US (CT): UConn’s Horticulture Club wins five awards at Flower and Garden Show

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The CT Flower and Garden Show is an annual event hosted at the CT Convention Center in Hartford, where exhibitors put together a garden display to show off their organization. The majority of these exhibitors are for-profit organizations, including landscaping companies and greenhouses. The UConn Horticulture Club was one of the few non-profit organizations and the only college group to create a display for the event. Throughout the event, different panels of judges look at all the displays and give out their respective awards at the end of the event. The prestigious “Excellence in Design” award, handed out by Federated Garden Clubs of CT, Inc., and The Landscape Design Council, is only given to two displays, one of which went to the Horticulture Club.

The other four awards that the club won were given directly by the CT Flower and Garden Show. These awards are each in a different category, which are decided on by a different panel of judges. “Best Use of Texture” is a design award, “Best Use of Unusual Plant Material” is a horticultural award, “Best Use of Garden Structures” is an implementation award, and “Best Educational” is an originality award.

Considerable work went into making sure that their display was as good as it possibly could be. The president of the Horticulture Club is senior Will Carter, a sustainable plant and soil systems and digital media and design double major at UConn. He created a rough design of what they’d be creating at the garden show. The club had a 600-square-foot plot, doubling the size of their display last year, and were tasked with procuring the materials and plants that they would use to fill that space. Unlike many other organizations present, the club doesn’t have its own greenhouse space to grow the plants for themselves, so they relied on businesses from across the state to donate plants for their display. In an emailed response, Carter and two other club officers, Vice President Sofia Karalekas and Secretary Olivia Delello, talked about the process of acquiring these donations.


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