Yes, New York in Bloom (NYIB) 2015 ended on February 22, and yes, I really should be crafting a post entitled "Hilary Clinton's e-mail," but at the moment I'm recuperating from the flu, dealing with a ton of time-consuming legal and financial stuff, and feeling the need for a night off. "Hilary Clinton's e-mail" will go up as soon as I feel capable of formulating some coherent thoughts about the former Secretary of State's e-mail issues. Moreover, NYIB posts are something an annual ritual for me, and family obligations compelled me to miss NYIB 2014 altogether and to delay posting about NYIB 2015. At this point in my life, minor rituals mean a lot.
New York in Bloom is the New York State Museum's annual fundraiser for its after-school programs, which serve children and teenagers who live in some of Albany's roughest neighborhoods. It's also a much-needed respite from the upstate New York winter: professional and amateur floral arrangers create displays that complement the Museum's exhibits, and their work brings a touch of tropical fragrance and warmth into the Museum.
One of the Museum's largest permanent exhibits is devoted to the Adirondack region. As one might expect, many of the arrangements in this exhibit had a decidedly rustic quality.
Alexis Fairau of Chatham Florist used some flowers that might be found within settled parts of the Adirondacks -- amaryllis, roses, snapdragons, and tulips -- and some that would be found only within an Adirondack greenhouse -- Aussie pine, eucalyptus, leucodendron, and pincushion protea -- to create this colorful yet woodsy-looking arrangement.
This understated, crowd-pleasing arrangement consisted exclusively of daffodils, and it blended beautifully with the large-scale image of the Adirondack forest. It was created by Michelle Peters of Ambiance Florals and Events.
Cody Swift of Renaissance Floral Designs used trunks and an artful array of tulips, Cymbidium orchids, muscari, hellebores, stars of Bethlehem, seeded eucalyptus, and moss to complement the section of the exhibit devoted to tourism.
Not every arrangement within the Adirondack exhibit was designed to blend in. The life-sized display representing Adirondack loggers at work always receives dramatic treatment, and 2015 was no exception. The arrangement above was part of a large, exuberantly tropical display created by the staff of Poppytree Designs and Weathered Wood. Few Adirondack lumberjacks ever encountered palm fronts, anthriums, birds of paradise, or many of the other flowers and foliage plants that comprise this arrangement.
Sitting literally at the feet of the skeleton of the Cohoes Mastodon, which is the centerpiece of an exhibit documenting prehistoric life in New York, this gorgeous arrangement consists of pincushion protea, spider chrysanthemums, tea roses, Hypericum berries, orchids, Asiatic lilies, amaranth, monstera leaves, ti leaves, sword ferns, salal, moss, horsetail rushes, moon lagoon eucalyptus, and grapevine. Tom Hofmeister of The Floral Garden created it.
The Shakers: America's Quiet Revolutionariesa mammoth exhibit that documents the settlements, theological beliefs, communal life, economic activity and design legacy of the Shakers who lived in western Massachusetts and New York's Capital District (on display through 6 March 2016). Kathleen Rohlfs of Chatham Flowers used sunflowers, Eryngium thistle, silver dollar eucalyptus, leucadendron protea, allium and berzelia to create the appealing arrangement that sat at the exhibit's entrance.
A Promising Venture: Shaker Photographs from the WPA (on display through 31 December 2015) occupies the adjacent Photography Hall, and I loved the arrangement that graced its entrance. Erin Brady placed veronica, greentrick, pussy willow, dusty miller, silver brunia, English boxwood, hyacinth, and waxflower in the simplest of containers: a galvanized metal rain gutter.
even more disgusting than one might think. I have deep respect for the Museum colleagues who do this work -- and am deeply glad that red rot and occasional flood damage are the worst things I encounter.)
Top photo: this lovely arrangement complements a vintage New York City taxi cab. I photographed it a few minutes before NYIB 2015 ended, and the placard identifying its creator and components had already been taken down. If you know who created it, please leave a comment or send me a message.