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Horticulture Committee Reports

2022-2023 — Michele Trevenen, Chair; Karen Whitehaus, Vice Chair

Teamwork is the operative word to describe the Horticulture Committee. We were fortunate to have a team of seasoned Club Members serving on the Horticulture Committee this season. They filled dual roles needed to offer impactful Horticulture competitions for the Club this season.

We kicked off the year as Celia Radek organized the Horticulture 101 workshop in Avis Campbell Gardens led by Heidi Muschick. We counted on Susan Dumont, Deb Hirsch, and Denise Silverman to be available to assist in setting up the competitions (sometimes even on Sundays) and then help dismantle the display post competition.

The committee introduced Botanical Arts Horticulture and Photography to our membership this year. Florence Leyssène and Debbie Moran provided an endless source of expertise to BA, which offered another outlet for our membership to get their creative juices flowing.

Our committee Vice Chair, Karen Whitehaus, provided endless hours of support to the Horticulture Committee. Her organizational and problem-solving skills kept the committee on track for every competition. The 2022-2023 Horticulture Committee was the "Dream Team" this year. Thanks to all of you.


2021-2022 — Debbie Moran, Chair

The COVID-19 pandemic continued to affect most of the Horticulture Committee's monthly activities through the end of 2021. In early September the workshop on how to exhibit horticulture was held at Avis Campbell Gardens and was well attended, even if in the subsequent months almost no Members exhibited horticulture virtually.

In late September, the Estelle Liebrecht succulent propagation project, (launched in May of 2020), was judged. Four entries managed to hang in for the long COVID-19 haul and the award was won by Denise Silverman.

The membership was able to enter horticulture specimens in person at the last two meetings of this spring, in March and April at Union Congregational Church, but participation was thin. The next Estelle Liebrecht Club Project is the Caladium 'Miss Muffet', a small but handsome variety that was chosen because it will be grown in a
container so that it can be judged at Arts & Flowers, A Design Specialty Flower Show in September 2022.


Twenty-five tubers were purchased and distributed to interested Members in late May and early June, with basic
instructions on planting and care, given there is so much in-depth information available on the internet for anyone interested.


Once again, the pandemic sidelined committee Members this year, but with luck the upcoming year will be a more familiar one for Horticulture activities in the Club.


2020-2021 — Debbie Moran, Chair

The COVID-19 pandemic completely upended all plans for any in-person activities/competitions sponsored by the Horticulture Committee. With so much uncertainty in the spring of 2020, I decided to front load horticulture projects which members could experience at home over the 2020 COVID-19 summer. I chose a long-range project, propagating two succulent leaves, for the Estelle Liebrecht Award that could be flexible regarding when it could be judged safely in person. Two other informal “2020 COVID Challenges” included growing three Hosta ‘Golden Tiara’ plantlets in a container, and priming Aquilegia canadensis (columbine) seeds to sprout in the summer rather than the next spring. All three projects were well received and the hope is that the succulent and hosta projects will be judged in September 2021.

The monthly competitions for both horticulture and design became virtual exhibitions that were critiqued, not judged. For Horticulture, each month only one specimen per member was permitted to be exhibited via digital photographs submitted; there were several members who exhibited their specimens over the course of the year.


As with many committees over this past year, the Committee was sidelined with zero action. I am looking forward to the coming year in the hope that the Committee will be able to better engage after in-person meetings resume for the Club. 


2019-2020 — Jacklyn King, Chair

The Horticulture year started off well at our new temporary home, Van Vleck House & Gardens. A huge thank you to Deb Hirsch, Florence Leyssène, Floss O'Sullivan, and Denise Silverman for bringing our supplies from the storage rooms and setting up our staging area outside.


Denise Silverman won the Amy Hatrak Herb Award and the President's Horticulture Award! Although there were roses entered for the Barbara Meyer Rose Award, the judges found them unworthy. There were no other Awards this Horticulture Year due to Covid 19 "raining on our parade."


This is my last year as Horticulture Chair. It's been so great getting to know you. I started this position knowing very little about horticulture and even less about chairing a committee. I'm so grateful to you all for your patience and your knowledge.


I am certain that in Debbie Moran's capable and creative hands the Horticulture Committee will rise to new heights.


Many women have helped me along the way, patiently answered questions, refreshed my memory when the name of a plant wouldn't come to me (more often than I would like to admit). So, thank you to Fran Ackerly, Cynthia Corhan-Aitken, and Celia Radek. Also, thank you to Susan Dumont and Michele Trevenen for their ongoing support and assistance. A very special thank you to Floss O'Sullivan for always "being there" for me and for introducing me to those sweet pecans.


As memorialized in "Finian's Rainbow", it's been "something sweetish, something grandish ... terrifish ... magnifish ... delish ... that life could be so 'flowers' in bloomish".

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