Bring Your Best to OCtech Foundation’s Flower Show

Showcase the best and the brightest from your very own yard at the Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College Foundation’s Home and Garden Symposium Flower Show on Wednesday, May 10.

The flower show, sponsored by the Orangeburg County Master Gardener Association, features nine categories celebrating the beauty of nature – specimen plants and houseplants; bulbs and rhizomes; roses; herbs and other edibles; annuals and perennials; shrubs and trees; vines, groundcovers and perennial grasses; informal mixed-cut arrangements; and vegetable plants grown from seed in 2017.

“Because of the warm winter, the late freeze and the abundant rains this week, flowers in the garden are blooming at unusual times,” said Linda McGannon, flower show chair. “We are expecting to see lots of beautiful specimens that we may not normally see in early May.”

Entry drop-off is 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. in the atrium of OCtech’s Math and Science Center. Complete flower show rules are available online at Click on the Home and Garden Symposium image on the homepage, then choose the “flower show guidelines” link next to the invitation image.

Display tables and risers will be the same as in years past, allowing more space for each entry. Coke bottles for individual stems and quart-sized mason jars for mixed arrangements will be available. Potted plants should be clean and free of any insects or disease.

Helping judge this year’s contest is Morgan Judy, a former Clemson Extension agent for Orangeburg County. First-, second- and third-place ribbons will be awarded in each category, and there will be an overall award for best in show. The best-in-show winner will receive two tickets to the 2018 Home and Garden Symposium. Winners will be announced during the speakers’ presentations in Roquemore Auditorium.

This year’s featured speakers are Rick Woodley of Woodley’s Garden Center and Amanda Spencer of Spencer Special Events, who will share their visions for the ultimate outdoor setting, and Sallie Porth of Sallie’s Greatest, who will offer drink and appetizer ideas using her herb-infused jams and simple syrups.

Woodley’s presentation will focus on new plants on the market and different uses for those plants.

“Backyards are just extensions of your house. It’s very important to have the right plants in the right locations,” he said. “That’s one thing we see a lot of people do wrong. They come into our garden centers and see beautiful plants, and they just start buying them without having a plan. They end up putting plants that love shade in full sun or sticking them in places that don’t really pull everything together with color and texture. If you have a master plan, you can avoid those mistakes.”

Guests will have the opportunity to explore the flower show and purchase plants – including those grown by OCtech’s Agriculture students – following the presentations. The day also features a silent auction and brunch catered by Buckridge Plantation.

Tickets to the Home and Garden Symposium are $45 per person. Funds raised assist in providing scholarships for deserving OCtech students and special projects at the college. This year’s signature sponsor is Super-Sod.

For more information or tickets, call the foundation office at 803-535-1246, email or visit

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