By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Relief from this unusually tough winter arrived Saturday with the opening of the Philadelphia Flower Show to the public.

More than a quarter-million people are expected to visit in the next nine days. They’ll come for different reasons. Some, of course, just want to admire the beauty — and there is a surplus of it in the dozens of displays that fill ten acres of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

“The variety of things that are on this earth that are all so different, I mean it’s just incredible.”

This year’s theme — ARTiculture — brings landscape and floral designers together with 22 Art Museums from across the country to create a kind of fantasy-land, where everything is in bloom, despite the time of year.

“You never could grow privately any of these displays. None of that would all be blooming at the same time.”

Still, gardeners can get ideas — and anyone can appreciate the beauty.

“I think it’s fabulous. I’m enjoying it more this year than I have in the last several, and I’ve been coming every year for the last 30 years, but this, it’s really exciting.”

The designers visited the museums to draw inspiration. Stoney Bank Nurseries, for example, teamed with Brandywine River Museum and focused on the sycamores that appear in the work of all three generations of Wyeths for a display that won praise.

“I think it’s very imaginative.”

There’s shopping to be done on the premises, too.

“What you get at Home Depot, what you get at Lowe’s is not what you’re going to see here.”

There are also make-it-yourself projects to take home, including a kiosk that turns your picture into a coloring book page.