Although it’s where most of us probably look, our gardens aren’t the only place where we can view some of the spring and summer’s best blooms – there are festivals and events for that too. Tulip festivals in particular, which are held not only in the U.S but also around the world, provide visitors with the opportunity to see some of the greatest varieties of this popular spring flower. Below, we’ve listed five of the best festivals right here in the U.S for you to consider attending this year:
Every year Pantone comes out with their “color of the year,” but this year they changed things up! For the first time ever, 2016 has two colors of the year: “Rose Quartz” in the pink color family and “Serenity” in the blue color family. These soft shades of pink and blue were selected based on trends in fashion and culture.
According to the Pantone website, these colors symbolize the gender blur in fashion and culture. In addition to the contemporary meaning of these colors, the balance of a warm rose and a cool tranquil blue symbolizes order and peace.
In honor of the “colors of the year,” we chose some of our favorite floral arrangements that remind us of Rose Quartz and Serenity. Check out some of our floral arrangements that best highlight these lovely colors of 2016!
Floral Treasures Bouquet
This Local Artisan floral arrangement (designed by talented local florists) is a perfect mix of both Rose Quartz and Serenity, featuring soft pinks and purples in lilies, daisies, alstroemeria, and more.
“Flower Power” was a popular term used in the 1960s and 1970s, a time of change throughout the United States. From protests against the war to protests demanding equal rights for every citizen, the 1960s were a tumultuous yet interesting time in American history for social change. Some protestors during this era were dubbed as “hippies” short for the term “hipsters.”
Coined in 1965 by acclaimed poet and voice of his generation Allen Ginsberg, “flower power” was used to inspire a movement in which anti-war demonstrators focused on positive values such as peace and love to instead of brute force and rebellion in order to “fight” for freedom. The concept first came to being while Ginsberg helped organize a protest against the Vietnam War in Berkeley, California. In his essay “Demonstration or Spectacle as Example, As Communication,” he describes a tactic using peace as a “weapon.” He suggests “masses of flowers – a visual spectacle – especially concentrated on the front lines.” He continued, “…marchers should bring harmonicas, flutes, recorders, guitars, banjos, and violins.” He went on to invite all previously persecuted groups to join the revolution, turning the phrase into a movement of peace, hope, unity, and above all – imagination.
Every spring, the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) is transformed into a dazzling showcase for one of the world’s most beautiful and exotic flowers: the orchid. This year, for the 11th straight year in a row, the biggest orchid show in the United States celebrates this bewitching flower by displaying tens of thousands of its blooms in every shape, size and color imaginable, from deep purple Vandas to electric green Cymbidiums.
The Orchid Show was first created as a colorful kickoff to the spring season, during which NYBG visitors could escape their urban surroundings and learn more about the exciting research and many breathtaking exhibits being hosted at the garden.
“We were looking for a display that could help brighten up the gray days of winter and be a perfect prelude to our spectacular outdoor spring displays,” says Marc Hachadourian, orchid curator and manager of the Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections at NYBG. “Orchids seemed a natural choice. They have come to symbolize many things: Most people associate them with the exotic and unusual, and some consider certain orchids to be an aphrodisiac. During the last few days of winter—when people are really craving warmth, color and flowers—it is the perfect place to visit and immerse yourself. Being surrounded by thousands of colorful and fragrant blooms in one of the greatest glasshouses in the world is the best way to spend a day.”
This year, designer and horticultural expert Francisca Coelho fashioned the NYBG’s Enid A. Haupt Conservatory into a lush rainforest with towering palm trees and exotic foliage. The 2013 show was inspired by Coelho’s upbringing in the tropics of Trinidad, and it took more than a year to plan and about two weeks to set up. The tropical paradise overflowed with the rarest and most exquisite orchids from every corner of the globe.
“Two of the most unusual might be the Butterfly orchid, or Psychopsis—with blooms that look exactly like a butterfly in flight, even down to the antennae—or the Darwin’s Star orchid from Madagascar, with its white flowers and 12-inch nectar spur,” says Hachadourian. “Phalaenopsis orchids are also wonderful because their flowers can last several months under ideal conditions, outlasting any flowering plant or certainly cut flowers. I love to give them as gifts for that reason alone.”
Aside from being surrounded by these stunning blossoms, NYBG Orchid Show visitors were also able to learn how to care for orchids at home, enjoy soothing music from all over the world, and unwind with an evening of delicious cocktails.
