Chicago Flower and Garden Show – Hats

I made my annual pilgrimage to the Chicago Flower and Garden Show last week. Usually, I grab a cab from the train station for the short drive over to Navy Pier but this year I decided to walk it. The city was gray with a heavy fog and though it looked as though it would rain any minute the waterworks held off.

Inside was the usual cacophony of bright colors, spring bulbs and summer perennials and unlikely tropicals all vying for attention. The huge space is always noisy with visitors like me checking out mini landscapes and interesting plants and sculptures for the garden, as well as the steady sound of moving water.  

The theme this year was “The Sport of Gardening”. There were references to the various Chicago sports teams and display titles using sports terms. I thought it a bit odd, considering that the majority of consumers that garden are women. I was a bit off-put by the sports references and I think that possibly other visitors were too.

The displays ranged from very simple to totally awesome.

Still, which display was the one that really got me excited?

It was the hats!

There was a large display of hats entitled: “Hats: Wise Women Speak” by a group of Chicago area fiber artists. It has actually inspired me to make a series of journal art hats of my own. With a background in theatrical costume design, it is a natural.


the post-it hat

Carmen Miranda with Dread Locks. 

Sweden’s Ode to Summer includes a painted gazebo with a shingled roof of wood and poppies on the wide brim.


My personal favorites, the Ceremonial Hat for the Grand Poobah, made with shoulder pads from blouses;

and a Green Hat made with vegetable and fruit bags. You can click on each photo to get a larger view.

According to their flyer, this is the 7th project that the women have worked on. Past projects have included: Mantles: Women’s Journeys, Circles and Cycles, Blooming Botanicals, Purse-n- alities, Robes: Conceal/Reveal, and 10 Easy Pieces.

You can find out more by going to their website at .


About Jill-O

a girl who likes lakes, trees and critters; making an attempt at living the artistic life.
This entry was posted in art, artful life, Chicago, crafts, flowers, gardening, gardens, photos, sewing, spring and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Chicago Flower and Garden Show – Hats

  1. BRitt says:

    THOSE are great hats! I think grand poobah hats are in order for the mavens… love that they’re made of shoulder pads too!

  2. Love the hats. My favorites are the one you call Carmen Miranda with Dreadlocks and the one with faces. The flowers are nice, but I really love the hats. I also love the grey photos of Navy Pier.

  3. Cathy says:

    Loved looking at the Spring flowers, but the Hats are fantastic… I have to agree, the fruit with dreadlocks is my favorite…

  4. jellyfishbay says:

    It’s funny, the one thing that got me all excited and inspired had nothing whatsoever to do with gardening. The garden show itself was pretty underwhelming.

  5. Found your blog through WordPress’s gardening feed.

    Thanks for the peek at the Chicago Garden Show. I went down last year and although the displays were cool I wasn’t all that impressed otherwise and opted not to go this year. Still, it’s great to look at photos from the show…and less expensive for me than a trip to Chicago! 😉

  6. Hi Jill,
    I am never impressed with our home and leisure show. We get free tickets from where we work, but I always say it doesn’t make sense to have to pay to go see advertising. There were 5 to 7 chiropractors there, trying to get patients. There were various types of contractors, and yes, landscaping services. I never want to go, but my husband talks me into it. Next year, he’s not.

    I wouldn’t go for a sports theme, either. I’m not into hats, either, but love that last one made from vegetable and fruit bags.

    I like the new photo of you. I like seeing your face. :o)

    We’re supposed to get into the 80s this weekend! I hope some warmer temps are headed your way.

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