Tag Archive | update

October Field Trip to the Cape May Zoo UPDATE!

Fun Stuff!

Twenty-seven (27) Garden Club Members enjoyed the field trip to the Cape May Zoo. Members were troopers as they walked around with Daisy—the Zoo’s head landscaper—from 10:00 to noon. Twenty-four (24) members met for lunch afterward…another great time for all!


Flower Show Tips—March Meeting Re-Cap!

Jane Bersch—Head Judge, Ocean City Flower Show 

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Our March meeting was yet ANOTHER fantastic session. Jane Bersch, newly appointed Head Judge for the Ocean City Flower Show, provided the attendees with valuable insight, tips, and sage advice on creating YOUR winning entry in the 44th Annual Ocean City Flower ShowIsland Hopping!

When Jane asked for the Schedule, Joanne Romano told her she would go on at 12:30…No, not that…the Schedule. Huh? Well, after translation of Flower Judge language, Jane informed us the SCHEDULE is the name for what we may know as, *Pre-Program/Program. Now informed, we go forward and refer to the above* as, Schedule. At the end of this post, you will find the updated 2016 SCHEDULE! Strong words of advice from Jane—READ IT THOROUGHLY!

As invited/requested/coerced, several Garden Club members brought examples of Artistic Design entries based on Island Hopping, the 2016 Ocean City Flower Show theme. The intent was to have Jane critique these for exhibitors and for anyone interested in design. The experience was informative, educational, and fun for both the entrants and the attendees! Specific recommendations along with the entries appear below. Pictures of the designs can be found on our FLICKR page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/96910974@N02/albums/72157665445653572

Jane began her presentation by reminding the attendees of the principles/elements one needs to employ as one creates Artistic Design entries.

  • BalanceDoes the entry look sturdy
  • ContrastColors
  • DominanceRepeat something, but do not overwhelm
  • ProportionWhat is the relationship of the amounts of different flowers, foliage
  • ScaleSize, very important especially in miniature entries
  • RhythmLook at the flow of the design
  • Repetitionrepeat the flowers, etc. adhering to all above
  • DepthIs the design 3 dimensional—height, width, depth are very important


  • Less is best
  • Do a dry run
    • Create, walk away and then re-think
  • Squint to see what stands out…Ask yourself, “Is that the effect you want?”

Overall, the judges are looking at how the designer put it all together to create the entry!

Water Viewing Examples

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  • Accessories and bases must help the design
  • For water viewing balance, make sure the container is low-sided with water visible
    • Use anything, even plastic as long as there is rhythm, space
  • FOR ALL PLANTS/FLOWERS: Condition material. Bring home and re-cut

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 9.52.39 AM.pngNote Balance—Jane suggested as one looks at the arrangement, the eye travels to the top Gerbera daisy, which makes the design feel top-heavy. Another note: Gerbera Daisies are hard to work with. They need to be tubed and are unreliable.




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We all loved the lilies…we loved the smell—even those who have allergies! As we learned from the other water viewing arrangements and the general principles, these lilies overwhelmed the container.

So, Rae Jaffe asked Jane how she would suggest improving this arrangement…

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Well, we had the privilege of watching Jane, along with Kay, remove & rearrange the design.

As Jane was re-designing, she emphasized the need to…get rid of pollen inside lilies IMMEDIATELY…They stain!


Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 9.53.23 AMThe design is simple, yet elegant, balanced and surely a Winner!

Everything Green

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  • Mass design—Rule container should be  1/3 the size of the arrangement
  • Make sure you look at all sides and fill the back—Dimension
  • Various green flowers and foliage make this a winner!





  • Pay attention to the size—5″
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 9.53.56 AM Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 9.53.45 AM
  • Proportion is important—more flowers needed in the blue bird container



Unfortunately, there is no picture of the Nantucket Basket arrangement generously submitted by Joan Ferko. Jane cautioned—height should be one and one-half (1 1/2)  times the container. Since the basket had a seashell on the one-side, Jane stated, “…no need to have that.” The Nantucket Basket without embellishment conveys the theme—As in the Tea Tray critique—no cutesy!

