By Carol Stocker
The Boston Flower & Garden Show will return to the Boston Seaport World Trade Center March 13 to 17. But if you don't want to wait that long for a glimpse of spring, you can hop down to the Providence Convention Center for The Rhode Island Flower Show, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary Feb. 21 to 24 with a major effort.
This is a flower show that includes a Food and Wine Festival which runs 1 to 5 p.m. daily and was well received when it debuted last year. Providence prices are famously moderate, so tickets to both events are only $20. Tickets for just the flower show exhibits and speakers start at $16. Hours Thursday to Saturday are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Children six to 12 are $7 and children under six are free. Tickets for the Wednesday night Preview Party are $75.
Exhibitors include last year's award winners, Tranquil Water Gardens, Earth and Water Landscape, The Rhode Island Nursery and Landscape Association, Dominas Agway, Metamorphosis Design and Novak Garden Design, plus the Rhode Island Wild Plant Society which won last year's Roger and Elizabeth Swain Award.
An excellent speaker's line-up includes Kevin O'Connor of "This Old House," designer Julie Moir Messervy, author of "The Toronto Music Garden," NY Botanic Garden's director of exhibitions Karen Daubmann, rosarians Mike and Angelina Chute, authors of "Roses for New England," Mary Anne Brady of Cranesbill Nursery in Swansea, and TV host Melinda Myers.
You can park at the nearby Providence Place Mall, which has restaurants and shopping, for only $1 for the first three hours (or $5 for 4 hours). Or call 1-800-USA-RAIL about the discount rate for the nearby Amtrak station.
For more information visit www.flowershow.com.