Roman arches wrapped in roses, geraniums, delphinium and petunias welcome visitors to the 2009 Philadelphia Flower Show, the oldest and largest indoor competition of its kind. Themed “Bella Italia,” this year’s multisensory exhibition takes root at the Pennsylvania Convention Center March 1-8, reimagining blissful Italian scenes, from the Tuscan countryside to the Venetian waterways. Citrus trees, sunflowers, vegetables, exotic arrangements, lush porches and fountains abound, alongside operatic performances, strolling mandolin players, folk dancing, Italian wines and foods, plus olive oil and pizza tastings. Hand-painted Italian ceramics and Murano glass will be available for purchase. You’ll also find plenty of ideas for your home garden, and tips on how to safeguard the native honeybee population. Stroll through a Milan boutique filled with flower-made haute couture and perfumes, then view colorful dresses designed by students at Moore College of Art & Design (pictured). Local contributors include Loughran Landscaping of Bala Cynwyd, Hunter Hayes Landscape Design of Ardmore, Stoney Bank Nurseries of Glen Mills, Lower Merion and Harriton high schools, the Garden Club of Bala Cynwyd, and the Barnes Foundation. Proceeds benefit the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s urban revitalization program, Philadelphia Green. $13-$28. 12th and Arch streets, Philadelphia. Call (215) 988-8899 or visit theflowershow.com.
There’s a new cure-all for the winter blues, and it’s coming in a flurry to West Chester University’s Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall on March 6. An effervescent ensemble of international musicians featuring six violinists, a bass player, a guitarist and a drummer, Barrage merges classical, Celtic and contemporary world rhythms in a highly charged display of music, song and dance. Edgy and liberating, Barrage will give you chills. 7:30-9:30 p.m. $12-$17. 700 S. High St., West Chester. Visit barrage.org or call (610) 436-3500.
The largest concert hall organ in the U.S., the Kimmel Center’s ever-present 32-ton Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ commands center stage March 7. Taking command of the 6,938 pipes of this “king of instruments,” virtuoso organist Jane Parker-Smith shifts with majestic ease through a 10-piece program that includes Bach, a waltz, a rhapsody and Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance” Military March, Op. 39 No. 4. Watch and listen in awe as Parker-Smith fires on all cylinders through 300 levels of the organ’s memory in this acoustically flawless venue. 3 p.m. $19-$28. Verizon Hall, Broad and Spruce streets, Philadelphia. Call (215) 893-1999 or visit kimmelcenter.org.