Hearty Boys visit Macy's Flower Show

The Hearty Boys

March 25, 2010 9:57:09 AM PDT
Spring will be in full bloom at Macy's on State Street when the store transforms into an incredible floral wonderland filled with brilliant colors, textures and the sweet smell of the season from March 28 through April 11.

The theme of Macy's Flower Show® 2010 -- Spring is in the Air -- will delight flower lovers with lush landscapes, gorgeous gardens and fantasyland of flowers set in an unexpected urban surrounding. For two weeks, Macy's on State Street will bloom with breathtaking flowers and unique garden arrangements occupying much of the first floor, the Walnut Room on the seventh floor, China department on the sixth floor and in six windows on State Street.

The Macy's Flower Show also serves as the backdrop for two weeks of spring-inspired events including a family fun day, cooking demonstrations by local chefs and restaurants, festive entertainment and special menu features at the Walnut Room restaurant. Two of Chicago's favorite cooks, The Hearty Boys www.heartyboys.com will be on hand at 12 noon on Tuesday, March 30 in the Lower Level, Culinary Kitchen. Join Chefs Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh for a cooking demonstration.

Dan and Steve started their catering business, The Hearty Boys, out of an 8'x8' apartment kitchen in Chicago. Without the aid of formal culinary training, these accidental experts are trend-setting caterers, restaurateurs, cookbook authors and TV hosts of their show "Party Line with The Hearty Boys" on the Food Network. Their spin on classic American comfort dishes at their restaurants, HB and Hearty, has turned them into wildly successful Chicago landmarks. Following the demonstration, The Hearty Boys will be signing copies of their cookbook, Talk With Your Mouth Full, packed with exciting but accessible recipes, clever how-to tips and a gaggle of tales from the catering trenches.

This year's Flower Show has a new centerpiece -- a magnificent hot air balloon that reaches two stories high and features a gondola filled with spectacular flowers and greenery; it serves as a gateway to the indoor floral fantasyland near the Randolph and State Street entrance. Thousands of flowers, trees, shrubs and plants will grace the gardens at this year's Flower Show. While oversized butterflies and dragonflies buzz-about and nearly 200 kites will fly high above visitors in an arrangement of six archways along the main aisle. A pathway will be plotted along the entire main aisle with 23 of this year's signature tree -- the Purple Prince Crabapple. These red-budding trees will reach up to 15 feet in height and were grown near Peoria.

"Each year, Macy's signals the optimism and renewal that is the promise of a new season with its Spring Flower Show -- an epic event that transforms the store with a vast, rolling landscape of breathtaking color," says Robin Hall, Macy's executive producer of the annual event. "Macy's Flower Show is a massive undertaking involving a year of planning and preparation, and an army of talented people who lovingly gather, transport and plant thousands of brilliant plants and exotic trees to bring the spring season into full flower."

Other show highlights include a grandiose display in the Walnut Room where a 16-foot high birdcage nests among various branches, white spirea, orchids, tulips, daffodils, birds of paradise, blue hydrangea and an assortment of ivy and grasses. "Sky" gardens -- a collection of planted displays in various elevated locations on the first floor - giving spectators looking down from the upper levels a unique view of the arrangements which will mimic the colors and shapes of the show's theme. And a collection of 5,000 balsa wood airplanes will soar beneath the Tiffany ceiling as part of a giant moving mobile giving flight to this year's event.

The enchantment of Spring is in the Air continues in Macy's exterior windows along State Street. The store windows will feature brilliant arrangements of flowers in a sky-like setting with each display depicting a different time of day.

The floral partner for this year's show is Green View Companies, a landscape, nursery and design group established in 1955 and based near Peoria. Green View received the Illinois Landscape Contractor's Association Excellence in Landscape Gold Award and the Grand Award at the 40th Annual Environmental Improvement Awards Program sponsored by the Professional Landscape Network for their work in the 2009 Macy's Flower Show®.

