It is the Olympics of flower judging. The Garden Club of Frankfort’s (TGCF) annual flower show “Color-bration” has all the color, competition and excitement of the Olympic games. This year, the site of the show on May 17 was the historic Old Governor’s Mansion grounds.
The show was open to all members of the Garden Club and invited exhibitors from The Franklin County Council of Garden Club. The 107 entries were scored according to the National Garden Club’s standard.
Like the Olympics, entries are scored on stringent scoring guidelines. Entries are grouped together in divisions such as horticulture, design, education, youth sponsored groups and botanical Arts. To win a blue ribbon, the entry must score at least 95 points.
The Garden Club of Frankfort is a member of the National Garden Clubs, Inc., South Atlantic Region, The Garden Club of Kentucky, Inc., Bluegrass District. Karen Nance is President of the TGCF.
“We are so excited to host the garden show this year,“ Nance said, “especially in the shadow of the pandemic. It’s as if Kentucky opened up like a flower, showing us a beautiful spring.”
Carcille Carloftis Burchett, of Corbin, was one of the judges for the show. She is the new president of The Garden Club of Kentucky (GCK) and is the sister of nationally acclaimed designer Jon Carloftis. Burchett and other judges, including former president Donna Smith, of Middlesboro, were treated to a luncheon at the historic Old Governor’s Mansion.
When asked why she wanted to be president of the GCK, Burchett said, “I wanted to continue the national work that Donna had begun,” referring to Donna Smith’s project to plant native plants on Kentucky’s highways, which is slated to go forward soon.
“Plant America” is the national theme focusing on gardens and gardening, and grants are available for local projects. Visit the National Garden Club’s website for more info.
In addition to a panel of seasoned judges, two student judges, accompanied the group to learn the intricacies of flower judging. Sharon Burcham of Burlington, who was a judge in training, stressed the level of difficulty of the courses.
“I have to take my horticulture test soon,” she said, remarking on one level she was completing. Judges must have knowledge to review entries based on items such as plant identification, maturity and size, condition, grooming and staging. Design entries are looked at for application of design principals, selection of components and expression.
Lillian Lindsey, an early environmentalist and librarian in Frankfort, founded TGCF in 1924. The objectives of the club are to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening; to aid in the protection of native plants, trees, and birds; to encourage home gardening and civic planting; and to work for the preservation of Frankfort’s beauty. TGCF currently has 79 members. Those interested in joining TGCF may visit the club’s website gardenclubky.org for more information.
In addition to the annual flower show, TGCF conducts the annual Home and Garden Tour, maintains seven community gardens, sponsors educational workshops and hosts the annual pumpkins and mum sale. There are also scholarships available through the State and National Garden Club. The club also celebrates National Garden Week June 6-12 with floral displays in local businesses.