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Flower Power!

Oak Crest Garden Club heads to Philadelphia Flower Show

Created date

April 30th, 2009
Lifelong gardener Ann Crane is always looking for new places to stop and smell the roses. As chair of trip planning for the Oak Crest Garden Club, she plans garden-related road trips for its 150 members to places like the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., and Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania. "We ve probably taken more than 40 different trips altogether," says Crane. "I m always reading books and magazines, looking for new places to visit." This spring, 40 members from the Garden Club traveled to the Philadelphia Flower Show for an all-day botanical extravaganza. "It s just a beautiful, beautiful show. You can t beat it," says Crane. "There s so much to do, it s almost impossible to see everything unless you spend the whole day there." La dolce vita Produced by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, this year s flower show was themedBella Italia, or "beautiful Italy." Attendees meandered through thousands of plant and flower exhibits reminicent of the landscapes of ancient Rome, the Italian Riviera, Milan, and the rolling Tuscan countryside. Free demonstrations by gardening experts, culinary presentations by local celebrity chefs, live operatic performances, strolling musicians, costumed Italian actors, and free wine and food tastings were also on the menu. Oak Crest Garden Club member Robert Jennings says although all of the Garden Club trips he s attended have been "very, very good," this was one of the best. "Every single display was so beautiful, it was hard to decide which one was my favorite," says Jennings. An avid gardener, Jennings has been growing prize-winning dahlias for the last 40 years and started his own dahlia garden when he moved to Oak Crest in 2002. "They call me the dahlia man, " he says. "One of the biggest enjoyments I get out of my garden is seeing how much other people enjoy it." Green gifts Aside from traveling and tending to their own gardens, Garden Club members also donate their time and talents to green projects throughout Oak Crest. "We try to do anything we can to benefit the community, especially in a green way," says Crane. "We ve landscaped outside the chapel [and] around the greenhouse, and we started a daisy garden. We also donate flowers to the Scholar s Luncheon and prizes for the Halloween contest here at Oak Crest every year." Growing places This June, the Garden Club will be on the move once again to Cunningham Manor, a large mansion in Cockeysville owned by Dave Smith, CEO of Sinclair Broadcast Group. The property is designed in the fashion of Gertrude Jekyll, in a 1900s English-style garden. "We have visited some wonderful places a lot of them that people might not otherwise get the opportunity to see," says Crane. "It s a pleasure to be a part of it, and I m looking forward to many more trips."