L.E.A.F. Festival of Flowers is returning for its second year to Manhattan, with a third day added. It will be held Friday and Saturday, June 10 and 11, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, June 12, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at various locations throughout the Meatpacking District, spotlighting floral design via more than 30 flower installations, a European-style flower market, as well as partnerships with neighborhood retailers and restaurants.
“I am delighted L.E.A.F is a now three-day affair, set to be bigger and better than ever before and growing even further across the Meatpacking District,” says Moira Breslin, the founder of L.E.A.F.
Breslin, who grew up in Ireland and went to school in London, worked to get L.E.A.F. off the ground for more than five years before it finally debuted last year. Inspired by the Chelsea Flower Show in London and other flower shows around the world, Breslin announced L.E.A.F. in June 2019 with a few floral installations throughout Manhattan. The inaugural show was supposed to take place in 2020, but it was pushed back due to the pandemic, and instead debuted in 2021.
The numerous plazas and cobblestone streets of the Meatpacking District make it an ideal place for L.E.A.F. to flourish, so to speak.
“Last year’s Festival of Flowers was one of the highlights of the year for the district, and we’re thrilled to kick off summer of 2022 in Meatpacking again, bigger and better than before,” said Jeffrey LeFrancois, Meatpacking District BID’s executive director. “In 2021, it provided a much-needed boost to businesses in the district, and we’re planning for an even more successful 2022.”
Visitors can expect to find artistic floral installations by more than 100 florists at such places as inside the Google store and Lucid Motors, in and around Chelsea Market, and at restaurants and bars like Pastis and Dante, which will host a floral pop-up with Perrier-Jouët champagne, designed by Popup Florist.
Spencer Falls, the Unlikely Florist, will be working to adorn Chelsea Market with a three-part flower installation that is inspired by the element of water. “For the Chelsea Market installation, the design is very much informed by the place itself and how that interplays with the inspiration of water,” he says. “The inspiration for my design with Chelsea Market is actually something I conceived last year, so it has been a year in the making and I can’t wait to bring it to life.”
Other highlights include popsicle and whiskey cocktail pairings by Glenlivet at the Chester accompanied by a floral installation by Brooklyn Blooms, as well as complimentary cocktail samples from nonalcoholic brand Seedlip at Gansevoort Plaza South curated by McQueens Flowers.
If you’ve been daydreaming about visiting Amsterdam this summer, you can get your fix at the European-style flower market, which will feature 30 local florists with stalls. You’ll find that market between Little West 12th Street and Gansevoort Street during the festival.
To keep the festival as sustainable as possible, L.E.A.F. is repurposing the flowers. “Sustainability is such an important effort for us in our mission to celebrate the renewal of New York City,” says Breslin. “We are working with the Meatpacking BID and Hudson River Park Trust to pick up any leftover flowers and greenery to create mulch that will go right back into our local parks, supporting our ongoing endeavor to bring New York City back to life.”
Expectations are high for the second Festival of Flowers. “I know it will be even bigger and better than last year,” says Falls. “All the florists will be bringing their A-game after experiencing last year, and that means some groundbreaking floristry and incredible installs—I think it will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.”
How to get there
Located on Manhattan’s West Side, the Meatpacking District stretches east to west from Ninth Avenue to the West Side Highway between Gansevoort Street up to 17th Street. The closest subway: the A/C/E/L trains at 14th Street and Eighth Avenue.
This article was originally published in June 2021; it was updated on May 31, 2022, with new information.
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Devorah Lev-Tov Devorah Lev-Tov is a Brooklyn-based food and travel journalist who has been published in the New York Times, National Geographic, Vogue, Bon Appetit, and more.