By Bob & Sandy Nesoff
In a time when major retail giants are cutting back, closing outlets and reducing staff, one is moving forward at warp speed to present the public both a shopping experience and an outing that will encompass the whole family.
Over generations, Macy’s New York’s iconic retail store has invited the public to come in and see magical wonderlands. Years back, children were invited to board a mock-up of a pirate ship and left with a black eye patch and a three-corner hat with the infamous skull and crossed bones.
But Macy’s has not only been innovative with its interior exhibits, it has for generations sponsored the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade watched by millions in person and on television.
The night before the parade, thousands come to the south end of the Museum of Natural History for what has come to be known as “Inflation Day.” That has nothing to do with the state of the economy, but rather is the time and place when the giant balloons that have come to signify the parade are inflated.
For more years than most people care to remember, the retail giant has sponsored weekly fireworks. At one time they were set off in the Atlantic Ocean, visible from Brooklyn and the Rockaway Peninsula. In recent years, they were ignited from the Hudson River and visible to New York and New Jersey. Bowing to some pressure from New Yorkers, they moved the fireworks barge to the East River and now can only be seen in New York… too bad, folks in New Jersey – you don’t count.
Macy’s was founded in 1858 by Rowland Hussey Macy, who was only 36 at the time. Today, it’s the fourth oldest department store in the United States, older even than the fast fading Sears. Macy’s immediately recognizable “Red Star” emblem was chosen by Macy to honor his service in the Navy.
Continuing its effort to bring a fun experience to all visitors, Macy’s will premier its 44th Annual Flower show on March 25.
Enter a world of magic, imagination, and wonder as the Macy’s Flower Show opens the first chapter of spring with Once Upon a Springtime. Macy’s annual floral spectacular will bloom at Herald Square in New York City, running through through Sunday, April 8. Once Upon a Springtime will transform the iconic store into enchanted gardens where the beauty and renewal of the spring season meets the whimsy of a fairytale journey.
Macy’s Flower Show has delighted generations of floral aficionados with over-the-top presentations of lavish gardens that showcase millions of live flowers, plants and trees from around the globe. Native to many different landscapes, Macy’s Flower Show features floral material blooming in unison despite their unique climatic DNA. Taking root in unexpected settings such as store countertops, windows, and specially-designed architecture, including grand bridges, columns and topiaries, Macy’s Flower Show is staged in distinct fashion at each of the three flagship locations nationwide.
This year’s themed celebration will bring to floral life an original twist on classic fairytales, creating a world of personified flora and fauna, princesses, evil queens, fairy godmothers, and noble knights that lead to a wondrous journey.
As visitors enter the show, they will have the ability to choose their own adventure, based on how they begin their trip through the floral fantasy land. From a towering castle where the Princess resides to a meadow of brightly colored flowers, an enchanted forest, and lush lagoon; spectators will play a part in spring’s triumph over eternal Winter.
In addition to the magnificent landscaped gardens, Flower Show spectators will have the opportunity to enjoy a host of special in-store events including floral, food, and fashion demonstrations, celebrity appearances, and more during the two weeks the show is in full bloom.
Macy’s springtime tradition is supported in part thanks to signature partners including Girl Scouts of the United States of America, Homewood Suites by Hilton, and Sinclair Oil Corporation.
Free to the public, Macy’s Flower Show will be open during regular store hours. For additional information about these events, visit www.macys.com/social/flower-show/new-york/ or contact the Macy’s Flower Show Hotline at (212) 494-4495.
Once Upon a Springtime Gardens:
Spring’s Castle Garden
Discover the magical kingdom of Spring and immerse yourself in the story, literally! The grand entrance to this year’s show invites you to enter the castle tower and transport yourself to a storybook land, alive with a vibrant palette of spring blooms. Look for some of yur favorites: Flowering Almond Shrub Myrtle Topiary, Pink Hyacinth, Pink Roses, Stargazer Lilies and Purple Vanda Orchids.
The Knight’s Quarters
A stroll through Spring’s castle leads you through the valiant and majestic Knight’s Quarters, handsomely appointed with a brilliant spring garden. Look closely and you’ll see Japanese Maple ‘Sango Kaku’, Weeping Japanese Maple, Cercis ‘Covey Twist’, Cytisus ‘Woodbine Orange’, Purple Calla Lily, Purple Tulips, Orange Ornithogalum and Forsythia.
Nestled high in the mountains in a fictional fairytale land, this quaint little hideaway is brimming with happiness, color and all the gorgeous spring flora one could wish for: Primrose, Ginestra, Weeping Crabapple Tree, and Girard’s Fuchsia Azalea.
