Photo courtesy Rhode Island Spring Garden and Flower Show.
By Kim Kalunian, WPRO News
The annual Rhode Island Spring Garden and Flower Show returns to the Rhode Island Convention Center for its 20th year today.
“Twenty years is our theme, so we have some reminiscences and we have some modern touches as well,” said Bruce Newbury, Marketplace Manager for the show.
Some of the “reminiscences” include a garden that featured RI Spring Garden and Flower Show posters from the past 20 years. Another gardener chose to resurrect elements from his previous gardens, including a homage to Humpty Dumpty.
“Humpty Dumpty is in the house!” said Newbury with a laugh.
In addition to taking a look back, Newbury said the gardeners are taking a look forward, specifically at the changing environment.
“Of course, as gardeners we’re concerned about the environment,” he said. “We’re the original green folk.”
One of the gardens allows visitors to walk through what looks like a dilapidated city that transforms into a sprawling lawn.
All of the 25 displays and additional vignettes were developed by professional gardeners and landscape designers, and Newbury said the Convention Center is currently filled with “thousands and thousands of flowers.”
“We’ve brought millions of flowers into RI Convention Center over the years,” he said.
But getting perfect blooms in the middle of winter isn’t exactly easy. Newbury explained that gardeners have to “force bloom” the flowers for the show, ensuring that, despite the cold temperatures outside, the plants inside the Convention Center “think” it’s spring.
“[The gardeners] have to coax the seed to start to germinate and grow, and convince this little bit of growth that it is indeed spring,” he said.
In addition to thousands of blooms, there will also be a marketplace where people can pick up gardening supplies, honey and fresh cut flowers.
“There’s a build your own bouquet buffet,” said Newbury.
There will also be a Food and Wine Festival running simultaneously in the fifth floor ballroom, where people can watch cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs like PBS’ Sara Moulton and Frank Terranova from “Cooking with Class.”
Tack on a dollar to the price of admission and attendees of the Flower Show can experience the Food and Wine Festival, too. Newbury said there will be 50 types of wine for patrons to sample.
The Rhode Island Spring Garden and Flower Show runs Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Tickets are $16-$20 for adults, $7 for children ages 6-12 (children under 6 are free). More information at www.flowershow.com
An award-winning journalist and theater critic - and a performer at heart. Kim's talents have taken her from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in NY, to stages in Boston and Providence's own Trinity Repertory.