Of course, with its magical collection of one of our most beloved flowers, this show was one we simply had to experience in person. Here are the photos from our blissful stroll through orchid heaven!
You drive through a lovely neighborhood and catch a glimpse of cascading roses through a wrought iron gate. A long bluestone driveway curves away under a canopy of flowering dogwoods and disappears. The scent of lilacs drifts over a dry-stacked stone wall.
What gorgeous gardens are concealed behind those tall walls and closed gates? Every year you have one day—or maybe two—to find out. That’s because on those days the members and supporters of the Garden Conservancy open the gates of their private gardens to visitors.
The Garden Conservancy, a nonprofit organization devoted to the preservation of extraordinary gardens in the United States, organizes the annual Open Days as both a fundraiser and a way of spreading the word about its mission. How better to discover that mission than by strolling through a 50-year-old garden that is the pride of its owner and creator? As a result, thousands of visitors have a chance to visit hundreds of private gardens throughout the nation. Click here to see schedule.
There’s only one word to describe the 184th Philadelphia Flower Show: “Brilliant!” This year, the world’s biggest indoor flower show tipped its hat to our favorite neighbor across the pond: Great Britain. From the royal crown jewels to the quaint country cottages, the Pennsylvania Horticultural society gives visitors a flower-studded tour through centuries of British history and culture.
And with new features like the Make & Take Room, where you can get crafty with flowers and create your own fascinator, we knew this year’s show simply couldn’t be missed. For those of you who couldn’t make it there, don’t worry. It runs through March 10 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, so grab your mates and catch it before it’s over.
Here’s our behind-the-scenes look at the show’s biggest displays. Get ready for the British invasion!
Big Ben and the Entrance to the Philadelphia Flower Show
The Crown Jewels
Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan is fortunate enough to have one of the oldest and most beautiful collegiate botanical gardens in the United States: The W.J. Beal Botanical Garden.In fact, it is the oldest continuously operated university botanical garden of its kind in the United States. The garden was founded in 1873 by Professor William James Beal. There is a rich history in the gardens that few know about, notably the large ginkgo tree that is located next to the Beaumont tower on campus. This tree was a gift from the famous botanist Professor Asa Gray of Harvard Univeristy in 1863.
Every four years the overwhelming event known as the Olympic Games captures the entire world as all of the greatest athletes gather together to proudly compete for their home country. With almost 300 events in 26 different sporting events, sometimes the minor details and hard work that go into the Olympics tend to get overlooked. One of those things is something that everyone sees but does not necessarily understand the importance of: the flower bouquets.
The history of flowers at the Olympic Games dates all the way back to Ancient Greece, the competing athletes in the first games were given Olive leaf wreathes that were placed on their heads. At the time this was the only reward the athletes received, the medals did not come until much later. The presence of flowers finally sprung up during the Victorian era, where each individual flower was thought to have a different meaning. These meanings have carried over into the present representations of the Olympic Bouquets given to athletes on the champions’ podium after every event.
Seeing all of the Olympic Bouquets has really got us in the Olympic spirit! The idea of the Olympic Games was conceived in ancient Greece but ended around the time of 393 and 426 AD. The Games started up again in 1896 back in its birthplace, Athens, Greece. There have been a total of 30 Olympics in the modern era, not all have actually happened or were attended by all of the world’s superpowers but this 2012 Olympics marks the Games of the 30th Olympiad.
- 1896 Olympics in Athens, Greece
Some colleges are lucky to have either a botanical garden or arboretum located on or near their campus, however the University of Michigan has the great fortune of having both within walking distance of campus. The Matthaei Botanical Gardens which is nearly 250 acres is located just off of campus but close enough to walk to and the Nichol Arboretum, commonly referred to as the “Arb,” 125 acres, is on central campus. Both the Gardens and the Arb are associated with the University.
Joseph Mooney the Marketing Director for both the Gardens and Arb described them both as, “places where people can escape from the nearby urban environments and engage with nature.”
The Arb offers a place in the center of campus for students to be immersed in a naturalistic landscape while studying and meeting up with fellow students. The Botanical Gardens offer a large conservatory that contains three different climate zones. There is the Tropical House which has a tropical climate that features blooming flowers all year round; Warm Temperate House that has climates similar to the Mediterranean and West Asia; and finally the Arid House which has similarities to desert climates. This is an obviously desirable location for studying in the winter as students are battling the harsh Michigan winters.