Flower Power

Get a whiff of spring at the Rhode Island Spring Flower and Garden Show.

It takes three-and-a-half days, 200 tons of stone, 700 yards of mulch and enough sod to cover a football field to put together the twenty-six gardens in bloom at the annual Rhode Island Spring Flower and Garden Show at the Rhode Island Convention Center. This year’s family-friendly theme is Garden Adventures, taking place February 19 to 22 with hands-on activities for children, including sandcastle-building, a rock climbing wall built into the side of a garden, a climbable tree house and a wigwam to explore. “All of the gardens will be accessible this year, which is part of the theme, ‘Please Touch,’ ” says show designer Chuck Carberry. It’s all hands on deck as Carberry and a construction crew work day and night to turn the center into magical gardens at record pace. The flowers bloom inside greenhouses, and then they’re transported in heated trucks until they’re planted into the mulch on the show floor. “It’s like putting together a construction site outdoors, except we’re doing it in the building,” he says, adding that each garden will have a crew of ten to twenty people to help with setup. “I’ve actually spent a full twenty-four hours there where I do not go home. It’s pretty much go, go, go until we open. Then we have two-and-a-half days to clean up the whole place, so that’s just as intense.” flowershow.com