County Garden Club Hosts Small Standard Flower Show

County Garden Club Hosts Small Standard Flower Show
County Garden

OCEAN PINES — The inside of the Worcester County Library’s Ocean Pines branch was more colorful than usual last week when the building played host to the Worcester County Garden Club’s (WCGC) “Autumn Treasures” small standard flower show.
Featuring horticulture and design categories, Autumn Treasures highlighted dozens of plants and special entries from WCGC’s nearly 60 full, associate and honorary members.
“Everything has to be natural materials,” said WCGC member Mary Lou Scott. “If you have an accessory, it has to be something natural, it can’t be artificial materials.”
With horticulture exhibits, all of the plants had to be recently grown by the person submitting the piece, displayed artfully in a glass bottle and identified by genus and species. The design category was more open and plant material not grown by the person making the submission was allowed, though WCGC members often used what came from their own garden, said Scott.
“When we do the designs themselves, you can go to the florist and buy flowers but a lot of them did go with their own,” she said.
All of the design exhibits had to feature some plant material and could utilize other natural accents, such as feathers, shells, bones, coral or nests, among others. Some categories had other themes such as constructing an autumn tabletop display.
“So it’s kind of a challenge and we’ve got some very creative people,” said Scott.
The exhibits were judged last Friday by a six-person panel. All of the judges were representing Maryland’s District 1, which encompasses 11 gardening clubs, including WCGC. Those judges looked at everything from color presentation to creativity and paid close attention to make sure all plants were properly identified by their Latin terminology.
While flower shows like Autumn Treasures give WCGC a chance to let the public see what the hard work of members can produce, the club is active in different ways throughout the year.
“Our main thrust is really community service,” said member Mary Ellen Jefferson.
The club helps maintain a number of gardens throughout Worcester and has planted more than their fair share in the 50 years they’ve existed. Working with schools to teach children about gardening is one of the best parts of being a member, said Scott.
“We work with senior citizens around the county. We work with students,” she said. “We do seed planting and we teach them about horticulture.”
WCGC also partners with environmental outreach groups like the Maryland Coastal Bays Program to promote conservancy.
There’s a lot of camaraderie in the club as well, said member Joyce Melocik. WCGC has been a fantastic experience in a lot of ways, she continued, from helping her get outside and around nature to introducing her to many of her friends. What the club could really use right now is a booster shot of open-minded and younger members, Melocik stated.
“We need young people, any young person who wants to learn about flowers and be amongst some fun people, come and join the Worcester County Garden Club,” she said. “We’re federated and with that you learn. This stretches your mind … we need younger people to come in here with new life and new blood.”
Scott also underlined the camaraderie of the club. She had not set out to join initially and had only been helping with occasional events and projects. After a few years, Scott realized that she had naturally become a member and hasn’t looked back since.