Garden club members have novel idea for Thursday's flower show


August 16, 1996|By Christy Kruhm | Christy Kruhm,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

FOR GARDENERS, it's a daily battle against Japanese beetles, weeds and unpredictable weather.

The flower bud that seems days away from flowering suddenly pops open in the morning sun, reaching its full potential unexpectedly and leaving the gardener to search for another to take its place.

That's the dilemma facing some members of Mount Airy Garden Club as they prepare for the club's first flower show in years. The event, "A Novel Idea," will be held Thursday at Mount Airy branch library.

Hundreds of annual and perennial flowers are needed to fill arrangements. Only the finest specimens of flowers, vegetables and herbs will be entered in several horticulture and design divisions.

Carole VanGosen will enter her tomatoes, green beans, beets, onions and squash from her acre garden in the horticulture division.

Other classes within the horticulture division include annuals, perennials and herbs. VanGosen intends to enter them all with zinnias, cosmos, marigolds, black-eyed Susans, coneflowers and sedums. Then there's her herbs, some aromatic, some medicinal and others with culinary purposes.

The show's design division requires the artistic use of flowers in arrangements. Tying in with the show's title, "A Novel Idea," participants are asked to read a novel in a selected category and then design their arrangement to fit the story. Strict guidelines concerning the shape and size of the arrangement must be followed.

Helen Hawthorne, flower club president, plans to use fresh flowers from her garden in an Oriental-style arrangement based on the novel "Mrs. Pollifax on the China Station." A prized large red hibiscus flower, surrounded by assorted zinnias, will provide the Oriental feel.

After reading the historical novel "The Lace Makers," club member Joyce Stone knew that the Queen Anne's lace she had dried from her shade garden would be the perfect choice for her arrangement.

Teacup arrangements, based on the book "Alice in Wonderland," are in a design category for junior garden club members. The junior club is open to elementary students who have an interest in flowers and gardens. They meet monthly under the guidance of VanGosen and Marilyn Potter.

The flower show is free and open to the public. Hours are from 1: 30 p.m. to 8: 30 p.m.

Information: Helen Simpson, 829-0144

Amazon trip changes student

Earlier this summer, I wrote about Molly Cage and her plans to spend six weeks in the Amazon as part of a medical missionary internship.

Molly recently returned and said her experience has changed how she sees different cultures.

"I can't go back to living in my own little space in Mount Airy," said Molly, a junior at the University of Richmond. "I look at things with more of a global perspective. I have to help."

Even though she's been home a week, Molly is experiencing what she calls "reverse culture shock."

Living without running water and electricity and shopping in stores stocked only with minimal items, Molly has learned to be grateful for what she has.

"People here are used to having so much, they just don't realize how much they do have," she said.

Molly's first weeks in Brazil were spent in the Labrea, where she and other students spent much of their time visiting a hospital.

Molly was surprised at how primitive the hospitals were. Operations were performed without the aid of X-rays. Family members often were asked to serve as nurses and attend the sick. Sterile conditions were at best "so-so."

Molly and her group also spent time visiting people with leprosy, a disease that she didn't think existed anymore.

A medical boat served as Molly's home for a week and a half. Its location on the Purus River in the Amazon meant Molly and the others had to deal with bugs.

"There were lots of bugs. We were eaten alive. I itched all the time," she said.

Molly has good memories, too.

"Pink dolphins," she said. "There were bright pink freshwater dolphins swimming in the Purus River. It was really amazing to see."

Christy Kruhm's Southwest Carroll Neighborhood column appears each Friday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 8/16/96

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