Chicago Flower Show, “The Sport of Gardening”

2011 CHICAGO FLOWER & GARDEN SHOW PREVIEW

Themed "The Sport of Gardening,"

Annual Green Showcase (March 5-13) Will Inspire, Educate and Motivate

The 2011 Chicago Flower & Garden Show, the Midwest’s iconic annual horticulture and landscape extravaganza, offers an inside look at the show's 17th year and all it has to offer. Returning to Navy Pier from Saturday, March 5, through Sunday, March 13, and themed “The Sport of Gardening,” a major attraction will be the 30-plus gardens spotlighting top Midwest landscapers, growers and garden designers.

Christy Webber's Garden Lawn View, Courtesy Chicago Flower Show
Christy Webber's Garden Lawn View, Courtesy Chicago Flower and Garden Show

Designed to inspire, educate and motivate both novice and seasoned gardeners, as well as the eco-curious, the acclaimed show features the latest in sustainable and green products. It also offers visitors unique, non-stop learning opportunities at more than 100 workshops and free educational seminars.

"The gardens this year will be about reality blended with fantasy," says Tony Abruscato, show director. "Visitors will experience the creative, colorful and sleek imaginations of our featured landscape professionals, while learning how the concepts can translate to their own backyards, patios or balconies."

In addition, in cooperation with the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Chicago Flower & Garden Show will also feature the return of the popular Horticulture Competition. Individuals, garden clubs and businesses passionate about houseplants, window boxes, photography, miniature landscapes, container gardens and all things green are encouraged to enter the Horticulture Competition. Entries will be accepted for judging in more than 90 categories with winners being showcased during the show's entire nine-day run. For more information and entry deadlines, visit p://www.chicagoflower.com/horticulture-competition-info.cfm" target="_blank">www.chicagoflower.com/horticulture-competition-info.cfm Other highlights of the much-anticipated show include: -"Evening in Bloom" preview benefit on Friday, March 4. Honorary Chairs Mayor and Mrs. Richard M. Daley host a sneak preview of the gardens while guests also enjoy culinary creations from more than 20 leading Chicago restaurants along with specialty cocktails and desserts. The evening's proceeds benefit local green not-for-profits.

Tablescape by Kenneth Ludwig, Courtesy Chicago Flower Show
Tablescape by Kenneth Ludwig, Courtesy Chicago Flower and Garden Show
-Many of the Midwest’s top design experts will create Tablescapes, another popular show feature. These creative minds will inspire visitors with their innovative and clever table settings that create unique dining and entertainment experiences. -A New Plant Varieties exhibit will showcase the latest in new and soon-to-be available plant, flower and vegetable varieties.

-The always exciting vendor Marketplace where visitors can shop an eclectic offering of gardening, landscape and horticulture supplies including green and sustainable products.

-The Garden Gourmet stage where guests can tickle their taste buds with an array of freshly prepared cuisine with an emphasis on organic and garden ingredients prepared by guest chefs from Chicago’s top restaurants.

- Free educational seminars from leading industry professionals will be presented at all skill levels. Visitors can learn about everything from shade and container gardening to water conservation, native plants and much more.

Kids Activity Center, Courtesy Chicago Flower Show
Kids Activity Center, Courtesy Chicago Flower and Garden Show

-The popular "Potting Parties," container gardening workshops held four times daily. Potting Party proceeds raise money for local charities. Presented in conjunction with the Chicago Botanic Garden, parties are limited to 25 "students" per class.

The Affinia Hotel Chicago, just steps away from Navy Pier, will again be the show's host hotel. For more info and special room rates, visit www.chicagoflower.com/host-hotel.cfm

Tickets to the 2011 Chicago Flower & Garden Show can be purchased online now at www.chicagoflower.com. There is no service charge when ordering online. Adult tickets are $15 on weekdays and $17 on weekends. Tickets for children ages 4-12 are $5 every day. Discounts are also available for groups of 15 or more and may be ordered through thewww.chicagoflower.com website.

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