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David Lissner
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Chicago Flower & Garden Show offers theatrical preview of spring

The Chicago Flower & Garden Show blooms at Navy Pier beginning this weekend.

The Chicago Flower & Garden Show blooms at Navy Pier beginning this weekend.

Do you need a breath of spring? The snow’s still piled up and we’ve weeks of mudtime ahead before things start turning green, but you can get a preview of the coming season starting tomorrow during the Chicago Flower & Garden Show on Navy Pier through Sunday, March 14.

The 2010 show’s theme, “Cultivating Great Performances,” highlights Chicago’s reputation as a theater town by celebrating the Goodman Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre and Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Garden pros have worked with creative teams from each theater to design garden plots combining the drama of the stage with the artistry of horticulture. Plays, including “Wicked,” “State Fair,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and “Miss Saigon,” provided further inspiration. Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences takes on children’s theater with an activity garden and readings from “Jack and the Beanstalk,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” “The Three Pigs” and “Billy Goat Gruff.”

Along with 25 gardens, the show displays garden and green products and services of more than 125 exhibitors, and features a lineup of educational speakers. Highlights include:

  • Joe Lamp on how he fed his family for an entire summer with “The Twenty-Five Dollar Victory Garden” (11 a.m., Sunday, March 7).

  • Authors Jean Ann Van Krevelen and Amanda Thomsenco on “Plant or Purchase: Which Edibles and Why?” (1 p.m., March 7).

  • “Garden Gourmet” culinary sessions, at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30, 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. daily, include cooking demos from top Chicago restaurant chefs including Gale Gand of Tru in Streeterville, Randy Zweiban of Province in , TV personality Bill Kurtis with Paul Katz of Harry Caray’s in River North; Carlyn Berghoff of The Berghoff Cafe in the Loop; Roger Herring of Socca in Wrigleyville; Hell’s Kitchen season six contestant Tony D’Alessandro of Big & Little’s; Jill Barron of Mana Food Bar in Wicker Park; and Bernard Laskowski of Park Grill in Millennium Park.

Tickets are $15 weekdays, $17 weekends, $5 for kids, available online or at the door. All-day discounted parking is $14.