In January 1938, the Garden Club announced plans to initiate something new, supplant their usual small garden exhibits in slat houses with seven permanent demonstration gardens. Completed the following month next to The Society of the Four Arts’ new building, in time for their flower show, these gardens were created as a place where residents and visitors could study and appreciate plantings suitable for different architectural styles and landscape settings. While the gardens have endured various restorations and alterations, the essence of the original gardens remains intact.
Fast forward 83 years and The Garden Club of Palm Beach, with its biennial Garden Club of America (GCA) sanctioned flower show on ice, opted to create something novel, a locally-produced event with the GCA’s standards of excellence but without the categories, awards, trophy cups, ribbons, certificates, and competitive judging.
While some may not be able to imagine a flower show without a judge’s pithy comments, for example, “A winner … just not in the category it was entered.” Or “Merits an honorable effort but simply not enough for an Honorable Mention award.”
Nonetheless, considering the ongoing ennui from public health concerns, Mary Pressly, the Garden Club’s president, sensed the town, as well as the club’s members, would welcome a shared endeavor in a safe alfresco setting and proceeded to organize the outdoor weekend flower show enhanced with 33 exhibitions and highlighted by Friday night’s opening reception. Voila!
On with show!
April 9, 2021 – 6:00 pm
Garden In Bloom Preview Reception
“Each floral interpretation or design has been inspired by a specific sculpture, garden element or vista in the garden. Some are literal interpretations, while others are more contemporary or figurative. Then there some simply decorative and/or created just for fun.” — Mary Pressly
Horticulture & Orchids @ Pannill Pavilion
The Philip Hulitar Sculpture Garden
The Garden Club of Palm Beach House & Garden Day returns March 6, 2022!
Garden Club sponsors Tidal Garden @ Bradley Park
However predictable, the high tides that flood sections of Palm Beach’s mainland continue to be of concern, especially directly along the Intracoastal Waterway since during the past century much of it was filled-in to accommodate residential and commercial buildings.
Last month, The Garden Club of Palm Beach dedicated the Bradley Park Tidal Garden to the Town of Palm Beach, an engineered retention pond and drainage system designed by SMI Landscape Architecture aimed at redirecting the effects of seasonal king tides.
In an interview with The Palm Beach Daily News, Mary Pressly, president of The Garden Club of Palm Beach, said “The waters are rising. There is no stopping it. Instead of fighting mother nature, we are working with her. The project is a gift to the town from the club.”
PHOTOGRAPHY by AUGUSTUS MAYHEW