Sunday, March 10, 2013

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The 2013 Chicago Flower & Garden Show

Sculpture of branches and stones
"Larger Than Life," a sculpture by Chicago artist Jeffrey Breslow

The minute you step into the 2013 Chicago Flower and Garden Show, the theme of this year's show is obvious: "The Art of Gardening."

You're greeted by two large pieces of art, a sculpture of tree branches, stones and rotating colored lights by Jeffrey Breslow and a large wall of hand-painted window art by Emmy Star Brown. Many of this year's display gardens also incorporate various art elements into their designs.

Of course, there's still lots of tulips, hyacinths and other spring blooming flowers everywhere. At times, the perfume could almost make you forget the major snow storms we've had in recent weeks.

Colorful spring tulips
Canvas of Tulips, Garden #17

Orange tulips with yellow edges
Banja Luka tulips
Double pink fringed tulips
A close up of Cool Crystal tulips
Among the various artistic elements at this year's show are a brass sculpture of a boy with an American flag, a piano and trumpets made into water features and Shona stone sculptures from Zimbabwe, Africa.

African stone sculpture of a person
Shona stone sculpture at Living Art in the Garden, Garden #18

Piano water feature
A piano water feature at A Water Sonata, Garden #9
Trumpets create a waterfall
Trumpets create a waterfall at Garden #9
Pot with colorful tropical plants
A colorful urn at Backyard Utopia, Garden #10
Bronze sculpture boy with flag
A bronze sculpture amid daffodils at Garden #10
There's also a garden, An Inspirational Art Walk, that's dedicated to the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation. It features framed photographs from the series "Mr. Wild's Garden" by David Weinberg set in a landscape designed by members of the Illinois chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. The not-for-profit foundation provides support and assistance to the families of Chicago police officers who are killed or catastrophically injured in the line of duty.

Framed photo in th Police Memorial Garden
An Inspirational Art Walk, Garden #5
In addition, there are two examples of edible landscaping, one by the Peterson Garden Project and another by Growing Power Inc. The latter garden, done with in a spiral pattern, is especially colorful with early spring crops, herbs and vegetables. Both groups help people grow their own food.

Victory Garden posters and plants
The Peterson Garden Project: Victory Today!, Garden #19

Spiral garden with veggies
Art on the Farm, Garden #15
And, of course, the show again featured some tablescapes under the theme "An Art-Full Table."

Wine, roses and grapes on table
Roses are everywhere on this tablescape by Mariano's
The show has activities for the kids as well as educational seminars and demonstrations for adults. It also has brought back its potting parties, allowing people to create a a container they can take home. And if you're more of a cook than a gardener, there are culinary demonstrations every day by various chefs.
The 2013 Chicago Flower and Garden Show continues through March 17 at Navy Pier.
Handpainted glass windows
Hand-painted window art by Emmy Star Brown at the show's entrance
By Karen Geisler


  1. Looks like it was an especially excellent show this year! I was in town (Plainfield), but visiting for a family dinner and then back to Madison. One of these days, the planets will align, and we'll have a chance to meet. Maybe we should meet at Rotary Botanical Gardens in Janesville or Nicholas Conservatory in Rockford. Great photos of the artful displays, Karen!

    1. Thanks. We definitely have to meet. Had hoped to make the garden show up there in February but I had major car problems. I've never been to either of the two places you mentioned, so either would be great.

  2. Wow this is so the displays you have captured especially that piano...I must add this show to my list as I retire..

  3. I have never been to the Chicago Flower show. I'm out of town all this week but maybe I'll go see it this weekend. Looks interesting.

  4. I love the annual flower show, for me it is a big part of the beginning of Spring. I try to attend the show in Seattle each year. It is such an opportunity to see a broad range of inspirations.

    1. I totally agree. Such shows do help you get ready for spring. Also, I've heard great things about the Seattle show and would love to attend it one year. The show here this year definitely has a lot of things the average homeowner could do.

  5. Lovely pictures! I particularly loved the piano fountain (for my dream garden).

    I've added this page to my StumbleUpon! :)

    1. Thanks for the StumbleUpon! The piano was so unique I had to include it. Isn't it fun to have a dream garden?

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