by June Portnoy
Area gardeners entered almost 450 horticultural and artistic design entries at the Trevose Horticultural Society’s (THS) annual flower show, “ARTrageous.” This free event open to the public was held Friday and Saturday, August 24th and 25th, in the Wood River Village auditorium in Bensalem.
The 2012 Standard Flower Show marked THS’s 89th annual show and its most ambitious endeavor of the year.
Karen Wychock, of Warrington, this year’s Flower Show Chair and a former art teacher at Central Bucks High School West (CB West), selected this year’s theme of “ARTrageous.”
“Gardeners and artists both deal with colors all the time, so it seemed a natural connection to combine these two art forms into this year’s theme,” said Karen.
Karen was responsible for this year’s unique staging, consisting of three large floral paintings created by Molly O’Brien, former CB West student.
Said Karen, “Molly’s images are huge and have been likened to the large format paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe.”
Karen, Staging Theme Chairperson, along with the Society’s membership, merited The Garden Club of Pennsylvania (GCFP) Staging Award for the show’s overall appearance. In addition, several local gardeners received special recognition for their outstanding horticultural specimens.
A themed windowsill display of potted houseplants entered by Choony Choi from Bensalem was top winner in the horticultural division receiving the National Garden Club (NGC) Award of Horticultural Excellence and Grower’s Choice Award as well as the Society’s Joseph Caravan Award.
NGC Award of Merits for Horticulture were won by Elmer Irons from Feasterville for his bloom of Penta lanceolata, Priscilla Whyte from Newtown for her perennial Phlox Drummondii, and Lynda Gene Rymond from Quakertown for her perfect specimens of Hardy German Red garlic.
Nancy Orlando from Philadelphia won an Award of Merit for a potted plant of Thai Basil. An unusual specimen of ‘Black Star’ calla lily earned an Award of Merit for Betty Sykes from Warminster.
Nick Roman of Warminster received the Erich and Virginia Meitzner silver bowl for the most blue ribbon entries in the dahlia classes. An excellent bloom of ‘Limelight’ Hydrangea paniculata merited the NGC Arboreal Award for superior named variety of tree or shrub for Audrey Williams from Flourtown.
The Society’s Arnold Young Award for accumulating the most blue ribbons in the Container Grown Plants section was awarded to Karen who also received the Society’s Stella Matczak Award for her outstanding porch box entry. Mary Ann Wolf from Yardley merited the Society’s Sweepstakes trophy for Horticulture.
Visitors enjoyed, as well as personally critiqued, 32 artistic arrangements reflecting the show theme.
Karen received both the NGC Award of Design Excellence and Designer’s Choice Award for her outstanding Exhibition Table featuring “Luncheon in the Garden” with Vincent van Gogh. GCFP Award of Special Recognition was also awarded to Karen for her depiction of “Still Life with a Basket.”
June Rymond of Feasterville won the Society’s Rachel Schwarz Award for her artistic entry in the special exhibits class “Art of the Frame” featuring a frame embellished with dried natural plant materials. Lenis Van Aken earned the Society’s Sweepstakes Design trophy.
Several informative exhibits focused on broadening the public’s environmental awareness. The NGC Educational Award was received by award winning artist and Bucks County Master Gardener Carol Ashton-Hergenhan of Bensalem, for her educational exhibit “The Art of Botanical Illustration,” that defined this specialized art form, its purpose and use. Carol, a botanical illustrator, was at the show Saturday demonstrating her craft.
Karen received the GCFP Educational and Conservation Silver Award for her informative display “The Gardener as Artist: Choosing One’s Color Pallet” that featured an artful approach to designing a landscape canvas with color.
The Society bestowed the THS Award of Appreciation to Bucks County Master Gardener Heidi Shiver of Doylestown for her exhibit, “Gardening for Pollinators,” that described how to recognize beneficial insects that accomplish nature’s goal of setting seed and the causes of their decline.
Proceeds generated from a variety of beautiful raffle baskets, along with a table of baked goods and a garden market selling plants will be used to support THS’s annual scholarship award. Every year, THS grants a deserving tri-state area student majoring in horticultural-related studies a $1,000 to $2,000 scholarship.
For more information about THS, call 215-357-8589 or 215-357-8789.
PHOTO CAP: Karen Wychock, Flower Show Chair, in the design room