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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Chicago Flower & Garden Show Returns to Navy Pier


In Chicago, where blizzards shut down roadways and sidewalk salt sells out quickly, it’s never too early to think spring. Gardeners, in particular, are already springing ahead in anticipation of the perennially-popular
Chicago Flower & Garden Show, March 10-18, 2012 at Chicago’s Navy Pier.

In the style of high fashion and wearable art, the event celebrates “Hort Couture.” Designed to inspire, educate, and motivate, the Chicago Flower & Garden Show will reflect the influence of fashion and design in floral, plant, and landscape creations. Stylized posters and images for the event—inspired by high-style model sketches—are garnering buzz among fashion and floral industry circles for their fun fusion of style and blooms.

More than just a “pretty show,” the Chicago Flower & Garden Show—the only consumer event of its kind in the Midwest—offers an innovative and diverse array of ideas to learn from, be inspired by, take home, and try (whether the visitor is a green thumb or would just like to have one). Take home ideas from:

·         A catwalk of gardens: The Chicago Flower & Garden Show’s 25-plus, well-appointed stylized gardens are a visual shopping trip as they draw inspiration from textures and colors found in plants and fabrics, as well as alluring and beautiful embellishments found in nature. Practical as well as beautiful, visitors of all ages will find ideas they can try at home, whether their garden is a suburban perennial bed, a rural vista, or an urban balcony.

·         Cutting-edge notions: Love trinkets and new embellishments? The latest gardening tools and techniques will be showcased, as visitors learn how to create a rooftop garden at home, or incorporate hydroponics (plants grown outside of soil, in water). Meanwhile, those looking for new interior and exterior fashions can check out the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences garden, which uses “woolly pockets” to create vertical walls for plants.

·         The classic set: Just as some traditional fashions never go out of style, perennially popular programs return to the Chicago Flower & Garden Show in 2012. The always-anticipated Garden Gourmet series will feature delicious recipes and tips from several well-known chefs. More than 100 exhibitors of gardening, landscape, and horticulture products and services will be on hand to share their sustainable and eco-friendly wares.

·         The children’s line: Kids are in on the stylish fun too with potting parties and hands-on learning activities designed to inspire, educate, and motivate even the littlest plant lover.

·         Project garden runways: What would a “Hort Couture” show be without some friendly competition among designers? Photographers are invited to submit images for a special photo competition, with fashion-inspired categories such as “Hemmed Up” close-ups, “Pattern Freeze” still life shots, and “Triple Stitched” triptychs, among others. Another competition to find the best-dressed window box underscores the importance of creating a memorable first impression.

“Our ‘spring collection’ marries fun and style with the show-of-the-season, as we celebrate both the best of new designs and proven classics,” says Tony Abruscato, president, Flower Show Productions and director of the Chicago Flower & Garden Show. “In March in the Midwest, people can’t wait to get in their gardens—or simply bask in the color and scents of spring. We’ve got it at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show, which each spring draws thousands of eager visitors seeking inspirations of color, texture, and design for their yards, patios, or balconies. When you leave the 2012 show, you will have a wheelbarrow of practical and affordable ideas that you can try at home.”

Tickets to the Chicago Flower & Garden Show are available at the Navy Pier Box Office and online at
www.ChicagoFlower.com. Weekday admission is $15 or $17 at the box office, weekend admission is $17 online or $19 at the box office, and tickets for children ages 4 through 12 are $5. Discounted parking at Navy Pier, and group rates and tours are also offered.

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