It wasn’t held in Hawaii, but the Haddonfield Garden Club whisked visitors and judges away to the “Aloha State” last week during the annual Philadelphia International Flower Show.
The Haddonfield Garden Club – which entered into a new and more prestigious competition category this year – won an honorable mention award and a third place yellow ribbon at the major flower show for its “Mackenzie Peacock” mailbox exhibit.
The club had its exhibit judged during two sessions. In the first session they were awarded the honorable mention and then improved to a third place ribbon in the second session, President Margie Leone said
The flower show, which is held at the Philadelphia Convention center each year, is the world’s largest indoor exhibition. The show encompasses 33 indoor acres, with exhibit space taking up 10 acres of the convention center’s main exhibit hall. The show entertains crowds of over 250,000 people annually, representatives reported.
It’s one of the club’s biggest projects of the year, Leone said, with about a dozen people getting involved in this years exhibit.
Garden clubs in the tri-state area can qualify to submit an exhibit at the flower show, Leone said, and all previous competitors can automatically be entered as well. The Haddonfield Garden Club has used the international stage as a major project for the past 15 years.
“This is the big project for the year. The members are invited to participate and it usually boils down to about a dozen people or so who get involved in part of planning and creating the project on site,” Leone said. “It’s always exciting to be in the flower show and to be in a new category. We’re getting a lot of attention with our exhibit.”
The group entered the “mailbox” category, which had groups creating floral “mailboxes” for the competition. The garden club created a Hawaiian mailbox belonging to “Mackenzie Peacock,” a fictional character whose “old” mailbox was so overgrown with vegetation that her local postal worker couldn’t deliver mail to her house.
Garden club member Betsy Gagliardi, Leone said, designed her “new” mailbox. It was decorated with local Hawaiian flowers and vegetation, and featured a peacock theme.
“Our mailbox is a floral representational of a peacock. All of the vegetation chosen is compatible with Hawaii. We were judged on several criteria, the compatibility of the plants with Hawaii, how consistent it was with Hawaiian plant life. There is so much research that we had to do for this display,” she said. “You’re rated on design as well, that’s a big part as well. Based on that the judges award three ribbons, a Blue, red, and gold. We received an honorable mention.”
The process is year long to create, design, and implement the idea for the flower show, Leone said. Just last week a number of Haddonfield Garden Club members attended a kick off meeting for the 2013 Philadelphia International Flower Show.
Representatives already attended the kickoff meeting for the 2013 Philadelphia Flower Show, Leone said. The club has yet to decide if it will participate in the 2013 show.
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