Horticultural Society flower show ‘still growing strong’
It’s annual flower show is the marquee event of the Jamaica Horticultural Society (JHS). It is where members of the society, from in and out of parish, supporters and patrons gather to see the best in show and buy flowering and non-flowering plants. It is a must-go-to for many people.
But, for three years it was a no-show. And you have guessed right. COVID-19 and its attendant vagaries struck it off people’s must-go list. No plant sales, no demonstrations, no display. It did not happen, at a time when some persons so desperately needed flowers in their lives, even for memorial purposes.
But, whatever happened to COVID-19? It is gone with the wind, we hope, giving the plants, especially the otherworldly beautiful ones time and space to be admired, and bask in their own resplendence on Saturday, April 29 and Sunday, April 30 when the show made its long-awaited return to the show grounds in Hope Pastures, St Andrew. It was held under the theme, ‘still growing stronger’.
And, of course there were the usual variety of plants, vendors’ booths, adult music, plant enthusiasts and their tag along wannabee, and the artisan corner. The activities over the two days included a lecture on ‘growing organically’ by Janice Duhaney, musical items by Jermaine Blake, Rafiq Williams and Shawn Richards; a lecture on ‘plant propagation and container gardening’ by Linton Neil, floral arrangement on display, a floral demonstration, and presentation of awards for the ‘bests in show’.
ACHIEVED ITS PURPOSE
Christine Williams, president of the JHS, said, “After a three-year break imposed by the COVID pandemic the JHS annual show resumed this year. The plants and floral designs were varied, and interesting. In addition, the vibrant colours streaming from the 40-plus sales stalls were a welcome sight to plant enthusiasts.
“The Creative Corner, with arts and craft, vintage cars, and live performances at the opening and closing ceremonies added to the interest. I am noting the areas where improvements are needed for future shows, but I can say with some satisfaction that the show achieved its purpose of being a memorable one,” she said.
Bindley Sangster, a senior adviser in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF), represented Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Pearnel Charles, Jr at the opening ceremony on Saturday. Making reference to the theme, Sangster said, “Strong horticulture, strong plants, strong agriculture” is the mandate at the MAF, so it begs the question, “What is happening with the agricultural and *aspects of the Society?”
He remarked that some people are into plants for the pleasure value, the love of them, but there are those who are interested in it for commercial opportunities. Thus, he said, the JHS needs “to step up” to the MAF and partner with it to explore potential commercial opportunities, especially with exports. “So, the JHS might want to let the MAF know how the Government can help it to expand potential commercial opportunities. What better way to grow strong,” he suggested.