Shadow Boxes/Niches

  • Make sure your arrangement creates harmony and everything belongs together.
  • Coordinate your arrangement with color of container

Tea Tray—General Reminder: Do NOT overcrowd the Tea Tray

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What’s wrong with this Tea Tray?

  • Napkin holders are a BIG No-No!
    • Instead—Consider tying the napkin with a ribbon
  • Close eyes, then open, what is the first thing you see: dark flower. This takes away from the overall design. All yellow is enough.
  • Coordinate everything—while tea cup had blue design, it was a different pattern than the teapot. Color alone is not the deciding factor.
  • The sand-filled item flowing from the teapot spout was…well, cutesyBIG no-no…
  • RHYTHM move items closer together to create a line…the end result was a triangle with the napkin angled right, the tea cup in the middle, the teapot moved closer and angled more to the left.

Flowers are the FOCUS—Anything and everything must work with design!

Jane noted not only Artistic Design but Horticulture entries need special attention.

  • Look at the mechanics that holds up or support material. It should be hidden.
  • Can use colored wire, oasis
  • Fruits/vegetables must be sealed
  • Cut specimens in morning or late in evening and re-cut on an angle. Don’t forget to  wipe scissors with alcohol
  • Nothing with any bugs, bug damage
  • Use judicious pruning
  • Cut roses and hydrangeas under water.
    • Rose buds are NOT acceptable entry
    • Hybrid tea roses should be 1/2 to 3/4 open NOT exploded out
    • Rose spray should form a circle
  • Ivy and hosta should be submerged in water to keep fresh
  • Make sure there is symmetry in African Violets & lots of flowers in bloom
  • Fresh herbs—Cut specimens must be identified
    • Turgid must stand up and be noticed
    • Must be fresh
  • Container plant material must be clean
    • Trim any damage
  • Terrariums—may contain 1 or more accessories
  • Fairy Gardens—miniature landscape in open container
  • Planter/Window Box—is NOT a landscape
    • Should be planted 3 months in advance so plants get to know one another
    • Well-spaced
    • Straight standing
    • Colors must work and meld together



As you think, dream, & create your winning design or horticulture entry, please consider placing a Patron Ad. The form is in the Schedule below (can be downloaded) or click on the link to download a copy: PATRON2016

Thanks, in advance, for your support!



Here it is! You have 2 ways to view:

Download a copy here: SCHEDULE2016


Click through the online Issuu below…

March Meeting—UPDate!

Tea Table Guidelines

Once again, the weather caused us to move our regularly scheduled meeting one week later. While it may have been inconvenient for some, Cherylthe re-scheduled meeting was filled with practical information surrounding the April Tea and Tablescapes. Cheryl Kelchner and Angel Smith guided us through the DOs and DONT’s to ensure a pleasing and creative centerpiece!

DOs & DON’Ts

The use of an undercloth, tablecloth, or placemats works to enhance the tablescape. Choosing the height of the vessel is critical so that everyone seated at the table can see each other and not be hindered by a tall vessel or flowers.

Height Tip

A guideline is to place your arm on the table in a vertical position. Then, bend your wrist so your hand is horizontal. Next, place your chin on the back of your hand. You should be able to see across the table. So, the height of the vessels with flowers should be no higher!


The theme for our tea tables is based on the theme for the 2014 Ocean City Flower Show—O’ FOR A BOOK AND A SHADY NOOK.  Collaborators are asked to choose a book and create an arrangement based on their interpretation of the book. Inspiration, creativity, collaboration, learning, fun, and an afternoon tea—what a wonderful way to spend a Tuesday afternoon!

Centerpiece Designs

Cheryl used posters she had created as guidelines for various arrangements. These posters depicted the shape of the arrangement and the 3 different types of flowers and companions—Lines, Focal, and Filler.

Poster Arrangement Examples









  • As we collaborate on the arrangements, Kay Reilly reminded us to: Spend money on your FLOWERS, not STICKS!
  • Shop the day before the tea, if possible
  • Condition, condition, condition the flowers…this means…Have room temperature water ready; recut the stems under water; let the flowers stay about 6 hrs. before you make your arrangements
  • If putting your flowers in a refrigerator, make sure there are no fruits or vegetables…these give off gases that will cause flowers to brown/wilt
  • Several books on Flower Arranging are available at the Ocean City Free Public Library


  • And, don’t forget Pinterest http://pinterest.com
    your visual display board. Do a search for flower arranging, flower arrangement, any combination and you will get lots of inspiration!

