KENTVILLE – Catharina Ansems glowed as she admired an orange clivia blossom and wondered aloud at how its blooms were so vibrant and healthy.
Ansems said she also has an orange clivia plant she inherited more than 20 years ago from her late father, and thought of him as she inspected the flowers.
“Mine has been done for the past two months, but this one is thriving – that’s just amazing,” she said.
Ansems was one of several dozen people who attended the Valley Gardeners’ Open Horticultural Show at the NSCC Kingstec campus in Kentville, where flowers, plants, photography and other categories were showcased August 18.
The annual event drew a crowd despite rainy weather, and featured a near-to-par number of plant entries from club members and other Annapolis Valley residents partially due to a brutal frost earlier this season, according to show chair and club vice-president Sandi Carroll.
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“This summer has also been blistering hot with no rain, so this maybe isn’t the exact number we normally have, but it’s a pretty decent showing over all,” she said.
This year’s event was themed ‘Garden Melodies,’ and sought to inspire those entering to use song lyrics in their respective entries’ names. The showcase event is a highlight for the club, which also provides bursaries for two NSCC horticultural students each year.
“It’s a symbiotic kind of thing, because we want to promote the horticultural program as well,” said Carroll.
Among those attending was club member Jean Gibson Collins, a gardener and artist who drew inspiration from many flowers featured at the showcase.
In particular, Gibson Collins felt drawn to a deep red herbaceous hibiscus cut flower and noted its folds, colour, draping and texture as she admired its large petals.
“I’m a detail person, and always look for subtleties. These flowers are just an endless inspiration for me when it comes to my artwork,” she said.
Carroll said the event is as much to showcase the talent of club members as it is to encourage more people to become involved. The club, which also holds other events throughout the year, is looking to grow its membership and get people from all planting backgrounds involved.
“We have people that are so knowledgeable, and others who are just getting started. It’s just a matter of exposing yourself to it, and there really is something here for everybody,” said Carroll.
“Where better a place to start?”