Linda Hamilton's award winning desert rose [ Susan Wozniak | Contributed ]
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Flower show returns with over 200 entries

The Port St. Joe Garden Club celebrated National Garden Week by hosting a small standard flower show that featured 16 inspiring floral designs, fresh horticulture specimens, and five insightful educational displays. 

Club members, local gardeners, and even children participated. In the words of Sarah Darden, co-chairperson of the “Bloom Where You Are Planted” event with Phyllis Goff, “Those attending the show were rocked, shocked and amazed!”

The objective of the show was to shine a spotlight on prime plant specimens and artistic combinations of such material, However, visitors also experienced an opportunity to learn about the impressive variety of species that can be successfully grown in the Forgotten Coast climate and sandy soil. 

This was the first flower show sponsored by the club since 2018 and over 200 entries were featured. Variegated tropical leaves, neon lilies, fragrant roses, plump succulents, and even fruit-bearing tree branches were exhibited. In addition, four categories of themed floral designs captured the fancy of the many attendees who streamed through the Garden Center. 

Certified flower show judges from Tallahassee awarded ribbons to worthy entries. High honors were also bestowed to submissions deemed best of their class. 

The Award for Horticultural Excellence went to Linda Hamilton’s desert rose that flaunted hot pink blossoms. The Award of Merit for Container Plants was placed on Sarah Darden’s crown of thorns with its flaming red petals. 

The top honor for the Arboreal Award was granted to Phyllis Goff’s Black Diamond crepe myrtle branch with chocolate leaves and fuchsia blooms. Cheryl Steindorf took home the Award of Merit for Cut Annual Flowers for her electric marigolds while Phyllis Goff captured another Award of Merit for Cut Perennials with her frilled lemon yellow daylily blossom.

Spencer Cribb was the proud winner of the Youth Award of Excellence. His entry was a carnivorous Venus flytrap that was menacing yet captivating because of its delicate details.

Marry Gessert won the the Award for Floral Design Excellence with greenery arching from the depth of a glass container and extending into the air. Leesa Haire earned a blue ribbon for her dramatic red and black tablescape featuring bold anthuriums while Mary Amann garnered first place in the petite design category that included a challenging cascade of white blooms. 

Each flower show guest was invited to cast one vote for the People’s Choice Award in honor of longtime garden club member and three-time president Era Daniell. The winner was Jeanne Schlicting’s nostalgic floral design featuring pristine white gardenias, cat’s eye marbles, jacks, and an antiqued glass milk bottle. 

After the show, most of the cut specimens were worked into bouquets that were delivered for distribution at the Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital Gulf. 

The members of the Port St. Joe Garden Club are now on hiatus for the summer months. The next meeting will convene on Sept. 12, presided by president Leelee Doughty. 

The Garden Center at 216 Eighth Street may be reserved for special occasions and meetings. Contact rental coordinator Lanann Tuttle at 404-932-0646 for details.

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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