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Over the course of four days in February, thousands of people visited the 37th Annual Connecticut Flower & Garden Show.
Presented at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, the event presents gardens in full bloom, created by professional landscape designers and nonprofit organizations, more than 80 hours of seminars by horticulturists and experts on myriad topics, 300-plus vendors booths, and more than 12,000 square feet dedicated to The Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut’s (FGCCT) Advanced Standard Flower Show, “Breath of Spring.”
More than 400 entries from across the state were expected for the advanced standard show, and Newtown was once again well represented in that mix thanks in large part to The Garden Club of Newtown (GCN). At the end of the four-day presentation that ran February 22-25, members of that local club returned home with a collection of 23 awards, including a few best in division rosettes.
Club President Peggy Townsend led the way, with ten honors to her name. Also claiming prizes in Hartford were GCN members Joyce DeWolfe, Holly Kocet, Peggy Jepsen, Marilynn Klepfer, Deb Osborne, Vicky Taloni, and Mary Gaudet-Wilson.
The FGCCT Standard Flower Show has four divisions, according to the organization’s website: Botanical Arts, Design, Education, and Horticulture.
“Beauty Anticipated” was the theme of the show’s design division. FGCCT reported 64 entries were received for the six sections of the division.
Ms Townsend earned a blue ribbon for “Butterfly’s Drunken Dance,” her entry in the Design Division, Section F (Dazzling Profusion), Class 15.
She earned a yellow ribbon for another entry, “March Winds,” an entry in Section D (Earth Songs), Class 8 of the Design Division.
Deb Osborne also earned a ribbon in the Design Division. She received a white ribbon (honorable mention) for her entry in “Sparkling Ponds” (Class 13 within Section E/Sweeping Vistas).
Joyce DeWolfe also did very well in this division, winning the Petite Award — a blue and white rosette — for her “Marching Ants” (Class 3 in Section B/Plum Fun) entry. The Petite Award is awarded to the highest scoring entry in the petite division. To qualify for a petite design, entries must be less than eight inches in any direction.
Mrs DeWolfe’s design featured plant material she grew and dried. She set daffodils upon a driftwood base with radish seeds depicting the marching ants. In addition to the rosette, Mrs DeWolfe received the blue ribbon for her entry in this class.
Sixteen educational exhibits were received for the 2018 Connecticut Flower & Garden Show, according to the FGCCT website. This year’s theme, “Gardening Wealth,” supported concepts championed by the FGCCT theme of “Plant Connecticut.”
Deb Osborne earned the National Garden Club Educational Top Exhibitor Award for her educational display on Lasagna Gardening (Class 1, Exhibit 3), which her presentation described as “a time-saving way to install and maintain a garden without removing sod, digging or tilling” and a “nontraditional, organic layering method to create better soil.” The rosette of brown and white ribbons denotes an entry that scores 95 or above, according to the show schedule. The win marked the second consecutive year judges honored Mrs Osborne with the Educational Top Exhibitor Award.
Mrs Osborne also received a blue ribbon for that entry.
Marilyn Klepfer’s educational exhibit, “Come On! Compost!” was honored with the Connecticut Silver & Blue Award, a rosette of silver and blue ribbons, denoting an entry that scored 90 or more points but did not receive another top award. Her exhibit for Class 1 (“Plant Connecticut”), Exhibit 1 (Party For Worms) received a yellow (third place) ribbon.
Holly Kocet and Mary Gaudet-Wilson also received a Silver & Blue Award for their presentation, “Protect Our Pollinators from Pesticides.” The educational display for Class 1, Exhibit 2 (Pollinators), also picked up a red (second place) ribbon.
All three of the educational displays submitted by the club, Ms Townsend pointed out, received scores of 90+ from the judges.
“Full of Promise” was the theme for Division I of the flower and garden show. Ten sections were included in horticulture this year, and 250 entries were received.
Joyce DeWolfe received a red ribbon for her rattlesnake plant (Calathea lancifolia).
Peggy Jepsen received a blue ribbon for her geranium plant, and red ribbon for her Christmas cactus (Schlumbeergera truncate).
Vicky Taloni received a red ribbon (second place) for her Dish Garden, which was planted with seven different varieties of succulents.
Peggy Townsend picked up eight ribbons and one award in this division of the show: a Grower’s Choice Award (green rosette, which she also won in 2017) and blue ribbon for her planter containing three types of Dracaena; a blue ribbon for Ponytail Palm (Beaucamea recurvate), a plant grown for foliage; and a blue ribbon for her Arbarvitae “Green Giant” staged as a cut branch.
She also received a red ribbon for Aglaonemma “Siam Aurora Red,” a plant grown for its foliage; a yellow ribbon for her Phalaenopsis orchid “Hong Kong”; another yellow, for Hippeastrum ‘Double Record,’ an amaryllis she grew from bulb for the Judge’s Challenge Class; and a white ribbon for Phalaenopsis orchid “Kobe White.”
* * * * *
Eight members of The Garden Club of Newtown returned home from The 37th Annual Connecticut Flower & Garden Show with a combined total of 23 awards and ribbons. Among them were, from left, Vicky Taloni, Marilynn Klepfer, Peggy Jepsen, Deb Osborne, Peg Townsend, and Joyce DeWolfe.
—Bee Photos, Hicks
Peg Townsend had great fun, she said, cutting calla lilies to look like butterflies for her entry in “Butterfly’s Drunken Dance.” She was thrilled, she added, to find orange and yellow lilies for her design.
Radish seeds represented marching ants in this design of completely dried items that won the Petite Award and a blue ribbon for Newtown resident Joyce DeWolfe.
Deb Osborne used pasta to spell out the title of her multi-award winning display about lasagna gardening, which is a time-saving way to install and maintain a garden that uses organic materials.
The key card for Vicky Taloni’s dish garden, an entry in Design Division Section J (“Ducklings and Dogwoods”) identifies Graptoveria Amethorum, Echeveria (‘Black Prince’), Pachyphytim (Sedinae), Kalanchoe x Kewensis, Crassula Perforata (‘String of Buttons’), Sempervivum (Hens & Chicks and Houseleek), Aeonium Haworthii (Pinwheel Aeonium), and Haworthia Coaictta as the specimens used for this red ribbon-winning design.