The scent of hyacinth was in the air and there were flowers of all shapes and sizes at last weekend's 42nd Preview of Spring flower show at Christ Church Greenwich.
The show, "The Nature of the Game," was organized by the Greenwich Fingers Garden Club and awards were given for everything from flower arranging to flower growing and educational displays.
"This show is one of six major Garden Club of America (GCA) shows in the country and the only one in New England," said Preview of Spring committee member, Gaby Hall. Hall, along with her fellow Green Fingers Garden Club members Jennifer Brown and Evelyn Lorentzen-Bell, won the GCA's Ann Lyon Crammond Award for their exhibit, "Playing Games with Mother Nature, Forcing Spring Bulbs Indoors."
The exhibit displayed a step-by-step visual guide to forcing hardy spring bulbs, accompanied by a colorful array of 27 pots of forced bulbs at varying stages of bloom.
Hall and Brown also won the GCA Best in Show for Horticulture award for their mixed hardy spring bulb planter that included Snow drops and Winter Aconites dug up from Brown's garden.
The criteria of a major GCA show, Brown explained, is to have 100 horticulture entries -- there were 200 on view -- and six or more competitive flower arrangement classes (eight were on view). The show must also have a conservation and/or education division. "We had both," said Brown. She added that her Green Fingers Club is the only GCA club that single-handedly puts on a major GCA show.
Perhaps the show's smallest entry, a miniature tropical flowering plant called Sinningia pusilla, won the biggest GCA award of the day, the Elizabeth Platt Corning Medal, for Green Fingers Garden club member, Trish Stefani. This was the third time Stefani won the Corning for growing plants of "cultural difficulty" with "distinction and originality."
Her secret? She is said to grow her plants under lights in an enclosed porch.