by June Portnoy
The Trevose Horticulture Society (THS) received many accolades for its garden entry at this year’s annual Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s (PHS) Philadelphia Flower Show. The show’s 2014 theme, ARTiculture, combined art and horticulture by celebrating artists ranging from Michelangelo to Monet.
The first judging panel awarded THS’s entry second place with 95 points. All four entrees in the class, “En Plein Air,” in which THS entered, scored above 90 so the entire class was awarded a commendation.
THS received honorable mention by the second judging panel.
Most exciting, however, was that THS was awarded the Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Association Trophy for entering a garden showing the most effective use of plants and the best use of design.
As a result, they were invited to attend the PHS Awards Luncheon on Saturday, March 8th.
THS committee members Karen Wychock, Ruth Kurtz, Betty Sykes, Dick and Isabelle Longcoy and Lenis Van Aken devoted much time and effort creating this award-winning garden.
They designed a 12’ by 16’ summer garden retreat in the style of artist Mondrian, who used red, yellow, black and blue in his paintings. In order to replicate his style, THS committee members created a garden framed in black with splashes of red, yellow and blue.
Flowers within the garden included pansies, zinnia, gerber daisies, ageratum, petunias, marigolds and cyclamen.
The main feature of THS’ garden entry was the vertical planting of their flowers.
“We planted them vertically in order to mimic Mondrian’s style, but this was our first attempt at vertical planting and it proved to be more difficult than we expected,” says Karen, Chairperson of the Garden Entry.
THS committee members had to wire all plants individually, which was physically challenging. They also had to ensure the wall was constructed sturdy enough to withstand the weight of the vertical plants. Plus, the plants had to be taken down in order to water them, a labor-intensive task.
Some finishing touches in the garden included a fire pit, black benches and pillows within the center.
It took over five months for THS members to plan their garden’s design. They began with a model of the garden that they were required to share with PHS, so this organization knew what to expect at the show.
Prior to the show, the garden’s concept was well thought out and all painting was completed. However, nothing could be put together ahead of time.
“We had only one and a half days to construct the garden at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and were only allowed to have five people there to help us set up,” says Karen. “Plus, no tools are allowed, so we used lots of hinges to put our display together.”
Karen expresses her gratitude to Dick, who has a construction background, as being a great addition to their team, helping to build the garden in such a short amount of time, along with Ruth’s assistance.
“Dick and Ruth built it exactly as we envisioned it,” says Karen. “The colors really popped out when we put the lights on it. Also, having the model was helpful when putting the garden together at the show.”
Although this was only the second time that THS created a large garden area for the Philadelphia Flower Show, Karen commented how much easier it was the second time around.
“Last year, we weren’t sure what to expect or what to do first when we got to the show,” says Karen. “This year, we got right to work. We also had a better idea about how to work together as a team since we had already done so once before.”
This summer, THS will host its own flower show on Friday, August 22nd and Saturday, August 23rd. This year’s theme is “Wild Things.”
The show will be held at St. Ephrem Catholic Church’s gym, located at 5400 Hulmeville Road in Bensalem. This is a new venue for the show and offers a larger space, which means THS can add additional entries in some of its classes.
Proceeds from the show will be used toward a $1,000 scholarship award to a student majoring in the horticultural discipline in the tri-state area.
THS continues to hold its meetings the third Monday of every month at 7:00pm, but they now meet in a new location at St. Katharine Drexel Mission Center, located at 1663 Bristol Pike in Bensalem.
Don’t miss their next meeting open to the public when THS welcomes guest speaker, Drew Becker, PHS President. It will be held Monday, April 28th (the fourth Monday of the month, in order to accommodate Drew’s schedule).
For information about THS, its upcoming flower show, or membership information, contact Karen Wychock at 215-460-8853.
PHOTO CAP: THS committee members during the construction of their garden entry at the Philadelphia Flower Show.