Living Life Large At The Flower Show

by Dana Kester-McCabe

In just a few weeks on June 4th, The Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland - District 1, will hold their biannual flower show this year at the Wicomico County Youth & Civic Center in Salisbury

It involves all eleven federated garden clubs of Maryland's Eastern Shore. This free event is an amazing opportunity for gardeners in our region, really for anyone who enjoys seeing beautiful flowers and learning more about the artistry of arranging them. The show and competition moves around the region. It has been twenty years since the show was in Salisbury. The show is called "Living Life Large" and all the exhibits will reflect that theme in some way. I recently talked to two of the organizers of the show Peggy Buchness, and Kaye Thompson-Schutt.

Peggy Buchness:
There are two main categories: Horticulture and Design. Under Horticulture there will be categories like, hostas, perennials, roses, bulbs and more. …anything under horticulture you can think of including branches from trees and shrubs. You can learn a lot because you will not only find out the common name but the botanical name. Kaye can tell you more about the design categories.

Kaye Thompson-Schutt:
There will be 55 different exhibits in the Design category and they will be competing against one another according to theme. There will be traditional all the way up to nonconventional and each group of four has a separate theme. For instance the first on is "Going An A Cruise". These are things that would be on someone's bucket list. The whole thing is like a bucket list for women, things you would like to do. So, the one about a cruise will be an underwater design. That one is a lot of fun to do. I've done that before and if your not careful your flowers will float to the top. You have to use something like fishing weights to get things to stay down. And you have to be really innovated. That is the fun. You can use flowers from your garden but most will use florists' material.

There are others that are exciting to do. One is called "Pole Dancing" if you never done exercising and you want to fantasize you might want to consider pole dancing. On that one entrants are given a space and they have to figure out how to make the pole stand up and how to make their flowers dance around the pole. If you go expecting traditional designs you will find those two, but it's really interesting to see the interpretation and how creative you can be.

Peggy Buchness:
They will also have shadow boxes that contestants can use lights in, on or around the arrangements which should be interest. There are miniatures that can be no taller than 5" which will be displayed on silver columns.

Kaye Thompson-Schutt:
There will also be another section that is educational, that will be three groupings. One Peggy is working on will be "Big Trees of Maryland" which is examples of the biggest trees from this area many of which are on the Salisbury University campus. Another is everything you ever wanted to learn about roses. And a third is about the structures used in flower arrangements.

Anyone attend the show and can take part in the completion for free. Kay explains why you will need to get a copy of the schedule book ahead of time to see what category you would like to enter.

Kaye Thompson-Schutt:
One of them will be a special thrust. You have to think about how you will achieve a special thrust. The meaning of each design is in the book along the dimensions and other requirements. She says on the more unconventional categories you would want to use bolder colors and on the more traditional ones you might choose something more subdued.

Peggy says that while in the design completion you can use flowers that you have purchased, the horticulture completion is about plants you have grown yourself.

Peggy Buchness:
I think one of the more exciting ones for horticulture are those in troughs, where they put a number of plants together in a little design. You could do a woodland design or a seaside design. It's up to you. It just needs to be in a container a pot or a trough, metal or plastic.

Taking pictures of the plants and their labels with a phone or a digital camera is helpful to someone who wants to remember the names of plants or how arrangements looked that they would like to try at home. There will be hostesses at the show to answer questions.

The Living Life Large flower show will be Thursday June 4th from 1:30 to 5:30 at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center in Salisbury. Call chairmen Kaye Thompson- Schutt for more information at 443-944-9261.