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Flower shows brighten winter's gray days

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-  The Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis celebrates its 150th anniversary this year and has been hosting orchid shows for an impressive 91 of those years. The orchid show is called "Henry's Garden," named for Henry Shaw, who founded the garden in 1959. The show features more than 800 orchids with a Victorian theme, including a three-tiered fountain, large planters brimming with flowers, wrought-iron lamp posts, urns, and other period pieces to suggest a 19th century courtyard. The show runs through March 15 (garden open daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. $11).

-  Among the best places to view orchids are local and regional shows sponsored by orchid societies. The South Florida Orchid Society bills the 63rd Miami International Orchid Show as the largest exhibiting orchid show in the country. It will take place Feb. 27 to March 1 with a theme of "Secret Orchid Gardens" at the Doubletree Miami Mart/Airport Hotel and Exhibition Center. The program includes a juried awards competition, daily demonstrations by orchid experts, and sales of thousands of orchids and related items.

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