Ocean City Flower Show Artistic Design 

While we were thinking about our tea tables with an eye toward the Ocean City Flower Show, we all received a copy of the draft of the Artistic Design Division…


Click the link <DRAFTARTISTIC> for your copy and get your creative juices flowing! Seriously consider entering! DRAFTARTISTIC

February 4, 2014 Meeting UPDATE

Our February Meeting was a real learning opportunity…from the beautiful Little Show with interpretations based on the Language of Flowers to the lively, informative, and downright practical presentation by Beth Davis, Waldor Orchids, who informed us…all with mouths agape that Orchids are really just houseplants! Who knew?

Attendees enjoyed learning the meanings of their own birth month/day flower, its meaning and motto. Consensus—flowers may have several meanings depending on the culture, era.

Favorite Flower—We (24 attendees) completed a survey for our favorite flowers and the most mentioned flower: Rose

Birth Month/Day/Sign
Another survey surrounding attendees’ birthdays resulted in a Tie!
Five (5) Attendees were born on or between these dates: April 20-May 19—Astrological sign—Taurus; Flower—PoppyMotto I provide beauty to your senses.
Five (5) Attendees were born on or between these dates: October 23-November 21—Astrological sign—Sagittarius; Flower—Chrysanthemum—Motto—My mysteries are forever unfolding.

And, while we may have thought the Victorians were the only ones who used flowers to communicate, Shakespeare included messages in his works!
To learn more about the meanings of flowers, click the links below. WARNING: you might just get lost on this virtual journey!

Zodiac flower signs: http://www.whats-your-sign.com/zodiac-flower-signs.html

Shakespeare and flowers: http://huntingtonbotanical.org/Shakespeare/ophelia.htm

A list of flowers and their meanings:



The color of flowers and their meaning: http://www.whats-your-sign.com/meaning-of-flower-colors.html

The meanings of flowers—extensive list: http://marriage.about.com/od/flowers/a/flowermean.htm

All About the Orchids

Our Main speaker, Beth Davis, Waldor Orchids, delighted us with her background growing up in a family dedicated to orchids. Beth is third generation in this business, but the business will surely go on as her son accompanied her! Beth related how as a kid…she knew the Latin names for the flowers!

Beth informed us that Orchids are, well, just houseplants. Imagine the sigh of relief, wonder, and heightened enthusiasm about orchids. Those who may have thought orchids were delicate, now have a reason to purchase and nurture!

Stressing several points for successful Orchid growing, Beth told us about proper Light, Water, Fertilizer, and Temperature.

1. Light—sunlight—Eastern morning sun is good for Moth orchids, Lady Slipper, while South facing windows are perfect for Cattleya.

2. Water—Water orchids in the sink with the following method: Soak plant, let it drain fully, repeat 3 times! Wet, dry, wet dry, wet dry…completely!

Beth debunked the 3 ice cube method…no need to explain as it is NOT something we should be doing TO our orchids!

3. Fertilizer—Use any balanced fertilizer. Fertilize on watering day after last watering/drying. If your orchids are outside, you may top dress with Osmocote.

4. Temperature—Orchids do not thrive in temperatures below 55 degrees. Orchids do like humidity between 40-60%.

Don’t forget, you may view photos from our meetings on our FLICKR page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/96910974@N02/

Fun & enlightening…we thank Beth for sharing her insight, wisdom, and experience with us!

A Trip to Ireland…and more!

Ahhh, Summer…

The winds have died down, the temperatures have risen, the water is warm, your garden is flourishing…summer! You might not be thinking about NEXT June, but…a Tour of Gardens in Ireland just might be in your future! Click on the link Flower Shows & Trips to learn more!


Flower Show Winners

They’re Heeeerrrre! Check out the winners of the Ocean City 2013 Flower Show. Click on the link Ocean City 2013 Flower Show Winners to view a drop down menu for Special Awards and Class winners.

Gardening Tips and DIYs…

When you need to wind down…

New info appears almost daily. Have fun and stay cool!