That time of year is finally upon us (kind of). But whether the temperatures reflect it or not, the calendar says spring is here in Chicago and that means the beginnings of some serious flora and fauna. Sure, we may not be able to see more than a few buds here and there yet but luckily, there is one place that we can to to enjoy a lavish display of foliage without having to button up to do so. Macy's on State St.'s annual Flower Show has arrived in all of its botanic splendor and this year, we got to get all kinds of behind the scenes dirt (get it?)
Early one morning last week a select few of us were given an exclusive tour of the construction and innovation that goes into creating the Macy's Flower Show. Led by Macy's on State St.'s Visual Director Jon Jones and Branch Manager for Green View's Oswego location Todd Pope, we were first handed the official guide to this year's Macy's Flower Show which smelled pleasantly of lavender. As part of a new initiative, Macy's infused their brochures with this year's official scents—lavender and chamomile—and even planned to scent the CTA's underground pedway into the store
The these for this year's show is 'Towers of Flowers', prompting vertical displays in every nook and cranny that begged a neck craning gaze. On the main floor, amid Coach and Michael Kors purses, the grand entrance was a 41 foot floral and fabric reconstruction of one of Chicago's most beloved towers-the John Hancock building. Though it wasn't fully completed for the media preview, it was already a staggering and impressive spectacle.
Further into the store we found ourselves surrounded by potted trees like curly willows and molten lava crabapples which towered over glass display cases and turned the entire main floor into a luxury arboretum. It was a bit chillier than usual in the store and Todd explained that the temps in the store needed to stay between 65 and 67 degrees for the plants and flowers to flourish. Many of the displays would feature edible plants as well including oranges, papayas and figs when the show opened as well as some beautiful Peruvian cacti.
A flower-bedecked pedestal sat in the middle a main aisle in jewelry which would soon be topped with Waterford Crystals new Fleurology collection (sadly, it wasnt out yet for our preview).
Over in cosmetics the foliage changed to a bamboo-filled Asian garden which are grown in Florida and transported specially for the Macy's show. Due to the beauty and fragility of the flowers used in the show, Macy's has been taking extra steps toward recycling the plantlife used, reusing 90% of the plants and flowers and replanting many of the trees.
Upstairs the garden theme continued in the table settings department where Lenox china teamed up with Marchesa to create a home collection. The Macy's team created gorgeous tablescapes with Marchesa by Lenox china, various blossoms and other "found objects", keeping in step with the reusing and recycling program. Wedding settings, anyone?
Finally, our tour ended in the elegant Walnut Room where we were treated to a sample menu that the chefs and sommeliers have created special for the duration of the flower show. Sparkling wine with wild hibiscus flower in syrup was a sweet delight, especially since you could eat the flower at the bottom! Other special drinks being offered include a St. Germain elderflower liqueur cocktail and a chocolate martini.
After working up an appetite gazing at all the gorgeous blooms, there was plenty to choose from for a tasty tidbit. Chef Todd English offered bite-sized asparagus frites while chef Tim Scott created a savory asian market chop salad. The newest to the Walnut Room team, chef Michelle Bernstein contributed luscious crab cakes and for a delicate dessert, Tim Scott also prepared a mini lemon souffle cake. Needless to say, it was all an incredible indulgence.
After being educated in the myriad of floral pieces, amazed at the elaborate construction of the show and then wined and dined, we were all ready to spread the word! The best part is, the show is still going on! The Macy's Flower Show runs through Sunday April 10 with special events going on daily including special savings for shoppers, gardening demonstrations, magicians, markets and the Bouquet of the Day where each week a different local florist presents their interpretation of the 'Towers of Flowers' theme. Even if spring hasn't sprung in Chicago yet, at least we can still enjoy all the season has to offer at the breathtaking displays of Macy's Flower Show.
Photo Source: Second City StyleSee the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40
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