Chicagoans are already thinking of spring by the time the first snowflakes fall. And while there’s still plenty of chill left in the air, with a visit to Chicago’s upcoming flower and garden shows, locals can imagine the city in glorious full bloom.
The Orchid Show at the Chicago Botanic Garden features a greenhouse filled floor to ceiling with one of the flower world’s most admired blooms.
The Orchid Show Now Through March 15 The Chicago Botanic Garden goes all out with The Orchid Show, an elegantly installed celebration of one of the flower world’s most admired blooms. The stunning show features a constellation of orchids suspended over a reflecting pool, an allée of palms supporting clusters of yellow oncidium and bright purple and pink phalaenopsis orchids, and greenhouses filled floor to ceiling with orchids growing in the ground, adorning trees, and sculpturally arrayed. A series of special events takes place throughout the run of the show—including morning concerts and an evening cocktail tasting—and experts from the Illinois Orchid Society will be available every weekend to enlighten both novices and connoisseurs alike. 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe, 847-835-5440
The Morton Arboretum’s Edible Gardening Workshop Series March 7-April 11 The weekly Edible Gardening Workshop Series helps home cooks get the most from their gardens. These engaging classes—led by such experts as Bill Shores, manager for Rick Bayless’ organic garden; Kiss My Aster author Amanda Thomsen; and LaManda Joy, founder of Chicago’s Peterson Garden Project—cover a range of topics, including organic gardening, gardening in small spaces, and how to lay out productive and visually appealing plots. 4100 Illinois Rte. 53, Lisle, 630-968-0074
Chicago Flower & Garden Show March 14-22 Whether you love digging in the dirt or just enjoy seeing lovely things grow, the Chicago Flower & Garden Show is guaranteed to satisfy your passion for green. This mammoth exhibition at Navy Pier offers everything from practical tips for avid horticulturists to dozens of eye-catchingly designed gardens. “In addition to tulip and hyacinth gardens,” shares show director Tony Abruscato, “this year we’ll display over 1,600 roses in two gardens—one for Knock Out and large-bud roses and another for miniature roses.” Christened “Do Green. Do Good,” the show includes lectures and seminars from top experts, farm-to-table demonstrations, a photo competition sponsored by Birds & Blooms magazine, a presentation of sophisticated arrangements from the American Institute of Floral Designers, the popular Tablescapes exhibit, and even a spot for tots—complete with an interactive bug exhibit. The show kicks off with Evening in Bloom, a preview fundraiser on March 13 (tickets here). Navy Pier Festival Hall, 312-241-1250
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF CHICAGO FLOWER & GARDEN SHOW