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Like a crocus, Flower Show is a first sign of spring

Brian O’Neill of Malden readying his exhibit at the Boston Flower & Garden Show at the Seaport World Trade Center.

David L Ryan/Globe Staff

Brian O’Neill of Malden readying his exhibit at the Boston Flower & Garden Show at the Seaport World Trade Center.

The Boston Flower & Garden Show, which runs through March 16 at the Seaport World Trade Center, is one of the early signs of spring.

The theme of this year’s exhibit is “Romance in the Garden,” and the show’s evening hours are being promoted as a date-night destination. This year there is a $5 “Flower Show After Dark” ticket discount from 5 to
9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday to attract the after-work crowd.

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There will be plenty of romantic displays including a Garden of Cakes decorated with over-the-top-floral displays.

“The centerpiece in our Florist Invitational Display will be flower decked bicycles going on a picnic, circling on a rotating fountain. . .,” said show director Carolyn Weston. “We are also introducing a beautiful and easy new pink tropical houseplant, ‘Medinilla Magnifica’ from the Philippines, brought to us by Northend Gardens of Ontario.”

Familiar standouts will include Peter Sedeck and his wife, Maria, and the Massachusetts Orchid Society, including much admired A&P Orchids, back after a two-year sabbatical.

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Every year the Newport Preservation Society creates an outstanding display at the Boston Flower Show to publicize its own show, the Newport Flower Show, which this year is is scheduled at the Rosecliff mansion on June 27-29. For this Boston show, Newport participants have created a garden railroad that travels through a 20- by 40-foot miniature representation of Newport landscapes.

Zen Associates of Woburn has worked with the philanthropic Beacon Hill Garden Club to create a garden that will promote the club’s nationally famous garden tour “The Hidden Gardens of Beacon Hill,” held this year on May 15. Visit www.beaconhillgardenclub.org for more information about that tour and also about the club’s fifth book, “The Hidden Gardens of Beacon Hill: Creating Green Spaces in Urban Places” with commentary and photography from Peter Vanderwarker and Thomas Lingner.

The Massachusetts Horticultural Society collaborates with show promoter Paragon Group, which provides complimentary tickets for Mass Hort members and subsidizes MHS exhibits. In turn, Mass Hort manages the 300 garden-loving volunteers who stage the amateur horticultural competitions, including flower shows by members of the Massachusetts Federation of Garden Clubs, which make up the noncommercial heart of the show.

The Massachusetts Horticultural Society, now headquartered at Elm Bank in Wellesley, will also have its own exhibit, “Eden on the Charles.” It deals with the love story of Dr. William Baltzell and Mrs. Alice Cheney Baltzell, who established a home at Elm Bank. Alice was the daughter of Benjamin P. Cheney who founded the estate in 1875.

Mass Hort’s other exhibit, “Sowing the Seeds for the Change,” will be a collaboration of several designers and organizations, including Julie Moir Messervy, Paul Miskovsky, Miskovsky Landscaping, and three alumni designers representing the Landscape Institute of BAC, Whole Foods Market, and Mount Auburn.

For more information on the show, visit www.boston.com/gardenblog or www.bostonflowershow.com. For answers to your gardening questions, log on to Boston.com from 1 to 2 p.m. on March 20. Or you can e-mail your questions along with your name and town to Carol Stocker at the address below.

Carol Stocker can be reached at stockergarden@gmail.com.
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