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Three Village Garden Club

By Cayla Rosenhagen

Cayla Rosenhagen

For almost a century, the Three Village Garden Club has been uniting the community with its passion for flora, education, and support for worthy causes.

On September 17, I attended the Garden Club’s “See you in September!” flower show at the Neighborhood House in Setauket. As I entered, I was instantly entranced by the vibrant floral displays decorating every corner of the historic building. Delicate, brightly colored arrangements adorning the fireplace mantle and tables welcomed me into the exhibit. This welcome was mirrored by the warmhearted hospitality of the club members.

Joan Roehrig, a member of the club for ten years, offered to give me a tour. She explained that each division of the show, Horticulture, Educational, and Design, as well as some special exhibitions, were meticulously judged by experts earlier that day. In addition to the members’ contributions to the show, the club was very grateful for the floral designs donated by local florists, including James Cress, Village Florist and Events Stony Brook, Setauket Floral Design, and Stop & Shop’s Floral Designs by Jennifer.

Our first stop on the tour was the Horticulture room, which was organized into spectacular arrangements of perennials, annuals, herbs, fruits, and vegetables all grown in the members’ backyards. The Best in Show for this category was Patricia Bany’s exquisite combination planting of succulents.  

In the Educational division, there were multiple displays regarding various floral topics, including native plants and the history of the Garden Club. Not only were they informative, but they were also so elegantly presented. The Best in Show for this division was a comprehensive, educational project board and floral arrangements piece by Donna Hill. Entitled “Floral Design Techniques,” it displayed numerous methods used in flower arranging.

The Design category consisted of multiple sub-divisions, including Multi-Rhythmic, Tapestry, Table Centerpieces, and Art Interpretation classifications. Each piece radiated creativity and innovation. Arrangements varied in style from classical to contemporary, and each displayed a strong proficiency in their craft. The Best in Show for Design was earned by Vikki Bellias.

As I spoke to the participants in the show, they were eager to share their knowledge and love for flora and the Garden Club. Joan expressed one of her favorite experiences with the club has been the December Greenery Boutique. It’s an annual event where members gather during the holidays to create festive wreaths and decorations, later to be sold to the community.

Martina Matkovic, a member for about 6 years, described how the members regularly meet over tea and sandwiches to discuss various matters and attend lectures together. This teatime tradition goes back almost a century to the times of Jennie Melville, the club’s founder in the 1920s. From its inception, the club played an important role in the community through local beautification and support for causes such as employment during the Depression and clean water availability. Later, they took part in war relief efforts during World War II. The club continues to support environmental and educational movements and even offers horticulture scholarships and camps to students. 

The Three Village Garden Club is always looking for new members. No green thumb or gardening experience is required, as it is an educational group. If you are interested in becoming a member, please contact the club’s president, Karin Ryon at (631) 813-5390.

Pixabay photo

By Martina Matkovic

The Three Village Garden Club welcomes you as their guest on Friday, September 17th, when members will have an opportunity to display their creative talents in floral design and horticulture. Many hours of careful preparation and planning will culminate in a Small Standard Flower Show at the Neighborhood House, 95 Main Street, Setauket. No charge to the public, doors will be open from 2 to 6 p.m.

The following quotation from Sandra H. Robinson, past President of the National Garden Club, eloquently states the purpose of executing a flower show: 

An award winning design from the TVGC’s June 2017 flower show. Photo by Karin Steil

“One of the basic urges of mankind is the desire to create. Creative flower arranging is an art form in which the artist’s vision is expressed through the use of plant materials. Using the elements and principles of design, the artist strives to achieve the following attributes- beauty, harmony, distinction and expression. Flower shows provide a unique opportunity for floral designers, horticulturists, judges and the viewing public to become an integral part of the creative process.”

The show, titled “See You in September,” promises to be a spectacular visual experience. It is an opportunity to  find out about the club’s contributions to the community, with its emphasis on the importance of the use of native plantings and gardening techniques that help to protect the environment. Guests are encouraged to take a short walk to Frank Melville  Memorial Park where they may access the Arboretum, acquired by  the garden club in 1985 and maintained for the past 36 years. A map of the Arboretum will be available.

As guests arrive they will receive a printed guide to help navigate through the three parts of the juried show. Division 1, Horticulture,  will display cut specimens from the garden, fruits and vegetables, cut specimens from fruiting or flowering trees and shrubs, and container plants. Come see what a Blue Ribbon cucumber looks like!

An award winning design from the TVGC’s June 2017 flower show. Photo from Karin Steil

Division ll, comprised of four classes, will highlight members’ creative talents in floral design. Class 2 of this division, aptly named “Reflections and Inspirations,” will challenge those members who choose to enter by  creating a floral design that interprets the subject of a painting. The actual paintings will be hung nearby the corresponding design, inviting the viewer to observe. The artists who have loaned their works for this class are Patty Yantz, “The Sentinel”; Renee Caine, “Approaching Storm”; Eleanor Meier, “Winter Pears and Kimono”; and Robert Roehrig, “Dock Reflections.” 

Finally, but certainly not least, in Division lll guests will enjoy an exhibit that displays the club’s many contributions to the community with an emphasis on education and respect for our environment. This section also includes invitational exhibits solicited from florists and businesses in the community.  

Members who decide to participate will be judged for their entries, receive points and be awarded ribbons according to the National Garden Club System of Awarding.  The judging will be done in advance of the opening to the public and ribbons will be on display.

Please come and enjoy the beauty of the show, see what your neighbors and friends in the garden club are doing , and perhaps be inspired to join us. Our membership is open to all. For further information, please call 631 751-2743.

Author Martina Matkovic is a member of the Three Village Garden Club.