DARREL KOEHLER: The Prairie Gardener — Macy’s Flower Show

Can you think of a better way to get a jump on spring than going to a flower show?

Macy’s 2015 Flower Show, which opened March 22 and ended Sunday at its downtown Minneapolis department store, has been around since the 1960s and, perhaps, even longer. It is the tops in the Midwest. (Macy’s also has flower shows at its New York City, Philadelphia and San Francisco stores.)

On the final day of the show, I didn’t have to ask for directions to “Art in Bloom” when getting off the elevator on the eighth floor of Macy’s, home of the former Dayton’s and Marshall Fields department stores. I just followed my nose and the smell of spring flowers and freshly turned potting soil to the large auditorium. The auditorium has been the home to the show, with one exception several years ago, when it was on the main floor.

Upon entering the auditorium, you passed though the main entrance, which boasted a small-sized “David,” complete with a fig leaf. He changed to pastel colors, which delighted the children.

Once inside, you were transported to a horticultural art gallery made up of thousands of flowers. There, you would see unique art installations, each a tribute to a major movement in art history. There was a quiet beauty of classic art to the powerful imagery of pop art.

Attendance continues to be strong at the show, which is free to the public. Each year, about 65,000 people see the show during the two-week run. About 2,000 visitors attended within the first two hours of the opening this year. The flower show is one of the few things that distinguish the downtown Macy’s from its suburban stores.

The flowers and arrangements are handled by Bachman’s of Minneapolis. Both Macy’s and Bachman’s recognize the show as their gift to the community.

Planning for the 2016 show already is under way.

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