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63rd Annual Flower Show to be a ‘work of art’

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63rd Annual Flower Show to be a ‘work of art’

Members of the Horticulture Club arranged flowers into displays and paths at last year's show.

Members of the Horticulture Club arranged flowers into displays and paths at last year's show.

Chloe Smith

Members of the Horticulture Club arranged flowers into displays and paths at last year's show.

Chloe Smith

Chloe Smith

Members of the Horticulture Club arranged flowers into displays and paths at last year's show.

By Melissa Niemiec, Assistant Special Sections Editor

By Melissa Niemiec

Assistant Special Sections Editor

Instead of giving your mother flowers this Moms Weekend, how about giving her a whole garden experience? On Saturday, the Horticulture Club is hosting its 63rd Annual Moms Weekend Flower Show in the Stock Pavillion. The cost is free, but there are flowers for sale.

The theme of this year’s show is “Works of Art,” and many students have been hard at work creating their own masterpieces for the show.

“We first began in December, choosing our plants that we wanted to grow for flower show. Then, as soon as the spring semester began, we started planting everything. It’s amazing to see how several months of hard work pays off in just one beautiful weekend,” said ACES student Helen Liu.

The show made its debut in 1956 and was originally held in the Illini Union. It began after Jon Culbert, a horticulture professor, created floral accents to go with the Illini Union Art Show. The sale of plants was added two years later. Past themes have been “Around the World” and “A Day at the Movies.”

Junior in ACES and secretary of Horticulture Club Yada Thia described her experience with last year’s show.

“The flower show overall is a really fantastic experience because getting to make your garden is really tiring, but the moment you’re there and you get to see people’s reactions … It’s amazing,” she said.

This year, Thia will be recreating “City by the Lake” by Leonid Afremov.

The flower show is the Horticulture Club’s biggest event of the year, but they do it more for tradition than to make money. As they usually break even, they’re more focused on getting the community excited about gardening than profit.

“It doesn’t matter your age or background; gardening, plants and horticulture can be for everyone,” said Horticulture Club President Sarah Kania, senior in ACES. “We want to reach a large variety of people during our club events and the flower show because it can spark someone’s interest in plants.”

Each garden receives $60 to buy flowers, props or anything else they may need to complete their vision. All the flowers in the gardens are for sale, so part of the volunteers’ jobs is to interact with their visitors and to help inform them about various aspects of their gardens.

“We have thousands of visitors walk through the gardens and buy plants. As a garden head, we stand at our gardens to sell the plants, so we are able to talk with everyone who comes through.” Kania said. “I’ve gotten to talk to students, moms, community members and Hort Club alumni.”

The show is also a significant experience for those who participate. Senior in ACES Chloe Smith was so affected by her first experience with the show as a freshman that she decided to minor in horticulture. She then changed that minor to a double major and is planning to pursue a career in the field. For her fifth flower show, her garden will be modeled after Van Gogh’s “A Vase With 12 Sunflowers.”

“There is no experience that can compare. Watching people walk through a garden you designed with wonder and delight is a wonderful experience,” Smith said. “I can’t wait to share it with everyone and their moms.”

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