Ellia by Homedics Mystical Garden
Escape to a tranquil retreat off the beaten path to a misty and mystical fountain garden celebrating the senses with fragrant fulfilling scents. Featured here: Lemongrass, Orange Calamondin, Pink Calathea Gecko, Maidenhair Fern, Peppermint, Mini Roses, Primula Obconica, Echeveria, Afterglow, Hellebore, Yellow Calla Lily; plus cut Roses, Lavender, Eucalyptus spiral, and silver dollar.
The Meadows Bridge
A hop, skip and a jump down the garden path leads through the meadows, and a dappled composition of spring pastels and brights! You’ll love most: the Spirea ‘Golden Flame’, Spirea ‘Little Princess’, Weigela ‘Spilled Wine’, Foxtail Fern, Primula Obconica, Lemon Cypress Tree, Sunﬂowers and Larkspur.
Lose yourself in the enchanted Forest, an enveloping landscape of wonder and mystery at every twist and turn. Each of the bridges in this central garden tells a different story, from the lush and overgrown blanket of summer to the cool and bare edges of winter. Keep an eye out for hidden fauna throughout, including one that cannot be missed – the magnificent dragon breathing fire across the land, melting the snow and thus, restoring Spring. There’s so much more to see here:
On Bridge 1: Spiral Arborvitae, Double Ball Juniper, Pom-Pom Juniper, Azalea ‘Amagasa’, Red Anthuriums, White Ornithogalum and Orange Tulips.
On Bridge 2: Azalea ‘Stewartsonia’, Amethyst Falls Wisteria, Cotoneaster ‘Red Leaf’, Euphoria ‘Firesticks’, Croton ‘Sloppy Painter’, Purple Hyacinths, Purple Hydrangea and Manzanita Branches
On Bridge 3: Goldenchain Tree, Exbury Azaleas, Mahonia and Yellow Asiatic Lilies.
On Bridge 4: Mugo Pine, Norway Spruce, ‘Thunderhead’ Pine Tree, Crabapple ‘Cardinal’ Tree, Weigela “Wine and Roses’, Pink Hellebores and White Hydrangea
A moment of tranquility at the heart of the Enchanted Forest, a misty waterfall flows through a magical formation of rocks, flowers and plantings. Here you’ll find: Rhododendron ‘Lee’s Dark Purple’, Calathea, Coral Cactus, African Violets, White Calandiva and Blue Phalaenopsis Orchids.
The Traveler’s Wagon
Along your journey through the Enchanted Forest, you might just happen upon the Traveler’s wagon, a wondrous vessel brimming with an eclectic mix of curated floral finds! Browse his collection of marvelous specimens: Variegated Ivy, Azaleas, Asiatic Lilies, Gerbera Daisies, Kolanchoes, Tulips, and Primrose; plus cut Lisianthus, Roses, Delphinium, Alstroemeria and Gloriosa Lilies.
The Snow Queen’s Winter Castle
Brrrrrr! You’ll feel a chill in the air as you come across the magnificent ice fortress of the cold-hearted villainess. Nevertheless, the beauty of her snow-covered kingdom draws you in. You can’t help but love her Blue Spruce, Viburnum ‘Opulus Roseum’, Weeping Cherry Tree, White Hellebores, Blue Hydrangea, Bromeliad Aechmea ‘Fasciata’, Bismark Palm, Blue Star Fern and White Gypsophila.
Just above the main floor balcony is where you’ll find a brisk spot of tea and the very best view of this year’s Macy’s Flower Show. The ladies have gone all out to set a magnificent table setting of Espaliered Pear Tree, Calamondin Orange Tree, Rhododendron ‘Capistrano’, Ranunculus, Erica, Bird’s Nest Fern and Wheat Grass.
The Dungeon Photo Opportunity
Capture yourself in the story! Peek behind the bars of the dungeon, decorated in the dark and mysterious beauty of Agave Attenuata, Dendrobium Orchids, Barrel Cactus and Red Caladium.
The Ice Throne Photo Opportunity
Cast yourself as the icy Snow Queen and take a seat in her ominous photo setting. Don’t get too comfortable – this is sure to be the most coveted seat in the house! Surrounding your majesty: Blue Cineraria, White Azalea, Blue Hydrangea, Calathea ‘Holiday, White Anthuriums and White Phalaenopsis Orchids.
In addition to the magnificent gardens presented on the Main Floor, visitors to this year’s Flower Show will have the opportunity to experience specialty gardens:
Dino’s Magical Mirror Garden
Let your imagination run wild! Make pretend with Dino the friendly dinosaur and take a good look in his mirror, where he sees himself as a mystical dragon! Sinclair Oil’s fantasy castle garden is bursting with color: Azalea Stewartsonia, Spiral Juniper, Guzmania, Veriegated Red Neoregella, Calathea Rattlesnake, Giant Iris Foliage, Dracena Colorama, Blue Hydrangea, Yellow Kalanchoe and Orange Ornithogalum.
Photos Courtesy of Macy’s