Best in show

  • Article by: CONNIE NELSON , Home + Garden Editor
  • Updated: April 10, 2009 - 7:14 AM

Despite the cold, Dale Bachman got an early start on spring.

The CEO of Bachman's spent the past several weeks hauling dirt (hundreds of yards up eight floors) and planting (thousands of bulbs, flowers, shrubs, even trees). Bachman's "garden" already is in bloom. And you can get an early start on spring by strolling through it.

Of course, the Macy's Spring Flower Show isn't a real Minnesota garden. It's planted in an auditorium, after all, and there are plenty of plants that you can't grow here. But with its fresh blooms, bright colors and sweet scents, it's about as close to spring as we're likely to get. At least for a while.

So, take a trip downtown, take the elevator to the eighth floor, and take it in.

FIVE THINGS NOT TO MISS AT THE SHOW

THE SCENT

Unlike the real outdoors right now, the show smells like spring. The best place to drink it in is at the intersection of France and South America, where an arbor is draped with intensely fragrant Armandii clematis.

THE FLAMINGOS

They're 10 feet tall and the centerpiece of the show, so they're not easy to overlook. Each handmade topiary contains 2,500 bright pink kalanchoe plants.

THE RARE PINE

The Wollemi pine, which belongs to the 200-million-year-old Araucariaceae family, is considered one of the world's oldest and rarest trees. Thought to be extinct, it was discovered in Australia in 1994. Look for it next to the cacti garden in the South American desert.

THE KITTY

There's a lovely vignette on the edge of the Russian forest. It looks as if a babushka just stepped away, leaving behind her leather-bound book, a samovar and napping tabby. Watch closely. You're in for a surprise.

THE BOUGAINVILLEA

With their bright fuchsia blooms, bougainvilleas are always a treat for the eyes. But the one at the intersection of South America and Japan spent last year on Dale Bachman's deck. He overwintered it in the company greenhouse and it came back so beautifully that he decided to bring it to the show.

CONNIE NELSON

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  • The Japanese garden features a dry streambed and a stand of peonies.

  • MACY'S SPRING FLOWER SHOW

    "Dream in Color," the theme for this year's show, offers an around-the-world tour of colorful gardens -- including a Greek "sea" of blue hydrangeas, a French stand of peach, white and pink azaleas and a Spanish grove of silvery olive trees.

    When: Store hours through April 19.

    Where: Eighth-floor auditorium, Macy's, downtown Mpls.

    Tickets: Free.

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