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Greenwich Daily Voice serves Greenwich, CT

Artistry Blooms at Flower Show

Having friends in Hortulus , the Greenwich garden club, Karen Oztemel and Susie O'Leary arrived at the group's flower show expecting to see colorful flower arrangements and notable plants. What they didn't expect were works of art.

"We are really impressed with how creative they are," said Oztemel. "They're given one sentence, and to be able to create something out of just that is so impressive."

The show, titled "Interiors" and presented by Hortulus and the Garden Club of America, was held Thursday and Friday at the Christ Church Parish Hall, 254 East Putnam Ave. Exhibitors were given descriptions of the show categories and specifications for different designs. Winners were chosen Wednesday and displayed to the public Thursday and Friday.

"All the displays have a relationship to the theme, 'Interiors,' " said Pam Reimers, co-chair of the flower show committee. Submissions came from garden clubs all over Fairfield and Westchester counties. "For each class in each division, judges had criteria with different percentages to determine the winners," Reimers said.

One of the most striking pieces was the Division I, Class 1 winner for "Simply Brilliant," an imaginative interpretation of the greening of America. Only four entries were allowed in the class, and they had to be a hanging design suspended in an open structure so they could be viewed from all sides. The winner, submitted by Nancy Ladd of the Rye Garden Club, was made of obake anthurium, midori anthurium, Bird's Nest Fern, hala leaves, ginger leaves and asclepias. The plants were formed to look like a spiral compact fluorescent light. The explanation called the spiral CFL "an extraordinary innovative energy saving device that has changed the way we light our lives."

Division IV was an exhibit on conservation and education called "What it means to be green in your garage." The winning exhibit showcased a "before" garage with toxic chemicals and wasteful materials and an "after" garage with a roof garden and non-toxic garden sprays.

Regardless of winners and runners-up, O'Leary thought it was a great show. "These women are so talented and everything is made from natural materials. It's unbelievable what they can do," she said.

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