff the exhibit.

For videos of the Delaware Valley University exhibit, follow @DelawareValleyUniversity on Instagram.

For more information on the Philadelphia Flower Show, please visit