Monday, March 21, 2016

Garden Show:Navy Pier

Chicago Flower and Garden Show at Navy Pier, Chicago 

Navy Pier celebrates its 100th year anniversary in 2016. We usually go to the Spring  flower and garden show every year, but we missed it this year. I so enjoy smelling dirt and flowers in the middle of a Chicago Winter. These pictures are from the 2013 show, but just looking at them, I swear I can smell wafts from the tulips and roses.

"Built in 1916 as Municipal Pier #2, Navy Pier was planned to serve as a cargo facility for lake freighters and to provide docking space for passenger excursion steamers.
However, with the onset of WWII, the Navy needed much more space for technical training.  In August 1941, Navy Pier was closed to the public, and converted to a Navy training center designated to accommodate up to 10,000 service personnel. A large hangar-type building and a drill hall were built on 20 acres just west of the pier. Six days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, classes began for aviation machinist mates, metalsmiths, and diesel mechanics.

In mid-1946, with WWII over, the Navy returned the pier to the City of Chicago. In the four and one-half years under the Navy, over 60,000 servicemen from the U.S. and Allied nations trained at the pier."


Today: Celebrating it's 100th year anniversary in 2016, Navy Pier houses: the Chicago Children's Museum, dockings for various Lake Michigan and Chicago River Cruises, 3-D IMAX theatres, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, hosts the Tall Ships, America's Cup (sailing race), various shows, exhibits, cultural and social events, multiple restaurants and shops, and a lots of international kiosks. Parking is below, and the facility is served by the trolley system, buses, taxis, and is a doable walk from the train stations on a really nice day. In the summer heat, the pier is always breezy and cool, jutting out into the lake.


One of the first views in the show, was this great collection of Tulips, all in full bloom.

 You can't help but hum, "Tip-toe, through the Tulips", while walking around this exhibit.

One of my favorite venues is the tablescapes which incorporated the theme, "An Art-Full Table". Each year some table arrangements are displayed with a theme. Sometimes there are specific culture themed tables,  one of my favorites was this Asian inspired table arrangement.

From the antiques and Chinnoiserie fabrics, the pearl-inlaid chairs to the gorgeous blue and white porcelain chairs and vases, this was so my style.  I loved the fabric and the simple use of grasses, branches and simple white mums.

More elaborate was this sumptious display of vegetables, succulents, roses and grapes from Mariano's, a grocery chain in Chicago which was also a sponser for the show. Love all the colors here...nothing really screaming at you, just lush, rich, and beautiful.

A unique exhibit of shoe/art, from a group of artists:Women's Journeys in Fiber presented Footwear: Women's Stories. They were all gorgeous and unique. I thought these two caught the flavor of the show.


This represented being in the gorgeous outdoors, and also my well-worn boots I wear while gardening. These sandals are so much fun, with natural fibers, cork, and felted flowers.

"Cattail Memories on Honey Lake" Julia Rivera
These sandals are so much fun, with natural fibers, cork, and felted flowers.

Most of my pictures were of greenery and garden accents. I loved all the welded sculptures made of old machinery parts and castoffs.  Perfect DIY projects.


This bronze sculpture of a boy flying a flag is perfect for the Windy City. I didn't find the artist's name. As a mother of boys---their exhuberance is aptly depicted. So was the exhuberance of the daffodills. Mine are out of the ground about 4" and just waiting for a warm day.


We have a small yard, but our favorites were the water features. Love this quaint Oriental bridge...or is it the bridge over Monet's Giverny pond? This was a sand island, completely surrounded by flowing watercreeks and a huge pond.


Hiding beneath the bridge were Koi, too skittish to tread water for a picture.

Piano Waterfall Source
Other unusual garden ideas was the Piano Waterfall built into walls of rock and water spilling out of the keyboard. Here the maker's from Aquaspace, Inc. are are celebrating a job well done.

"There's Music in the Water, if you listen!" annonymous
I love the Papyrus. Mine was so root bound last Fall, I let it die. Four years is a long time to keep a papyrus, hauling it in and out of the cold.

My husband would love to have this going into our small pond under the kitchen window...sigh! Someday, maybe.


I love hosta, which we have many. This lime green plant was particularly interesting, not sure if this striped plant was a hosta or in the dracena family. The azaelas to the left were just beginning to bloom. Thirty-foot Pines and Spruce were dragged in and planted into huge mounds of dirt.

I covet these metal mushrooms. I wish I had made some pottery ones, when I could. I guess I will just have to watch for some this year. We have a new plant bed...under the small Maple in front we planted late in the season last year. No pretties in there yet, (Gardener'sheimers) I have no idea what I all planted there, now.

A funky salamander and dragonfly on a lily pad, fun. Love the chippy/rusty look of these among the Huechera/coralbells. We have six varieties in our yard, and I'm always on the lookout for more as we have so much shade.


This large bowl pond would be great for any yard or patio. Lots of little fish were hiding in this one.


Some sort of daisy here, really not sure, Gerbera or Transval, but they were very fluffy and pale in tones.  I love the mini fern underneath. There were lots of miniature plants in the vendor area for fairy gardens.

 The vendor area was filled with: home improvements, garden ornaments and furniture,  kitchenwares, wine, bulbs, plants, statuary and just about everything else. 

I half expected to see Dan Akyrod and his "Bass-amatic". But, I always buy some bulbs. It was the fresh flower vendors that took your breath away.

Add caption

I had edited this picture to make into a card...back before windows10 updated and ruined my photo program. I love the fuzzed out edges and the look of a Parisian flower market, too pretty for words.

Now if you are hungry---Navy Pier has umpteen fine restaurants, and many food vendors and carts. But, what about dessert? The flower show even provided a food contest.

I Spy in the Garden-oldnewgreenredo
An "In the Garden" bakery exhibit, was perfect for dessert.  Here, Chicago bakeries took on the flower show. Bakeries are no longer just bakers, now they are artists as depicted by the painter/gardener. this was made by Central Continental

The Art of Gardening oldnewgreenredo
They were all gorgeous but this was adorable, a trio of gnomes in an all edible garden. Notice the two fishing and the one has a pink flower hat on. The bakers that made this were from Lovin Oven Cakery, another old Chicago area company.

What could be more fun than a Flower and Garden Shop.  Hope you enjoyed the mini-tour at Chicago's Navy Pier.

Thanks always for stopping by, hope Spring has come to your neck-of-the-woods, we are still waiting in the Chicago burbs.

 All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own unless noted.  I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions or posts. Please do not use photos without linking back to this blog without my permission. Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle
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