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Warm up at colorful orchid and garden shows

Orchid and garden shows are a wonderful way to warm up during winter and enjoy some colorful floral beauty.

By Beth J. HarpazAssociated Press Travel Editor / March 2, 2010

Visitors enjoying the Orchid Show at the Missouri Botanical Garden, which remains on view through March 28.

Kyle Spradley/AP

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New York

Flowers from around the world will be on display in Philadelphia; orchids in New York City's Bronx will help conjure up Cuba; and the streetscapes of Paris have been reimagined at a garden in St. Louis.

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These are a few of the garden and orchid shows occurring now and through the end of March in various parts of the United States. While it remains too cold in many places to enjoy flowers outdoors, these annual events offer visitors a way to shake off "snowmageddon."

They also are excellent resources for gardening projects. Even if you do not have a green thumb, however, the sights and scents of a garden show can provide an uplifting diversion from the final gray days of winter.

Here are some details:

GARDEN SHOWS

Philadelphia International Flower Show, Pennsylvania Convention Center, "Passport to the World," through March 7. This annual event sponsored by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is a mix of elaborate landscaped displays, entertainment, and educational events, with an enormous marketplace of more than 140 vendors. This year's show includes showcase gardens with international themes inspired by the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Brazil, Singapore, and India.

Chicago Flower & Garden Show, March 6-14, Navy Pier. The event includes display gardens, culinary demonstrations, seminars, a marketplace, and a children's activity garden.

Boston Flower and Garden Show, March 24-28, Seaport World Trade Center, "A Feast for the Senses." Attractions include lectures, demonstrations, English garden tea, competitions, arrangements in the Japanese Ikebana style, People's Choice Award, and Blooms, a show sponsored by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.

ORCHID SHOWS

New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York, "The Orchid Show: Cuba in Flower," through April 11. Click here to see a YouTube video about the installation.