Behind the Scenes: From Rainbows to Reality
Mar 25

Behind the Scenes: From Rainbows to Reality

By Alexa Sinatra

This spring, our glasshouse is here to brighten your day with tens of thousands of spring blooms! Spring Flower Show: Sunshine and Rainbows is full of vivid colors and brilliant props, and we're taking you behind the scenes to learn about everything that goes into installing a show in just two weeks! 

Spring Flower Show: Sunshine and Rainbows has made its debut here at Phipps! Displays feature showstopping elements such as a glowing sun, cascades of rainwater, oversized prop tulips and of course, a rainbow of vibrant blooms throughout the conservatory. There is so much planning that goes into bringing our designs to life, especially when there are only two weeks to install everything! We’re taking you behind the scenes as Jordyn Melino, associate director of exhibits, shares insight about bringing rainbows to reality to create our most vibrant, delightful displays yet.

Planning for this show began over a year ago with the theme chosen in conjunction with the opening of Tropical Forest Hawai‘i. With “The Rainbow State” being a nickname of Hawai‘i, the theme of Sunshine and Rainbows seemed like the perfect fit! Jordyn mentioned that it is also exciting to play with color combinations from the rainbow in the form of lively flower displays. 

With only 2 weeks to install the 4 week-long show, planning is crucial. The installation schedule is made about 2 months in advance based on what elements needs to be completed first and what plants the design requires. For this show, the Broderie Room was done first due to the number of weddings and events that take place there. It is important for that room to always look photo ready! After that came the East Room, focusing on flowers in the complementary colors of purple and yellow, and so on throughout every room in the conservatory. Each room typically takes 2 – 3 days to turn over while more detailed rooms can take 4 – 5.

In preparation for this show, some bulbs have been growing since June of last year while others began growing in October or November. Clearly, there is plenty of time and effort that goes into ensuring the spring blooms are ready to be displayed. Something people may not know about our Spring Flower Show is that it features over 72,000 bulbs, many of which get changed 2 – 4 times during the show! To do this, the pots are left in the display and replaced with different flowers at the end of each week.

Jordyn notes that the short install window requires a huge team effort, so it is a big sigh of relief when everything is put in place. This show is sure to put a smile on the faces of all guests and Phipps staff as they walk through endless blooms bursting with color. Discover all of our stunning hues when you visit Phipps Spring Flower Show: Sunshine and Rainbows. Reserve your tickets now!

Concepts by Jordyn Melino, Photos © Paul g. Wiegman