Family Fun at the 2014 Chicago Flower and Garden Show

Its March. Lion, lamb and all that jazz. Hopefully. So far it's just been cold and white (now yellow and black). It's so weird to yearn for humidity and BO.

Luckily, we have id'd  some urban escapes from Hell's  vortex: Garfield Park Conservatory, Lincoln Park Conservatory, and a few other spots to run out the crazies. In a few days, we get to add another green space to our repertoire with the Chicago Flower and Garden Show (March 15-23) at Chicago's Navy Pier. And let me tell you what, I am counting down the days until I can breathe in some air that doesn't freeze my freaking lungs.

No kids to occupy educate? Check out the gardening seminars and workshops held throughout the week (schedule here) plus the bazillion lovely floral displays. We, however,  plan to make a beeline to the Kids' Activity Garden. Bugs and worms? Check. Arts and crafts? Mhmm. Caring for and arranging flowers? Ohh, this makes mama happy.  Plus a cake decorating competition that will make me feel inferior in .01 seconds. Who cares as long as we can sample it, right?

EK hard at work dismantling the arrangement.

EK hard at work dismantling the arrangement.

A few weeks ago, I joined a group of fellow bloggers at Garden Show sponsor, Mariano's, for a little tutorial on arranging flowers. Our teacher was beyond delightful and one of the most diplomatic people I have ever met; I'll be honest,  my arrangement was ridiculous. But EK enjoyed the experience and I learned a few useful tips for keeping pretty things alive.

- Hydrangeas can live for up to 30 days. WHAT? Yes. Once they wilt, cut about an inch off the bottom of the stem and dip it in boiling water for 30 seconds. The bloom should perk right back up.

- Missing that weird powdery plant food? Substitute with 1 quart water + 2 tablespoons lemon juice + 1 tablespoon sugar + 1/2 teaspoon bleach.

- EK can consume 1 cup of milk, one full donut and one blueberry muffin and still demand more food. Tip? Hang out in a grocery store and he should survive.

My in-laws are heading down to join us in getting our hands dirty at the Show. I trust my father-in-law will bring his moleskin notebook so they can once again plot out our garden. What? I defer to the experts.

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    Annie Swingen

    Chicago-based hyperbole enthusiast. Mom to a kid and sometimes my mom. Overboard (1987) obsessed weirdo. I like the funnies in life.

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