You can avoid the crowds by attending the Chicago Flower and Garden Show after work or in the evenings, it is open until 8PM on weekdays. Here are a few lectures that start at 6:15PM that Chicago and urban gardeners should catch.
Chicago Flower and Garden Show: Speakers
Monday, March 8. Mike Nowak. Readings from the shady Side of Gardening.
Tuesday, March 9. Barbara Melera The D. Landreth Seed Company and the Story of America's Great Seedhouses. <Barbara Melera was mention in this post because her seed company launched the African-American Heritage Collection of seeds.
Wednesday, March 10. Nancy Clifton. Four Season Container Gardens.
Thursday, March 11. Lurie Garden. Superstars of Spring & Summer. The Plants that Really Perform.
Friday, March 12. Beth Botts. Growing Food Where It Fits: Small-Space Edible Gardening
Saturday, March 13. Anna Pavord. A Luxuriance of Bulbs. 12:30PM Room A. <Not in the evening but I'm looking forward to this speaker after reviewing Bulb here on this blog.
You can see some pictures I took during the media preview of the show here.