For five years, the Overlook Elementary School has participated in the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Junior Flower Show. Ellen Brown, the second grade teacher at Overlook, plays a big role in the school’s involvement. The Junior Flower Show has been in existence since 1975, yet it wasn’t until 2014 that they brought the show out to the schools. Overlook Elementary was one of the first contestants to do so, and with Brown at their side.
The Jr. Flower Show is a Horticultural Exhibition for school age children in the Philadelphia area. The program encourages active participation in gardening, and sustainable practices. The free program fosters an awareness of horticulture and the natural environment amongst youth.
Over 300 students from kindergarten to sixth grade partake in this event. Mrs. Brown, a horticultural enthusiasts, and PHS volunteer, works with the Overlook Elementary children throughout the school year, encouraging them to be more knowledgeable about the environment. The students work on their pieces at recess or any free time they might have during the school day.
In addition, Brown takes her students each year on a school trip to Kremp Florist in Willow Grove. One of the owners, Drew Kremp, organizes a mini workshop for the Overlook Elementary students, in which they all learn how to design their own professional floral arrangement. He teaches them some fun facts about the flowers that they will be utilizing in the arrangements. Kremp discussed such topics like an oasis with the students and demonstrated how the foam in the flower arrangements serves as the same purpose.
At Kremp Florist
This year’s theme, which is always correlated with the Philadelphia Flower Show, is “Water Works”. To compete, students can enter either horticultural or artistic entries. The children submit works that enhance the importance of water in our world.
Ellen Brown is thrilled to unveil the children’s exhibits this year. With the use of Xeriscape plants, which require very little to no water, the students were able to create such things as succulent planters and terrariums. As for the artistic entries, they created wearable art for mermaids and designed headbands and necklaces out of shells. There’s also a fabulous display of birdbaths and mobiles made out of recycled goods, mosaic art made from grains, and botanical prints drawn by the children.
Johanna Schoeller, the events manager at the Pennsylvania Horticultural society, along with her crew of volunteers, are the judges for the Jr. Flower Show, and work the Philadelphia Flower Show as well. They travel to each school and evaluate the exhibits. They supply feedback and awards to the students for their participation and creativity. One student from each school will receive a “Best in Show”award. The recipient of this award will have their work displayed at the Philadelphia Flower Show, March 3 through March 11, 2018, and will also be given two tickets for admission.
Joahanna Schoeller Pennsylvania Horticultural Society