Sunny side up: Beach-themed flower show coming to Bensalem

MATT SCHICKLING / WIRE PHOTO The Trevose Horticultural Society's annual flower show will be held this weekend with the theme, "Surf's Up." Above, an exhibit is shown from last year's event.

MATT SCHICKLING / WIRE PHOTO The Trevose Horticultural Society’s annual flower show will be held this weekend with the theme, “Surf’s Up.” Above, an exhibit is shown from last year’s event.

One of the largest flower shows in the tri-state area is opening in Bensalem this week.

The Trevose Horticultural Society’s annual standard flower show will return to the auditorium at St. Ephrem Catholic Church for a two-day run on Aug. 19 and 20.

Though much smaller than the Philadelphia Flower Show, which takes over the Pennsylvania Convention Center for a full week each spring, this show has consistently displayed about 600 entries in each of the last few years. That trend is expected to continue with this year’s “Surf’s Up” theme.

The show is nothing new to Bucks County. The Trevose Horticultural Society has been putting it on for 93 years, despite the group’s overall membership numbers falling from over 1,000 to about 50 in that span.

“They missed one show, and that was during World War II,” Show Chairperson Karen Wychock said.

One of the major goals for this year’s show is to perpetuate that longevity by getting local youth involved.

Wychock said students from the Bensalem School District will be participating in this year’s event.

“We’ve tried to change things up, getting the students involved,” she said. “We wanted to encourage them to garden and hopefully become members.”

Bensalem School District runs an art program at the senior center through the summer. Wychock volunteered to guide the class through a floral arrangement lesson during the last week in July. From there, she picked up 25 entries from students in grades three through six.

In addition to the student entries are several beach-themed categories. For example, the “Message in a Bottle” entries will feature underwater designs. “Beach Comber” arrangements will relate the shapes, forms and colors of objects found on beaches. For the “Surfin’ Bird” category, entrants will depict shore birds using all plant material displayed within shadow boxes.

In addition to those and other categories, Wychock put together informative displays meant to highlight issues of environmental awareness.

One exhibit called “SHELL-abration” will feature shells commonly found on Sanibel Island in Florida, one of the top shelling destinations in the world. Last week, Wychock was actually vacationing there, collecting shells and preparing for the exhibit.

Another exhibit Wychock is preparing is “SUN-ny Side Up!,” which will highlight the history and healthy products produced by sunflowers.

Christine Dopp of Mountain Top, Pennsylvania will also be presenting “Keep Off the Dunes,” a conservation exhibit that emphasizes the sand dune plants native to the U.S. and their importance to beach ecosystems.

Exhibits like these are common to the Trevose Horticultural Society’s monthly meetings, where local gardening experts present on topics of interest to the groups.

The show is the culminating event of each year, though the group’s overall mission is to educate, generate community involvement, promote gardening and teach self-sustainment. It’s also just a venue for gardeners to get together and talk shop.

For those interested, the garden show offers a glimpse into what locals can do and how they can get involved in it.

“If they want to come to a meeting or learn something more about gardening or just to admire the work at the show, we’re there as a resource,” Wychock said. “Everybody has a different reason for walking in.”

The Trevose Horticultural Society annual standard flower show will take place on Aug. 19 from 4 to 8 p.m. and Aug. 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the St. Ephrem Catholic Church auditorium, 5400 Hulmeville Road in Bensalem. Admission is free.

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