To bring to the floral show to life, thousands of flowers and plants were grown in greenhouses in California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Oregon and Washington. The addition of vertical gardens in this year's show, which are located in two of the store's windows and on the first floor near the atrium, fits the show's theme and reflects a trend in gardening among city dwellers with limited growing space.

Bouquet of the Day
Five local artists from the city's top floral design houses will showcase their individual artistry when each creates a one-of-a-kind floral-themed masterpiece known as Bouquet of the Day. Inspired by this year's theme, Spring is in the Air, these remarkably unusual designs will exemplify the personal style of each designer and highlight some of the most dazzling floral displays ever to be seen in the Windy City. Sure to be a spectator favorite, the Bouquet of the Day will be featured in the main aisle in the Cosmetics department under the Tiffany Ceiling. Each stunning bouquet will soar nearly 10 feet in height. The following local floral design houses will be represented: Hello Darling, Cornelia McNamara Flowers, Fleur, Stems and Anthony Gowder Designs. Each display will rotate every three days throughout the duration of the show.

Floral Tablescapes
The floral journey will continue to the sixth floor China department where blooms, buds, foliage and other greenery surface in special designer table settings using patterns by Martha Stewart Collection® and Lenox®. The tablescapes will have an organic feel and feature a combination of classic designs and contemporary silhouettes. Its modern shapes meet Mother Nature in an elegant setting that comes to life with live plants and pops of floral accents. A must-see for Macy's customers who love to entertain at home, the tables will be set in the 6th floor China department and serve as an example of the many spring decorating ideas that can be re-created at home.

Flower Show Tours and Information Booth
Visitors wishing to take a more intimate journey through the Flower Show can participate in a complimentary tour guided by one of the University of Illinois Extension's Master Gardeners, who will once again partner with Macy's on this year's show.

With the exception of Easter Sunday, the tours will depart from the middle atrium by the Burnham Fountain on the first floor on a first-come, first-served basis every Thursday through Sunday from March 28 through April 11 at 11 AM, 1 PM and 2 PM. The Master Gardeners will also staff an information booth in the fountain atrium to offer advice and tips for gardening in Chicago's climate. The booth will be open from 11 AM to 3 PM Thursday through Sunday from March 28 through April 11 -- except Easter Sunday. Macy's first partnered with the University of Illinois Extension's Master Gardeners during the 2008 Flower Show.

Hours and Events
Free to the public, the Macy's Flower Show will be open during regular store hours, Monday through Friday 10 AM - 8 PM, Saturdays 10 AM -- 6 PM and Sundays from 11 AM - 6 PM. For additional information, contact the Macy's Express Desk at (312) 781-4884. All Macy's stores will be closed on Easter Sunday.

Flower Show Brochure
All of these activities and more will be detailed in a flower show brochure available at the Macy's Express desk near the Middle Atrium during the run of the show. The brochure will include a map of the show; a list of the plants featured; a list of events taking place throughout the run of the show; and special offers to Macy's restaurants. You can also visit the Macy's on State website for a calendar of events:


About Green View
Established in 1955, Green View Companies is a multi-faceted firm throughout the state of Illinois with national award-winning landscape design-build, installation, maintenance, production facilities and retail centers. Locations include Dunlap-Peoria, Bloomington-Normal, Springfield, Champaign-Urbana and Oswego-Naperville. To find out more about Green View, visit www.greenview.com.

About Macy's Flower Show
Macy's Flower Show began in 1946 at Macy's Union Square, becoming the first department store Flower Show. The grand display of colorful fantasy has evolved to become one of Macy's most cherished traditions. Yearly, Macy's Flower Show attracts more than 500,000 visitors who see the lush landscapes and millions of flowering plants and trees from around the world. Macy's Flower Show's are now held at 5 flagship stores across the nation, including Macy's Herald Square in New York City, Macy's Union Square in San Francisco, Macy's on State Street in Chicago, Macy's Minneapolis and Macy's Center City in Philadelphia.