Members of Greenwood Garden Club will showcase their talents in an upcoming flower show.

“We the People,” a patriotic-themed standard National Garden Clubs flower show, will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 25, at the Post 29 American Legion.

The event is free and open to the public.

“Greenwood Garden Club traditionally sponsors a flower show every other year, and one of the main reasons we do this is to educate the public,” said Debby Cooper, a member of Greenwood Garden Club and co-chair of the flower show. “It is a way to show off our members’ creative talents and their horticulture successes, but it’s not just for us. We do it for the public, too, and for their viewing enjoyment.”

The flower show will include 36 floral designs focusing on patriotic themes. The themes include “The Sounds of Patriotism,” patriotic songs; “Who We Honor,” branches of the armed services; and “Where We Fought,” mountains, beaches and sea.

“I love seeing all the different designs,” said Greenwood Garden Club President Caroline Colquett.

She said participants can interpret each section and class theme in different ways.

“For ‘You’re A Grand Old Flag,’ you can have four totally different designs,” Colquett said.

The flower show will include four divisions — horticulture, design, botanical arts and education. Each division has different sections and classes.

Members will exhibit a variety of horticulture specimens that have been carefully selected from their own gardens. This division includes six sections with 80 classes — the most in the show.

“The reason we have horticulture is to show people all of the different kinds of plant material that are available to you and that you can grow in this area,” said Lark Brown, a Greenwood Garden Club member who is co-chairing the event with Cooper. “The botanical names are there so you can make sure you get the right plant. The same common name is given to lots of different plants. If you know the botanical name, there’s only one name for one plant, so it’s really helpful.”

In addition, there will be a competitive photography section showcasing the U.S. flag, local monuments and Delta crops.

The event’s educational exhibits will feature information about flag etiquette and Blue Star Memorial markers.

The garden club decided on a patriotic theme not only because of the event being held at the Legion Hut but also because the club is holding a dedication ceremony of the recently installed Blue Star Memorial marker at the show site. The ceremony will be held prior to the flower show at 1 p.m., and the public is invited to attend.

Greenwood has two Blue Star Memorial markers — one at the Garden Clubs of Mississippi Inc. State Headquarters on Market Street and the newly installed one on East Claiborne Avenue.

Only garden clubs that are members of the National Garden Clubs organization can purchase and install a Blue Star Memorial marker.

“This is a National Garden Clubs program that we do to honor veterans,” said Brown.

The Blue Star Memorial program honors all men and women who serve in the U.S. armed services. This program began with the planting of 8,000 dogwood trees by the New Jersey Council of Garden Clubs in 1944 as a living memorial to veterans of World War II.

In 1945, the National Council of State Garden Clubs adopted this program and began a Blue Star highway system that covers thousands of miles across the continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii. A large metal Blue Star Memorial highway marker was placed at appropriate locations along the way.

Today, the program has expanded to include all men and women who have served, are serving or will serve in the armed forces. Memorial markers and byway markers were added to the highway markers to be used at locations such as national cemeteries, parks, veterans’ facilities and gardens.

The Blue Star became an icon in World War II and was seen on flags and banners in homes for sons and daughters away at war and in churches and businesses.

“This program has been active all through the years to the present, a fitting tribute to our armed forces,” Cooper said.

The dedication will include several local veterans. Legionnaire Johnny Favara and Colquett will speak.

Brown said the flower show is also a great opportunity to visit the Legion Hut for those who have never been inside or have only been there to vote.

“It’s a wonderful building, and it’s got so much history in it,” she said. “The back wall has a picture of every single person in Leflore County who served in World War II, and it’s in alphabetical order. ... I saw my dad and my two uncles.”

A National Garden Clubs sanctioned flower show means the club goes by the national rules. Judges from south and east Mississippi will serve at the event and select the competition’s winners.

Greenwood Garden Club has been working on the upcoming show since last September

“New members have been practicing with our monthly flower shows at our meetings,” said Colquett.

The monthly flower shows provided a way for new members to practice design and receive instruction, feedback and pointers.

For new garden club member Dr. Melynda Noble, this is her first flower show to compete.

“I am excited about it,” she said. “I’m excited about playing with the designs for sure.”

The flower show serves as a creative outlet for the members and is a time of camaraderie.

“We get together the day before the show when we set it up,” said Brown. “When you do a design by yourself, there’s a great deal of angst. So when we do it together — if you travel with a design that’s already made, by the time you get there, it’s rocked out of place — we can always go, ‘What do you think? Am I crazy?’ They’ll go, ‘No, I think that’s great.’ It’s a confidence builder, and it’s more fun to do things together.”

Although the members each submit their own contest entries, they all support each other.

“It’s competitive, but not really, because you want to see everyone do well,” said Colquett.

Contact Ruthie Robison at 581-7233 or rrobison@gwcommonwealth.com.

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