Spring Forward, Into Summer
Spring Forward, Into Summer explores the utilitarian art, cyclical themes, and cultural significance of the cutting garden. Cutting gardens feature flowers that are planted and then cut for arrangements. Cut flowers allow for indoor access to the beauty and joy of nature. Through cut flowers, people everywhere can enjoy the dazzling array of beauty, textures, and forms offered by the garden.
As its name implies, Spring Forward, Into Summer will feature flower displays that transition with the seasons. In spring, tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils will be showcased, providing a look at some of the first blooms of the growing season. The summer display will feature a diverse range of flowers commonly used in arrangements—dahlias, lotus, and cosmos all presented in neatly staked rows, allowing viewers to bridge the gap between the process of production and enjoyment.
This exhibition was curated by the horticulture team at Madison Square Park. Jessica Kaplan and Aiyanna Milligan explored the habits, colors, textures, and functions of flowers. Stephanie Lucas focused on flowers that are typical of the Slow Flowers Movement. The plantings were not made to be representative of a typical landscape aesthetic, but to instead allow visitors to experience the utilitarian and functional aspects of flower farming. Local cut flower production reduces dependence on outside flower sources, and contributes to the preservation of local species and traditions.
Spring Forward, Into Summer is a testament to the role of flowers in recognizing significant milestones and collective feelings in our lives. From moments of celebration to intense loss, the beauty of these flowers reminds us of the cyclical nature of life and the seasons within it.
(Photos courtesy of Van Engelen, Jessica Kaplan, and iStock Photos)