Horticulture Club hosts 61st Mom’s Weekend Flower Show

The 2015 flower show was based around a Disney theme and included drawings of the beloved cartoon characters.

By Aminah Koshul

This year marks the 61st Moms Weekend Flower Show, an annual event that exhibits themed gardens and purchasable plants. The show is hosted by the Horticulture Club which, according to its website, “serves for the advancement of knowledge and the active promotion … of horticulture as a part of gracious living.” The Horticulture Club traditionally organizes a variety of events that are meant to be fulfilling as well as educational. One way to do this is by making use of quirky facts to appeal to a larger fan base.

“People are usually surprised when they find out Illinois produces the most pumpkins in the world,” joked Brianne Gatesss, a senior in ACES.

Most events usually host guest speakers or professors that specialize in the topic on hand to give members more of an academic perspective on horticulture. The biggest event of the year is always the flower show.

“All of the money raised goes toward next year’s flower show and other events in the Horticulture Club to make it affordable for all students,” said Whitney Kwokss, senior in ACES.

Each flower show has one overarching theme displayed by smaller gardens with subthemes. In previous years, themes have included holidays, Disney movies, a trip around the world, nursery rhymes and board games. Officers of the club, such as Gates, Kwok and Chloe Smithss, junior in LAS, come up with ideas for themes and members vote through an online server. Color is often an important factor when considering themes because the sale of plants partly depends on aesthetic appeal to visitors. This year’s theme is Saturday morning cartoons with mom.

Gates explained how officers grow plants in greenhouses on campus and members incorporate these fully grown plants into the themes of their gardens.

“A big part of the theme is making props to add to your garden,” Smith said. “You can paint a backdrop, arrange plants and add a color scheme.”

Preparation for the flower show starts in the fall semester but the hands-on work begins in the spring. Officers find themselves spending an increased amount of time in campus greenhouses maintaining plants.

Plants are available for a fixed price on a first-come, first-serve basis. Succulents are usually the most popular types of plant, and tend to sell out first.

“A lot of our plants are generally cheaper than store-bought plants because we grow them ourselves and we’re not looking to make a profit,” Kwok explained.

The Flower Show primarily targets the moms of University students, but locals are just as likely to stop by if they prefer to buy plants from students instead of traditional retail outlets.

For Smith, the most rewarding part of the Horticulture Club is being a part of the Flower Show.

“It’s satisfying to see all the work you put into the show come together, the end product is so amazing,” she said.

Gates said that getting people involved in horticulture in exciting and unconventional ways is a major goal of the club.

“Most people in this university don’t know horticulture exists as a major, let alone a career choice,” she said.

The Flower Show, with its aesthetic appeal and relatable themes, presents a unique way to introduce people from different backgrounds to horticulture.

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