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Three-state Flower Show planned

9/12/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

An award winner from a previous Garden Club of America Flower Show is shown above. This cactus, entered by Deedee O’Neil, won the Horticulture Best of Show Award.
Photo courtesy of Joe Levack, of Studio Akron
FAIRLAWN — Wild and Cultivated is coming to Akron Sept. 17-18.

The event is a three-state flower show including 11 clubs affiliated with the Garden Club of America (GCA).

The free show, which is open to the public, will be held at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn, 3180 W. Market St.

The flower show will highlight native species of plants and their modern cultivars, and will be divided into four divisions: floral design, horticulture, photography and conservation/education.

The floral design division will feature one invitation-only class of six large creative designs utilizing native plant material. The horticulture division will focus on two areas of growing and showing — 50 or more cut specimens of native plants and about two dozen miniature landscapes in troughs and trough-like containers. There are 32 entries in the photography division, including color landscapes and close-ups, illustrations of texture and creatively manipulated images. The three conservation and education exhibits include describing efforts to rescue, protect and propagate the endangered northern monkshood, Aconitum noveboracense; an exhibit on the impact of climate change on two native species — hemlock and sugar maple; and recent Ohio, Indiana and Michigan submissions to the Archives of American Gardens at the Smithsonian Institution.

Organizers say the flower show aims to set standards of artistic and horticultural excellence, broaden knowledge of horticulture, floral design, conservation, photography and other related areas, and share the beauty of a show with fellow club members and with the public.

The show’s focus on native plants highlights their benefits, which include that they are best suited to the local climate and are most likely to survive and thrive in local weather extremes. Native plants require less maintenance, supplemental water, fertilizer and chemicals, and provide food for native birds, butterflies and wildlife, according to event organizers.

Show hours are Sept. 17 from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. and Sept. 18 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Judging will take place in the early afternoon Sept. 17, and entrants will be eligible for 10 awards across the four divisions.

The flower show is being held in conjunction with the biennial meeting of the leadership of the GCA’s Zone X, which includes Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. The meeting rotates among the 11 clubs in the zone, with each club hosting approximately every 20 years.

The Akron Garden Club is hosting the 2013 zone meeting and has previously hosted meetings in 1992 and 1978. The Garden Club of America’s top leadership will be among the 65 attendees, according to organizers.

The Akron Garden Club is a private nonprofit service organization founded in 1924. It strives to stimulate knowledge and love of gardening, and improve and protect the quality of the environment through programs and action in the fields of horticulture, conservation, civic improvement and education.

The GCA is a nonprofit national organization composed of 200 clubs with 18,000 members who devote their energy and expertise to projects in their communities and across the nation. It is one of three GCA clubs in Northeastern Ohio, along with The Garden Club of Cleveland and The Shaker Lakes Garden Club.

For more information about the show, visit www.akrongardenclub.org.

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