Spring is in the air at Macy’s Flower Show 

Academy Award nominee “Up in the Air” has nothing on Macy’s 64th annual Flower Show.

Macy’s Union Square’s floral extravaganza — which started Wednesday and runs through April 11 — is aptly called “Spring is in the Air.” And is it ever.

A colossal, cold-air balloon, four-stories high, reaches up to the canopy over the Geary Street entrance, while another “faux” balloon spans from floor to ceiling indoors in the jewelry area.

There’s even a third balloon integrated into a “floral park” theme in the O’Farrell Street window displays, replete with fountain, high wheeler and lots of bloomers.

The floral delights dominate the first floor and extend up to the second, as surprise displays and dramatic scenic tableaux — created with hundreds of thousands of flowers, trees and plants — combine in pastoral harmony. The store becomes a stunning, living, breathing ecosystem. It’s a show for all ages to enjoy.

As soon as visitors enter the store at the Geary Street side, they’re greeted by a flower-filled antique biplane soaring above them, and a profusion of bloomers, trees and plants procured mostly from Central and Northern California and Oregon growers and farmers. Giant butterflies and fireflies hang under “clouds” and blue skies in the cosmetics department, amid tree ferns and trees up to 14 feet high.

Planning takes a year, but the transformation to a flower-filled fantasy is accomplished after hours within in a week.

“The Macy’s annual Flower Show is a beloved tradition, and this year’s theme, ‘Spring is in the Air,’ will be fresh and inspiring,” says Catherine Bartels, vice president and store manager of the Union Square location. “I encourage everyone to come see the magnificent floral displays and take advantage of all the amazing events taking place during the show.”

There is something for everyone. The event features scores of special exhibitions, classes, cooking and growing demonstrations — even a breakfast with the Easter Bunny and a meeting with the cast of Peter Pan.

Macy’s hosts the fourth annual Green Scene series, where farmers and chefs show how to grow and cook with herbs. There are flower-arranging classes April 1, 2 and 10. On select days, there will be a “Celebration of the Roses” Chloe event in fragrances, where attendees receive a fresh, long-stemmed rose.

This year, Macy’s introduced “Bouquet of the Day,” which showcases event and floral designers’ floribunda creations for tables. Designers Robert Fountain, Michael Daigian, Jun Pinon, Claire Marie Johnston and Billy Cook are featured.

More than 200,000 people see the show every year — and “Spring is in the Air” ensures they’ll be buoyant after their visit.


Macy’s 64th annual Flower Show

Macy’s Union Square, 170 O’Farrell St., San Francisco
When: Through April 11
For more information: www.macys.com/campaign/flowershow/index.jsp

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Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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