Macy's Flower Show opens in Chicago this weekend. I've written a post for my Chicago Garden blog that has all the pictures of the preview of "Towers of Flowers," the show's 2011 theme. I thought I'd save a few pictures to show you all who don't read that blog. Every year the cacti & succulent display garden is my favorite along with the smattering of bromeliads. Besides just being a collection of some of the most interesting indoor plants, they're always displayed so nicely. My ideal indoor garden consists of a large south facing window with a collection of cacti & succulents arranged like this.
Starting on the far-left of the display is a Crown of Thorns cactus, you can barely make it out but for the little red blooms. I haven't owned one of these in years but seeing two impressive specimens in the past month is making me think about adding one to my indoor setup. There's an Adenium obesum, also on the left, but that isn't doing much beside displaying a nice caudex. Scattered among the small pots are sedums, Echeverias, Agaves. In the the hypertufa trough in the center some florist kalanchoes blooms with some more small Agaves. The green, columnar plants Peruvian Torch Cactus and really makes a statement.
On the right is a Golden Barrel Cactus, another plant I haven't owned in a long time and now want, and next to that is a Stapelia of some kind. I didn't notice any blooms on the Stapelia, but I was hoping there would be at least one of those flowers on display. The genus Stapelia is noteworthy because they produce large blooms that smell like rotting flesh. The blooms are even larger than the ones on my Orbea variegata, better known as 'Starfish Cactus' or 'Toad Cactus.'
Here's another view of the cactus and succulent garden. The plant sticking out of the back and right is the Adenium obesum. The plant cascading over the corner is a Ric Rac cactus. Also called a Fish Bone cactus and Zig-zag cactus for obvious reason. Certainly one of the most interesting epiphytic plants I've seen in person.
I love the way this Agave was placed in a pot that juts out at an angle from the cactus & succulent display.
Bromeliads, like the Crown of Thorns cactus and the Golden Barrel Cactus, are plants I thought I was "over" years ago. I haven't owned in since my early years of gardening and I thought I'd never have the urge to own another, but this display is making me question that. I love the way the bromeliads are displayed on these pieces of driftwood, something that anyone who had too many potted bromeliads can do to free windowsill space or display them outdoors during the spring and summer months.
Bromeliads of various colors, sizes and textures are used throughout the flower show. I'm trying to remember having such a prominent place in the show in year's past, but I can't remember. Throughout the various gardens they're used as accent plantings providing height, color and interesting structure.
Even against showy flowers like the blooms of azaleas, hydrangeas and tulips bromeliads hold their own, like this neon pink bromeliad that literally took my breath away several times. While touring the flower show I was reminded of the Outdoor Gardening With Houseplants post here in 2007. That neighbor was just really ahead of the bromeliad in garden beds in Chicago trend.
Macy's flower show "Towers of Flowers" show runs Sunday, March 27-Sunday, April 10. There's more than just cacti, succulents and bromeliads to the show. Lots of spring blooms and trees are on display along with a couple of interesting garden projects you could do at home.There are free guided tours, garden activities, floral demonstrations, worm composting demos and food and drinks keeping with the theme. If you're in Chicago read the Macy's Flower Show 2011 Preview post my Chicago Garden blog for more pictures of the flower show at Macy's flagship store on State Street.