Garden Club of Johnstown to showcase plants in 'A Patriotic Summer'

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Jul. 28—JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — The vibrancy of nature's colors and a passion for creativity will be displayed during an upcoming flower show.

"A Patriotic Summer," a biennial flower show by the Garden Club of Johnstown, will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Westmont Presbyterian Church, 610 Luzerne St., Johnstown.

The show will feature horticultural exhibits and floral designs by club members that are aimed at creating a learning experience and generating an interest in those areas in the Johnstown region.

Rani Murali, chairwoman of the flower show, said after COVID-19 canceled the 2021 show, organizers are eager to welcome back the event.

"People with the club have been doing this for years and we missed each other and the event," she said.

"It did give us a break and we are all fresh, but when you can come together under one roof, it's wonderful and it's always fun."

She said the flower show requires six months to a year of planning.

"The flower show chair and committee works on the location of the venue, size of the hall, size of the properties and water sources," Murali said.

"Our program book provides details for members to display their designs. All this is judged in detail."

This year's theme features not only red, white and blue plants and flowers, but room and table decora- tions.

"This is the first time in western Pennsylvania that anyone has done this theme," Murali said.

The show is divided into five categories — horticulture, botanical arts, photography, illuminary designs and underwater designs.

Horticulture will feature samples of plants that club members have grown, including annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs and terrariums.

"They can't go to a nursery and pick up a plant," Murali said.

"We choose plants that are growing right now."

The botanical arts category will showcase items created using a variety of flowers, which include hat designs, and pressed or dried flowers framed or displayed in 3-D art and botanical jewelry.

"People are doing jewelry and using pressed flowers and they're making bouquets," Murali said.

Photography will consist of images with a patriotic theme taken by members.

"There's photos of July 4th celebrations and photos demonstrating some kind of act, veterans walking with flags," Murali said.

Illuminary design incorporates lights for special effects.

"In part of the design, you will see the actual light," Murali said.

Underwater design showcases plant materials submerged in water.

"Certain plants can't be underwater because of how they are structured and you don't want them to fall to the bottom," Murali said.

An education table will instruct the public in specific garden-related topics as well as proper care for flags.

The show will be judged prior to the public viewing.

"The judges are looking for perfection," Murali said.

A variety of awards will be presented, including Horticulture Excellence, Collectors Showcase, Grower's Choice, Design Excellence, Designer's Choice, Petite and Tricolor.

"We also have seven awards that the Garden Club of Johnstown will give," Murali said.

She said this year's show will feature a couple hundred entries from Garden Club of Johnstown members.

"This year, we have six new members, but there are still people who don't know about the flower show, so we put this out in the public so people can learn more about how it's done," Murali said.

There is no fee to attend the flower show, but donations will be accepted.

The Garden Club of Johnstown, which was federated in 1931, meets from 10 a.m. to noon the second Monday of the month at Westmont Presbyterian Church.