It’s safe to say that this year – more than ever – Minnesotans need a taste of spring. And while we’ll have to wait a few more weeks before the weather matches the changing season, winter weary residents will soon have a place to escape.
The annual Macy’s Flower Show opens this weekend, with the theme “The Secret Garden” – an extravagant display designed by Bachman’s that showcases thousands of flowers from around the country.
Bachman’s CEO Dale Bachman said planning for this year’s show began back in July – ensuring enough time for growers to prepare and plant the material that would be used. He said many of the plants, including the bulbs, came in from all over the country – truly a coast-to-coast effort.
“The hearty azaleas that we have are bread at the University of Minnesota, we’ve got several varieties of those in the show, but then there’s other azaleas and rhododendron that come from the west coast, from Portland. … We get a wonderful golden chain tree and another lovely cherry tree from Oregon. There’s a little alcove that’s the bamboo garden and that came from Florida.”
With so many of us longing for a glimpse of anything but snow, Bachman said the spring flowering bulbs will be a welcomed sight to all visitors.
“I think all of us are so anxious for spring to finally arrive and for those of us who can’t enjoy it outside yet, coming to Macy’s is a wonderful place to see spring,” he said. “Tulips and daffodils and hyacinth would be some of the spring flowering bulbs.”
The design of “The Secret Garden” aims to give visitors a taste of gardens around the world, including England, Holland, Asia and even tropical destinations. And while some of the plants featured are certainly suited for indoor climates, Bachman said there are a number of plants perfect for Minnesota gardens, as well.
“We were able to bring in quite a few plants that are hearty in Minnesota that we can actually use in our own landscapes,” he said. “One example of that is over in Asia, this beautiful Asian garden, and lots of dwarf conifers that are hearty for Minnesota and have lots of different uses.”
Those looking for inspiration for their own landscapes and gardens should keep an eye out, Bachman said. All the plants will be signed and those that would work well in the Twin Cities area will have a little Minnesota state symbol on the sign.
Bachman said there are about 120 different varieties of plants in the show, which translates into thousands of actual plants (600 tulips, alone) and hundreds of thousands of blooms.
It takes a team of growers and planners to get the timing right for the show – making sure everything blooms at the right time and lasts for the full duration. This winter proved to be an extra challenge for that timeline, Bachman said.
“It’s very critical timing and every year has its own challenges, and this year was no exception,” he said. “We didn’t have the warmth that we generally can generate and we didn’t have the sunshine. It was a challenge. But our growers did a fabulous job trying to adjust to those growing conditions.”
Once the show is over, anything that can be used will go to the Minnesota Zoo or the Como Park Conservatory. But Bachman notes, the flowers and plants were truly groomed just for this display – so if visitors want to see them in their prime, it’s best to head downtown.
Macy’s Flower Show: The Secret Garden opens Sunday, March 23 and runs through Sunday, April 6. The show is free and open to the public. There will be a number of events throughout the run of the show. For more information, check out the website.