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MNfusion: Flowers And Art In Bloom At Macy's Downtown

It's that time of year again. The air is getting warmer, the sun is staying out longer each day and the flowers are in bloom.

Well, the flowers are almost in bloom.

Winter this year was not as bad to Minnesota as last year, but our lack of snow has meant a lack of color.

But for the next two weeks, Minnesotans can step into spring and get their fill of flowers at the annual Macy's Flower Show.

This year's theme is "Art In Bloom."

"I think you can easily connect floral design to art," Donna Bachman, special productions director with Macy's, said. "The arts are a very important part of life and are very important to all of the downtowns."

Macy's Flower Show: Renaissance Era
(credit: CBS)

This year's show features 11 floral displays based on an era in art history. Ranging from cubism to renaissance to post modern, each display has a prominent piece of artwork enhanced by colorful, floral landscapes.

Upon entering the 8th floor auditorium guests will be greeted by the first display, a replica of Michelangelo's David.

Macy's Flower Show Entrance
(credit: CBS)

The statue is surrounded by bright, white and blue, almost miniature poinsettias. This strain of poinsettias was manufactured to be smaller than the average poinsettia and is a new flower created specifically for the show, Dale Bachman explains.

The statue is the art piece the flowers center around, but it also acts as the canvas to an array of floral and geometric patterns displayed by pixel mapping. This means the images displayed are designed to center in on the statue, not to display broadly across the room.

This is a new element to the show and is used in a number of the displays.

Many of the displays feature plants that are either native or can grow well in Minnesota climates. Every plant that can do so has a picture of the state of Minnesota on the sign. They are also available for purchase in the gift shop.

But the show still includes a variety of flowers, and some displays, that aren't hearty in Minnesota. Like the desert landscape that features a monkey puzzle tree and several varieties of cacti.

Macy's Flower Show: Glass Art
(credit: CBS)

Planning for the show within the downtown auditorium began January, 2015.

But, as Donna explained, the whole process took almost a year.

After the theme was picked last summer, plans began for set design, lighting, sound and floral choices.

At the Minneapolis Macy's, prep began right after the Santaland display was cleared out and packed away.

The show takes almost 3,000 hours of labor to complete, with more than 40 artists, carpenters, visual specialists and more working on it.

It takes nine days to plant all the flowers. Two weeks prior to the show, Bachman's employees come in and place the sod, trees, bushes and base fixtures. Then a week prior they will plant the rest of the flowers. But up until opening day, employees are still placing moss and leaves onto the displays in order to look as fresh as possible, going so far as to use a measuring stick to ensure that no leaves are stuck on petals or in the base of a flower.

Additionally, half way through the show several flowers, such as amaryllis, daffodils, hyacinths and tulips, are replaced to keep it looking fresh.

But while some flowers are replaced, others continue to bloom and flourish throughout the run of the show.

Macy's Flower Show: Impressionist Era
(credit: CBS)

"With each visit, the garden changes," Dale Bachman, CEO of Bachman's, said.

Dale hopes that everyone will take the time to embrace the art and enjoy the color.

"Every day the show evolves," he said. "And the flower show is only here for a brief period of time."

Dale recommends coming in the evening on the weekend, as afternoons tend to get busy. And for those that work downtown, he suggests popping over on a lunch break.

Click here to see more photos from Macy's "Art In Bloom."

Macy's "Art In Bloom" is held on the 8th floor of Macy's, located at 700 Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. The show is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12 p.m. 6 p.m. Sunday. It runs March 22 through April 4. It is free to attend.

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