Even the hardiest of Minnesotans can use a gentle reminder that spring isn’t far away. And for almost 100 years, spring flower shows have done just that.
The Como Park Conservatory in St. Paul hosted its first flower show in 1925, just 10 years after it opened. Its inaugural show was the first time the city’s annual chrysanthemum exhibit was able to be viewed indoors (accompanied by an orchestra, no less).
The conservatory started its holiday flower show the same year, and has since added fall and summer shows, each showcasing the blooms of the season. This year’s spring exhibit at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory is from March 16 through April 21.
In 1960, Dayton’s department store teamed up with Bachman’s to turn the first floor of its flagship store in downtown Minneapolis into an elaborate garden.
The weeklong exhibit proved to be popular, drawing more than 300,000 visitors, but didn’t return until 1964, after Dayton’s had built its eighth-floor auditorium. And then a tradition was born.
Bachman’s and Dayton’s (and later Marshall Field’s, then Macy’s) teamed up to create elaborate displays for the next 50-plus years. Themes ranged from “Camelot” to “Alice in Wonderland.” The final show came in 2016, when Macy’s closed its downtown location.
“How special it was to have,” said Dale Bachman in 2017, reflecting on the show. “It was a gift to the community.”
But the show (and flowers) must go on. Bachman’s again has teamed with the Galleria in Edina to give us a taste of spring. This year’s show is March 24 through April 7.