The University Record, February 13, 1996

Monet's garden theme of Flower and Garden Show

By Margaret Vergith
Matthaei Botanical Gardens 

Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as the paint and the soil and sky as the canvas.---Claude Monet

This year's Ann Arbor Flower and Garden Show March 28&endash;31 will highlight gardening as an art form and explore the ways in which gardeners and artists inspire one another through the theme of "Art in Bloom."

Sponsored by Matthaei Botanical Gardens, the show's 2,400-square-foot feature garden, "In An Artist's Garden," will be a blaze of climbing roses, iris, delphinium, poppies and spring bulbs---a brilliant vista of color inspired by Monet's garden in Giverny, France.

The garden will be built around the Grand Allee tunnel, the most recognized feature of the original garden. It will include a series of arches with climbing roses, the famous walkway of nasturtiums, the facade of Monet's "Pink House," a pond with a section of the elegant Japanese bri dge, and a 100-foot mural, painted in the style of Monet, depicting the Seine River and landscaping surrounding Giverny.

The feature garden has been designed by Lodi Farms Nursery and the Botanical Gardens. In a series of "paint-box" flower beds, the feature garden will apply Monet's color theory to plants with hundreds of annuals and perennials. Flowering crab apple and cherry trees will line the walkways, and weeping willows will cascade over a reflective pond.

The show features more than 500 displays and exhibits, including landscape garden displays; floral creations; a Master Gardener booth for plant questions; a Marketplace with more than 45 commercial booths, educational and plant society exhibits; live music each evening in the Friends of Matthaei Botanical Gardens gazebo; and an antique garden area featuring distinctive ornaments, accessories and furniture.

Honorary chairs for this year's show are Sen. and Mrs. Carl Levin, Sen. and Mrs. Spencer Abraham and Mr. and Mrs. Alan Schwartz.

The show includes a Standard Flower Show presented in cooperation with the Federated Garden Clubs of Michigan Inc.