Macy's Flower Show 2011 Preview

“Towers of Flowers,” this year’s theme for the spring flower show at Macy’s on State Street opens Sunday March 27th and runs through April 10th. This morning I attended the media preview of the flower show, had a sampling of the botanical themed food and drinks that will be part of the menu of the Walnut Room during the run of the show. Use the arrows in the top-right corner of the picture gallery below to navigate through the pics

Use the arrows in the top-right corner of the picture gallery above to navigate through the pics

Below you’ll find photographs of the flower show and some thoughts on the flowers and food. 

The first thing I should note is that the show wasn’t completed today as it doesn’t technically open until Sunday. But on Sunday, you should enter through the Randolph Street entrance where you’ll encounter this Eiffel Tower-like structure (pictures 1,2,3 & 31) that is planted and will be lit. The majority of the flower show takes places on the first floor of Macy’s along State Street with four display windows planted in the “Towers of Flowers” theme from the illustration above. Below the Tiffany ceiling (picture 21) the area is decorated with a couple of varieties of bamboo and this is where you’ll find the floral displays by Chicago florists that will change throughout the show. 
The show’s theme continues up in the Walnut Room, where the fountain has been replaced with a striking, towering display of plants, trees, shrubs and flowers (pictures, 14-19). There’s a special menu in the Walnut Room by Macy’s Culinary Council to coincide with the show. Asparagus frites by Todd English that were ok (picture 22), and AMAZING crab cakes by Michelle Bernstein (picture 24). There’s also a really good Asian market chop salad with spicy miso dressing by Tim Scott and a delicious lemon souffle cake that is free with any purchase of a Walnut Room entree, not pictured. The flower theme is even carried into the drinks available, a floral wine flight, sparkling wine with wild hibiscus flower in syrup (picture 23) and a Belgian style pale ale by Goose Island that’s blended with hibiscus, kombucha tea. We didn’t sample Fleur by Goose Island but it look sounds like something I’m going to have to try later.    
While the flower show is designed to give adults a taste of the upcoming spring, there are some activities and products for kids. On the main floor near the escalators is a charming display of garden tools and products for kids (picture 26.) April 2nd in the Kid’s Department there will be demos on worm composting by the U of I Extension Master Gardeners, face painting, balloon artists, arts & crafts and kids can meet Lewis the Duck, from the book series by Homewood Suites. On April 9th U of I Extension staff will be back on hand to teach kids about growing lettuce in bags and making their own mini greenhouse. You can also take free guided tours of the flower show conducted by the Master Gardeners that start at the fountain (picture 6) near the escalators that take you into the lower Pedway. Speaking of the Pedway, Macy’s has teamed up with Celessence (TM) Technologies to scent the Pedway through a process that involves Microencapsulation. As you walk through the Pedway underneath Macy’s your feet will ‘burst’ microcapsules on decals that will release a fragrance. You can also scratch this year’s brochure to release the fragrance. 
“Towers of Flowers” opens this weekend, but if you go early next week most of the flowers and trees will probably look better as they will have had a chance to warm up and open. on April 1st the flower show gets freshened up with many plants and flowers getting replaced so they look fresh for the final nine days of the show. 
Click the Chicago Flower Shows archive to see pictures of past Macy’s & Chicago Flower & Garden Shows.
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  • Looks like a lot of fun. The huge tower is amazing! I love the orange fountains?/tables? in #6, the cactuses tucked into #10-11, the bamboo?/twig? structure in #13-15, even the little bits of grass in #17-18 (I know, but I did!). The worm sprinkler (#25) makes me smile, and the cool angle of the Tiffany ceiling (#20) is my fave shot.
    P.S. I controlled myself reading about the asparagus. I stifled back envy on the miso dressing. But I have to say that if there was bacon in those crab cakes, we're officially no longer friends.

  • In reply to gardenfaerie:

    Yeah, the bamboo thingie was pretty cool. I don't know why but whenever I see wheat grass I think of you and I did while walking around the show. The worm sprinkler was LOL enducing in person. I liked it and want it for myself. I was walking alongside the show's creative director when I saw it and broke our conversation to say "OMG, that's adorable!" There's something about the bamboo below the Tiffany ceiling that really works. It is light and airy and the curves and lines compliment looking up. I'm going to post more pictures in the blog of the cacti & succulents because those were really my faves! The asparagus wasn't all that. Now the other foods you should hate me for. NOM, NOM, NOM, as they say.

  • In reply to gardenfaerie:

    Looks great MBT! How cool that you got to sample some of the Walnut Room fare at the media preview!

    My grandkids would LOVE the worm sprinkler!

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