Tag Archives: Winning Horticulture Entries

Photo Review of Our Flower Show—The Sunny Side of the Hudson

The members of the Garden Club of Irvington-on-Hudson are delighted to bring you this selection of photos of our flower show at the Lyndhurst Carriage House. The theme, “On the Sunny Side of the Hudson,”celebrated the influence of Washington Irving on our Rivertowns region of New York and featured floral and horticultural exhibits inspired by characters and situations on the pages of Irving’s books.

The show was the result of two years of hard work on the part of all our members, especially show chair Barbara Defino. Here is just one of the many accolades sent to Barbara: “Dear Barbara and Members of the GC of Irvington: Congratulations on staging a beautiful flower show. The outstanding classes and excellent club participation showcased the talent within the Garden Club of Irvington. My thanks to you, and all the members of Irvington for their incredible hospitality. We truly were on the sunny side of the Hudson on May 10.”

Guests to the show, which was open to the public on May 10 and 11, were greeted with vases of cut stems set out in tables on the patio in front of the Lyndhurst Carriage House.

Inside the tent, an entire wall of tables was set up with glorious displays of blooms cut from exhibitors’ gardens that morning. All were judged for beauty, horticultural perfection and grooming. Categories included peonies, viburnums, lilacs, and rhododendrons.

The “Best in Show’ award for Horticulture went to Lydia Wallis of the Southampton (NY) Garden Club for her cut specimen of an epimedium.

At the entrance to the Carriage House, below, the Floral Design section opened in a dramatic fashion with mass arrangements of primarily yellow flowers — such as those grown at Sunnyside Cottage, Washington Irving‘s home — displayed on pedestals.

The winners in the “360 Degrees and Sunny” mass arrangement class were Libby Welch and Anna Getz of the Greenwich, CT, Garden Club

“The Book Party” class, channeling a book signing for Washington Irving’s literary friends that included sips of schnapps and games of dominoes, was the theme of the above winning table setting by Colleen Hempleman and Christina Vanderlip of the Hortulus GC. Judges and guests admired the rich, masculine color scheme and rare, deep-toned flowers.

This table setting by Renee Shamosh and Ellen Shapiro of the Garden Club of Irvington featured an arrangement of tulips, hydrangeas and wildflowers and a faux feather made from paper and wire. According to GCA rules, real feathers are not allowed, challenging all entrants in the class to devise a way to depict an appropriate 19th-century writing instrument.

A category entitled “Sleepy Hollow Awakenings” featured arrangements of flowers in bud and in full bloom, displayed in niches. This arrangement by Emily Meskat and Kristina Bicher Rye GC took first place in the class. Richard McKeon, a former GCI member, now with the Garden Club of Millbrook, created the second-place arrangement below.


“Short Stories,” miniature arrangements displayed on a mantelpiece, could not exceed five inches in height, width or depth. The winner, below, was Amy Hardis of the Little Garden Club of Rye.

Visitors to the Horticulture exhibits in the tent were treated to a lush display of exquisite plants grown over specified time periods according to strict conditions laid out in the show entry brochure, or “schedule.”

The horticultural displays included a “challenge class” of window boxes in which all the plants were to be propagated from cuttings or grown from seed. The award winners included GCI members Anne Myers and Nancy Stoer, who used unusual cultivars of coleus (above), and Veronica Gedrich, for the window box (below) filled with herbs, which the judges commended for “flavorful eating all season long.”

The window box above, with dipladenia and regal pelargoniums propagated by Renee Shamosh and Ellen Shapiro, was nearly disqualified because it included a few perennials from Ellen’s garden. Propagation by division was not included in the schedule. (Note to future exhibitors: Read the schedule extra carefully!)

The Rosie Jones award for “reflecting the spirit of growing with joy and enthusiasm” went to the above “Mother and Daughter” pair of coleus propagated by Julia Burke of Rye Garden Club.

“Rip Van Winkle” troughs could feature Alpine species or cultivars. dwarf conifers, and/or succulents owned for a minimum of three months. A special club award went to Ellen Shapiro, whose trough (below) included succulents grown from cuttings taken from her daughter-in-law’s San Francisco roof garden.

Our “Imaginary World of Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” children’s class, hosted in conjunction with the Irvington Public Library, displayed fairie houses made by children 8 to 12 years old. Proud exhibitors included Fitz Anderson, above, and Jordana Laks, below, with her mom, Lisa Izes.

In the “Inside Story” photography category, honors went to Susan Van Tassell of the Short Hills, NJ, Garden Club, for her macro shot of a dahlia, and Dori Ruff of GCI for her study of the inner workings of a peony.

The conservation and education exhibit by Catherine Ludden demonstrated the beauty and benefits of adding native plants to your garden — through a slide show and a 20-page handout illustrating “Plant This, Not That” plant pairs. This exhibit, designed by Ellen Shapiro, won a judge’s commendation. It included an exquisite arrangement of native plants, below, from Cathy Ludden’s garden.

A few of the 25 GCI members who organized and staged the show took a break from setting up the exhibits. Clockwise from left: Renee Shamosh, Jo Gurley, Ellen Shapiro, Harriet Kelly, Linda Azif, and Heather Kenny. Photos in this post by Steve Beech and Ellen Shapiro.







Filed under Garden Club Flower Show Categories, Horticulture, Irvington Garden Club Events, Rivertowns Westchester NY, Tarrytown NY

GCI Big Winner in “Kaleidoscope” Flower Show

Every GCA garden club in New York state was required to enter a mixed planting in the ”Kaleidoscope” class at the GCA Annual Meeting in Rochester: Plants we’d propagated and/or grown in or our gardens composed in a 14″ terra-cotta-colored pot. Each club could choose a color scheme: yellow-orange, pink-red, or blue-purple. GCI chose blue-purple. Starting last September, we approached the project as a club, with members rooting cuttings and planting bulbs. Over the last few weeks, we combed our gardens for blue flowering plants. The harsh winter and late spring didn’t make things easy.
Renee-Anne SM

Renee Shamosh and Anne Myers in Rochester, NY, with the club’s winning container planting.

The judges awarded us a first-place blue ribbon as well as the Rosie Jones Horticulture Award, for:

“An entry of exceptional visual appeal that reflects the spirit of growing with joy and enthusiasm and inspires others to propagate, grow, show and share horticulture.”
The container planting was designed by Ellen Shapiro, Renee Shamosh and Donghai Zhen. Renee contributed phlox, streptocarpus, evolvulus, forget-me-nots, and ‘super blue’ pericallis. Ellen contributed wood hyacinths and blue chalk fingers. Club president Susan Weisenberg contributed bearded irises, the centerpiece of the arrangement. Also adding to the arrangement were plants contributed Bunny Bauer, Deb Flock, Nora Galland, Cena Hampden and Anne Myers: the Cape primrose, comfrey, dwarf blue cypress, amsonia and forget-me-nots, respectively.
The entry was accompanied by the following key card, indicating to show visitors the botanical and common names of the plants and their relative position in the container.
GCI BlueContainerKeyCard



Filed under Garden Club Flower Show Categories, Horticulture, Zone III Events