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Flower power

Trevose Horticultural Society will host its annual flower show with the theme “Santa Fe Sunset”

By Samantha Bambino

The Times

The deserts and cacti of the Southwest are coming to Bucks County this summer thanks to the Trevose Horticultural Society. From colorful arrangements to traditional Native American jewelry pieces, locals can experience a true “Santa Fe Sunset” at the society’s annual flower show Aug. 18–19.

This year’s theme, “Santa Fe Sunset,” was inspired by a trip the show’s chairperson Karen Wychock took to the Southwest. She loved the cacti and strong Indian Pueblo history, and knew the culture could be beautifully portrayed in the flower show.

Time to flourish: The Trevose Horticultural Society will host its annual Flower Show on Aug. 18 and 19 at St. Ephrem Catholic Church in Bensalem. Entrants can compete in various divisions, including artistic design and horticultural, as well as novice, for those just starting out in the gardening world. PHOTO: Karen Wychock

Throughout the Artistic Design Division, the Southwest theme will be creatively expressed through pieces such as “Balloon Fiesta” and “Red Hot Chile Peppers,” as well as “Four Corners,” for which the designer must interpret a national park from a list of themes. “Native American Culture,” for novices only, encourages less experienced arrangers to integrate vegetables with plant materials. In the Botanical Arts Artistic Craft class “Tribal Artistry,” the entrant must create a squash blossom necklace using all-natural plant material displayed within a shadow box.

The horticultural division will be broken into a variety of classes including annuals, perennials, bulbs, roses, evergreen and flowering branches and a collection of cut specimens. Just last year, the show had more than 500 horticultural entries, which took up two-thirds of the showroom space.

According to Wychock, some of the horticultural entrants are leery to enter the design divisions because they believe they need an artistic background. Though the society is a horticultural group at its core, a novice class is available for those who wish to try it out.

“If they’re hesitant, competing alongside people on the same level makes it a little less scary,” she said.

Throughout the month of July, Wychock will be working with local elementary students and residents from the Bensalem Senior Center to create the title display “Santa Fe Sunset” using dry flower arrangements. As part of the newly added Youth and Sponsored Groups Division, children aged 14 and under may compete in the Junior Horticulture Section, which includes classes for vegetables, flowers and herbs.

Several educational and informative displays will be featured to help broaden the public’s environmental awareness. Coordinated by Blanche Gottel, owner of The Plant Lady of Bucks County LLC, “Desert Beauty — Gardening with Succulents” will teach attendees how to grow and maintain naturally drought tolerant plants for the home and office. A conservation exhibit “Understanding and Preventing Lyme and Other Tick Borne Illnesses” by Evelyn Throne of PALyme — Bucks County Region will highlight the identification, prevention and increasing concerns of Lyme disease in the area. The educational exhibit “Santa Fe Three Ways,” coordinated by Dennis Stranz, director of the Lower Southampton Library in Feasterville, will offer a glimpse at the history, art and nature of the Southwest.

Wychock is putting the finishing touches on an exhibit that will feature the 94-year history of the Trevose Horticultural Society. Founded in 1923, the society has hosted a flower show every year except for the period of 1942–45 during WWII. The exhibit will include a list of all past themes including last year’s “Surf’s Up,” which won first place in the NGC and Garden Club Federation of Pennsylvania State Awards.

In addition to the vast array of displays, a large market area will be available at the show, for which Wychock coordinated a hypertufa workshop at her home, creating 100 garden containers. Each is filled with a cactus or succulent, and will be available for sale. The market will also sell handmade stepping stones for home garden landscapes.

“Make-and-take” containers will be available for the kids. Toilet paper tubes are placed in a glass container to act as a growing medium for a succulent, and colored sand is poured on the outside to give it a fun effect.

Throughout the show, 40 gift baskets will be given out as prizes to attendees. Money raised will help fund scholarships for students at local colleges studying landscaping, horticulture or other garden-related subjects.

“Santa Fe Sunset” will take place on Friday, Aug. 18, from 4–8 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 19, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at St. Ephrem Catholic Church located at 5400 Hulmeville Road, Bensalem. The public is invited and admission is free. For more information on how to enter a division, please contact Karen Wychock at 215–491–4545. ••

Samantha Bambino can be reached at sbambino@newspapermediagroup.com

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