Back in 2012 I attended the Chicago Flower Show at Navy Pier. The 2012 show was held March 10-18. This is an annual show with slightly differing themes changing year to year.
One cool thing that was Allen Rokach, a well-respected flower photographer with several books, had a class to review some tips about garden photography. Well worth checking out if you have the time.
That years show had a big emphasis on outdoor furnishings and living. I was a little disappointed by the flower selection though. There were few roses there, but I guess I'm a little biased in that regard. Mid March is too early to see much in the way of flowers, with the exception of early spring bulbs such as tulips and daffodils. They had a very nice selection of tulips, so I would definitely recommend checking it out if you love those types.
I included some pics of the tulips. Unfortunately, I didn't have the best camera with me, so some of the individual flower pictures were a little washed out. The lighting also wasn't the best with it being in a huge convention hall. Excuses, excuses, I know. They were pretty nice though!
There was also a decently sized marketplace area for housewares. I was a little confused about some of the vendors that were present there though. I love olive oil, but why were they selling it at the flower show? And why did Chevy have a big display there, the Auto Show was a month earlier? Why was Days of our Lives stars there? It seemed like there were quite a few Billy Mays as seen on TV type guys hawking their wares too. Once you got past that though, there were some vendors with some interesting gardening stuff and you could buy quite a few varieties of flowers for your garden. Some noted gardening professionals had presentations and seminars as well, but I didn’t make those.All in all its not a bad way to spend a couple hours on a Sunday if you're in the city during mid March, and a garden lover.
You will definitely get a chance to photograph some interesting and well-manicured plants. They offer a nice discount for attending during the work week after 5, so take advantage of that option if you can.