Category Archives: Zone III Events

How to Develop a Pollinator Victory Garden and Pollinator Pathways

Did you know that communities all over the world are making and linking pesticide-free, native-plant gardens, meadows and forests to encourage beneficial insect and bird species? Especially bees, which are dying out and so essential to our ecosystems.

And we can do this right here in the Rivertowns, beginning in our own gardens.

This free public event with Kim Eierman of EcoBeneficial® is typical of Garden Club of Irvington programming.

Kim is a well known environmental horticulturist who specializes in ecological landscapes and native plants. She teaches at the New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and The Native Plant Center.

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Filed under Conservation, Horticulture, Irvington Garden Club Events, Rivertowns Westchester NY, Tarrytown NY, Zone 7 Native Plants, Zone III Events

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

GCI Makes Good Showing at ‘Country Life’ Show

"June in the Country," the Cut Specimens class, included perennials, biennials, bulbs, corms, rhizomes, tubers, roses, woody plants in bloom, and plants grown for foliage.

The Millbrook Garden Club, a member of the Garden Club of America, held a GCA Zone III Flower Show at the Interlaken Inn in Lakeville, Connecticut, June 21 to 23, 2011.

The purpose of a flower show—entries are judged by expert teams and various prizes are awarded—is to set standards of artistic and horticultural excellence; to broaden knowledge of horticulture, flower arrangement, and conservation; and to share the beauty of a show with club members and the public.

The theme of the Millbrook show was “Country Life,” and each of the classes, or entry categories, had its own specific requirements related to type of plant(s), growing conditions, ownership time, and size of arrangement or container.

Garden Club of Irvington members entered and won prizes in a number of classes.

Cut specimens from the garden of Barbara Defino included a Hosta 'Big Daddy.'

GCI president Barbara Defino showed several outstanding cut specimens. Her ‘Red Sentinel’ Astilbe (above left) won a First Award, or blue ribbon, as did her achillea milleforium ‘Paprika’ (not pictured), and her Hydrangia x macrophylla ‘Penny Mac,’ (right) won a Second Award.

The lipstick on the glass was a conversation-starter .

GCI Flower Arrangement Chair Richard McKeon received an Honorable Mention for his interpretation of “Breakfast in Bed,” required to be staged on a tray in front of a square European pillow. In addition to the flower arrangement, the composition included props related to the frustrations of designing such a display. The note at the bottom right says, “Before the show… thus fortified…”

All photos are judged according to a number of criteria and must be 100% the work of the exhibitor.

In the “Locally Grown” class of the Photography Division, GCI member Doreen Ruff garnered an Honorable Mention for her portrait of a white anemone (lower left — see a close-up on the Photography tab).

GCI's contribution of spireas for the Plant Exchange, propagated by members under the supervision of Hort Chair Nora Galland.

The Plant Exchanges at Zone Shows give different clubs the opportunity to swap plants propagated by members.

Each entry in certain Horticulture classes must be accompanied by a key card with propagating information

A Live Oak propagated from an acorn by GCI member Bunny Bauer (center, in square green pot) received an Honorable Mention.

Each club was required to enter one tree propagated by a member in the “Walk in the Woods” class.

Guests enjoyed the outdoor display of "Milking Time" mixed container plantings.

Ellen Shapiro of GCI got an Honorable Mention for this "Milking Time" entry of at least three white flowering plants of different genera in a 16-inch terracotta container.

Filed under Flower Arranging, Garden Club Flower Show Categories, GCA Events, Zone III Events

GCI “Gilded Cage” Flower Show a Success

"Anna's Hats in Bloom," a design complementing a hat in Lyndhurst's costume collection.

The Garden Club of Irvington-on-Hudson’s GCA Flower Show last spring honored Lyndhurst and the Victorian era. The show was held at The Carriage House at Lyndhurst in Tarrytown, and was open to the public on Friday and Saturday, April 16 and 17, 2010.

The theme “THE GILDED CAGE,” a play on “The Gilded Age,” was inspired by the Gothic arches of Lyndhurst and its greenhouse, built by railroad tycoon Jay Gould, who made the Tarrytown landmark his family’s country estate in 1880.

“A GCA Flower Show is a competition judged by the rigorous standards of the Garden Club of America and exemplifies artistic and horticultural excellence,” said show chairman Nancy Stoer. “Our members worked for a year to present an outstanding show that included elaborate flower arrangements and horticultural specimens judged against ‘perfection’ as defined by GCA judging standards. Entries were prepared by members of our own club, who live in the River Towns, and GCA garden clubs throughout the tri-state area.”

Visitors enjoyed the "Victorian Wedding" arrangements staged on pedestals. The arrangements were designed as if for the 1913 wedding at Lyndhurst of Helen Gould, daughter of railroad tycoon Jay Gould, to Finley Shepard.

Floral arrangement exhibits included designs using flowers that were grown in the original Lyndhurst greenhouse (now restored and used by the Garden Club to cultivate plants for its annual plant sale in May); large arrangements suitable for a Victorian wedding; table settings for a card party on a Lyndhurst’s terrace overlooking the Hudson; and designs complementing hats in Lyndhurst’s extensive costume collection. Village of Irvington schoolchildren ages 8-12 made an exhibit of “tussie-mussies,” small hand-held bouquets expressing “the language of flowers.”

Cut specimens: Flowering trees and shrubs in bloom

Pot-et-Fleurs featuring Neomarica caerulea (Fan Iris), Phyllitis scolopendrium ‘Undulatum’ (Hart’s Tongue Fern), Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldii’ (Creeping Jenny), Oxalis triangularis (Purple Shamrock), and three kinds of zonal and scented Pelargoniums.

Horticultural exhibits included “Lord & Burnham Presents: Nineteenth Century Favorites,” which featured orchids, ferns and palms and cut specimens of locally-grown nineteenth-century favorites such as rhododendrons, magnolia, prunus, and blooming stems of narcissus and tulip bulbs. The challenge class was to grow from seed a Victorian favorite Pelargonium, ‘Black Velvet Rose.’ “Pot et Fleurs: In the Victorian Style,” featured large containers planted with with a minimum of three different species or cultivars reflecting the Victorians’ love of carefully planned excess. Special classes included topiaries and “glass houses” or terrariums.

Vistors viewed an exhibit of landscape and horticultural photography and a conservation/education exhibit that focused on the London Plane Tree or Sycamore, and showed how this magnificent tree has contributed to the ecology of the lower Hudson Valley.

Filed under Conservation, Flower Arranging, Garden Club Flower Show Categories, GCA Events, Irvington Garden Club Events, Irvington NY, Nature Photography, Rivertowns Westchester NY, Tarrytown NY, Zone III Events