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Macy's The Secret Garden Flower Show

Macy's annual flower show opens opens Sunday, March 23 and runs through Sunday, April 6 2014. This year's theme is "The Secret Garden" and something you don't want to miss. Here are some photographs of the garden vignettes and plants at the Macy's State Street store in Chicago taken during the media preview while the exhibits were still being planted.

Macy's The Secret Garden flower show

I won't show you all of the gardens so as not to spoil "The Secret Garden" displays but the entrance to the flower show is pretty spectacular. It features a tall mannequin in a living dress composed of hundreds of leafs and some plants. When completed it will look like she's picking up a garden while dragging her dress through the garden. Oh, and there's lots of topiary for those of us who love the art of topiary.

Bike Garden Planter

A charming antique bicycle planted with Gerbera daisies is part of Salvador Dali inspired garden that is really surreal.

Macy's Secret Garden blue man legs

A blue mannequin planted in the surreal garden makes an impact. It looks like Doctor Manhattan had an accident while working in the garden.

Planted piano, Macy's The Secret Garden

Another antique element in the surreal garden. This piano is planted with various colorful bromeliads.

Japanese Maple hanging upside down

A Japanese maple planted upside down. I don't think this photo does justice to just how striking this feature of the surreal garden is.

Small-space urban garden, Macy's The Secret Garden

One of my favorite garden exhibits is the urban garden that showcases some interesting small-space garden ideas. Here's a seating area with a vertical garden planted with succulents.

Small-space urban garden planters

The same urban garden with colorful tire planters populated with succulents among some colorful garden bed ideas. On the right is a metal tub acting as a raised bed.

Macy's Secret Garden Green Roof

The garden also features a living roof planted with various succulents like echeverias, crassulas, gasterias and some stapelias. Make sure to get a good look at the stapelia blooms if you visit the flower show.

Potted herb topiary garden

There's a really neat Mediterranean-inspired garden with some charming potted topiaries from common herbs. Don't have room for a traditional herb garden? I bet you have room for some potted herbs like this.

Zen Garden, Macy's The Secret Garden

A peek at the Asian influenced Zen garden.

Colorful garden, Macy's The Secret Garden

I forgot to make note of the style of garden this was, but the garden art makes me thing it is some kind of seaside garden. There is so much color in this garden that it took my breath away. After a miserable winter in Chicago I could imagine myself standing in this garden on a warm summer day watching the ships cruise by in the distance.

Topiary Chess pieces Macy's Flower Show

Faux topiary chess pieces in an English cottage themed garden.

Salvador Dali garden art

And here's our friend Salvador Dali in flower form in the surreal garden.

Garden topiary dress, Macy's Secret Garden

A closer look at the girl in the flower dress that dominates the entrance to the flower show. And what the flower girl statue looked like after it was completed for the flower show.

Macy's Secret Garden Flower Girl

There's a matching figure in the Walnut Room but her style is more French and the dress is a lot more flamboyant.

Here's a photo of the statue in the Walnut Room that I posted on Twitter to give you an idea. When you attend "The Secret Garden" make sure to check out the girl in the dress there while sampling the themed cocktails and food created for the show.

During the show there will be various demos, talks and workshops featuring everything from gardening to floral arranging and cooking.

Macy's Secret Garden Flower Show

I'll be hosting a hands-on workshop on making seed bombs on April 1st and 12pm at the Macy's State Street store in Chicago. If you're in the Chicago area consider this your personal invitation to attend and get your hands dirty with me. Visit for details of "The Secret Garden" exhibit in your area. I'm told while all of the participating stores follow the same theme, some of the garden details will be unique to the various stores hosting the flower show.

I'm so ready for spring to finally arrive. Do you visit flower shows to get inspiration for your own garden?


  1. MBT, so proud of you for hosting a seminar! Have been missing you. Sadly, the closest Macy'swith flowers is DC and i doubt that Mitchell will be willing to journey there for flowers ... altho i might persuade him to go for otherthings and 'while we are in town'...

    Hope spring is finally breaking, altho we are expecting a big storm on Tuesday. I put out lettuce and herbs yesterday. Happy gardening!

    1. Hi Webb, I've missed you too. Fortunately, I was quiet over the winter because I was too busy writing for others, but hopefully I'll get back into the swing of things around here. I hope you do get a chance to go see the flower show. I've needed the spring boost this show provided because winter has been horrible.

      Happy Spring!

  2. Congratulations! So happy for you and all the luck people that will get to participate in your seminar. The Macy's Secret gardens a wonderful too. Happy spring and glad to see you back.

    1. Hi Renata, Thanks! Happy spring and it's good to be "back." Hope to see you around the gardening web a lot more as the season progresses.

  3. Anonymous8:44 AM

    Well, I would say I would get inspiration at Macy's Secret Gardens. They are masters of window design and store display, and these creations are beautiful. Wonderful that you are demonstrating. Our garden show is going on right now in Buffalo and I am not even going this year. Sadly, for all the beautiful and creative gardens in this area, the show lacks the unique ideas.

    1. Hi GWGT, I've been hearing that a lot from people. For some reason they're feeling like there aren't enough creative ideas at garden shows anymore. I don't attend a lot so I wouldn't know what the cause could be, but hope they all get better because garden shows are a great thing.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Hi Ms Thompson,

      When people comment here, I get emailed their comment. So while you deleted your comment, I can still see it. And I have to say that I agree with you. :0) Good thing we have Macy's flower show to fall back on for some inspiration.

  5. Dare I say, this is something that would even inspire the Brits? So many sights to see and I've been a Dahli fan since high school. Must say I loved his floral portrait. As we say back home in Australia -- Good onya for hosting the seminar. I'm sure you do a killer job (seemed to go with the bombing theme???)

    1. Hi Patrick,

      Thanks for the lovely comment. I'll try to update this post or make a new one when I go back for my workshop and the gardens are completed. The creative team behind this show is really spectacular.

  6. Was the bulge on the legs really necessary? But good looking gardens regardless.

  7. THERE you are! I was concerned that this miserable winter had done you in! Congratulations on your seminar! I wish I could attend, but even though Columbus is a short flight away, there's no room in the budget. I'll cheer you on from here!

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  9. Anonymous11:15 AM

    What happened to the faux topiary chess pieces? Are they commercially available?



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