Yellow FlowersI had the good fortune to work on an exhibit for a big flower show recently. As I walked through the convention center with flowers for my display, I overhead passersby saying: “I can’t wait to see what they do this year. …  I wish I could make my garden look like they do. … do they smell?” Those who said the last remark — perfect strangers —burrowed their faces into my flowers to take in the fragrance. If you have never been to a flower show, you are missing out. After a long winter confined indoors, treat yourself to a flower show and experience it with all your five senses.

When you enter a flower show, the earthy scent of the soil, mulch and plant material will engulf you first. Take a deep breath. Next, color in the form of beautiful flower blooms from the tiniest snowdrop to towering magnolia will be there for all to see. The exhibitors will entice you further with the sound of birds, the beach or even a classic movie interpreted by flowers.YouTube Preview Image

As you walk through a flower show, everything seems to invite you to touch. The thick clumps of wood moss, rough tree bark, velvety scented geraniums in the herbalist’s booth and even the silken hand-painted scarves in the fine crafts aisle.

Ornithogalum

Ornithogalum

What about taste? Many shows now feature culinary collaborations with demonstrations on how to cook with herbs, growing organic vegetables and edible container gardens.

The flower show is a feast for the senses and should be experienced as the end-of-winter “pick me up” for the urbanites.

No room to garden? Not to worry. I have the perfect plant, and it will bring the flower show feeling to your apartment. Ornithogalum “dubium” is my favorite plant, and I showed it at the Boston Spring Flower Show. This striking plant with strap like foliage and bright orange blossoms requires plenty of light but not direct sun. To check for water, simply pick the pot up. If it is very light, give it a drink. If the pot feels heavy, let it wait a day or so. Enjoy its bright orange blooms in your house or garden until they are gone. It is an annual plant.

Lisa Greene at a flower show.

The American Institute of Floral Designers creates an exhibit every year at the Philadelphia Flower Show that delights attendees with cutting-edge floral designs. Designers from across the country gather to construct a display that leaves guests in awe of floral design.

If you’ve been to a flower show this season, what was your favorite part? What did you discover?