Hooray it’s spring and in Louisville that means Derby.  Spring also means flowers - and what would the Derby be without its famous flowers?

Each spring, Churchill Downs’ Horticulture Director Matt Bizzell & his team of 7 plant 20,000 ANNUALS IN ONE WEEK!  That’s more than 2500 plants per person. Because of Kentucky’s frost date they have to do it at the last minute before Derby, sometimes in the rain. 

All those plants are grown in the Churchill Downs’ greenhouse, which like many things at the track is more than 100 years old. 

The flowers honor tradition, like the Geranium Calliope Dark Red in the Winner’s Circle or the Red Dragon Wing Begonia, but there’s always something new and unusual like the Dianthus Jolt Cherry or the Fatsia Japonica. Basically, there are hundreds of diverse and interesting annuals, perennials, grasses, trees, shrubs and vines throughout the property.

So next time you’re at the Derby, take some time to stop and smell the flowers. Someone on the horticulture team just planted 2,500 of them.

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