Audrey Lambert designed a flower arrangement using carnations for the Shelby Gardeners Club flower show.

Audrey Lambert designed a flower arrangement using carnations for the Shelby Gardeners Club flower show.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Shelby Township gardeners host biennial flower show

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published September 16, 2019


SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Shelby Gardeners Club recently hosted its biennial flower show at the Shelby Township Library, and it was full of creativity, blooms and bright colors.

The show was open to the public Sept. 12-14 to view arrangements that featured a variety of different plants and flowers.

Many of the arrangements were made of plants that were grown in the garden club members’ own gardens. The members had descriptive notes they submitted about their arrangements next to the displays.

Garden club members create floral expressions centered around a theme for each show. The flower show last week had the theme of “Flowers from the Heart,” which gave members the opportunity to showcase things that they felt came from the heart.

There were flowers such as carnations, hydrangeas and sunflowers, and garden food such as carrots, kale and more made into little creations.

Some members’ husbands contributed by designing the boxes in which the flowers were displayed.

Audrey Lambert, a member of the garden club, said her husband designed a stand to hold her flower vases neatly, which held carnations.

“My wooden vase holder was handmade by my husband — a gift to me from the heart,” she said.

She also explained what her flowers meant to her.

“I picked these carnations because they spoke to me of colors I love, beautiful shapes and smells. I love to just feel the pedals of flowers and marveled at their creation. Carnations remind me of the past. I remember my mother pinning a corsage on my dress. Memories of that special occasion will last forever in my heart. To me, flowers are happiness,” said Lambert.

Ivy Schwartz, who handles media relations for the garden club, said she really enjoys the flower show every two years. She said she learned a lot from this year’s show.

Her arrangement was also on display and contained a wooden box that her husband designed in the shape of a heart.

“What I learned from this experience was that it’s different what the flowers look like outside, but to cut them in advance 24-48 hours; not all flowers are cut flowers. So the primary go-tos would be the geraniums and marigolds and sunflowers. This time I added for textural interest … the seed heads of a gray-headed coneflower, and it added dimension. So it was just interesting to see even the Vinca Vine and the sweet potato vines worked marvelously to last three to five days. Some, however, didn’t make it. The begonia big I tried at home, and it looked droopy. You want to make sure they are thriving, not surviving,” said Schwartz.

She said she designed her arrangement three days prior to the show, and her husband made the box earlier this year. She used water-soaked green foam and poked holes in it to create the piece.

Something she learned was to not put flowers in pre-poked holes in the green foam and to cut flowers at a slant so that they absorb more surface area.

Cheryl Sypniewski, the newly elected president of the club, had a lovely basket with a heart-shaped flower cake with fall flower colors and heart-shaped teacups with tea in them on display. Tea is her favorite beverage, and all parts of the display were given “from the heart.”

The club is always looking for people to join in on the fun. Founded in 1973, the Shelby Gardeners Club does charity work and hosts its garden walk fundraiser in July every other year, which is the club’s biggest fundraiser. The brick walkways, planted beds, gazebo, statuary and fairy garden in Heritage Gardens are supported by the club’s fundraisers, ranging from the garden walk to craft and plant sales.

The club also hosts many free community lectures and events throughout the year to educate and share gardening joy.

For more information about the club, visit