The weather outside has hardly been frightful this year, but all that gray and dreary, even if on the warm side, is a little draining. You can get an energizing late-winter shot of color at the 19th Annual Rhode Island Spring Flower and Garden Show, Feb. 23-26, at the Rhode Island Convention Center. The flower show's theme this year is "Simple Pleasures," with each garden representing special milestones in life.
Added features this year include the Cafe Bookstore, where guests can have a cup of coffee and browse books on gardening and cooking. There is also an expanded garden display area and improved garden marketplace. Horticultural guru Roger Swain, former "Victory Garden" host, will run gardening courses and give lectures.
There will also be a food and wine festival featuring a cooking demo by Sara Moulton of PBS's "Sara's Weeknight Meals," in addition to demos by Frank Terranova, chef instructor at Johnson & Wales University, restaurant and beverage booths, tastings and more. Visitors can get special hotel rates for the weekend at a variety of hotels, including: Marriott Providence Downtown, rates from $109; Providence Biltmore Hotel, rates from $79; The Westin Providence, rates from $115; and Hampton Inn & Suites Providence Downtown, rates from $109.
Tickets to the flower show are $16 in advance for adults or $18 at the door. Admission is free for children five and under, and tickets are $7 for children ages 6-12. For more information, visit http://www.flowershow.com/.