OCtech Foundation Flower Show Highlights the Colors of Spring at Annual Symposium

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 9.

The flower show 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 2018.

Gardeners of all levels are invited and encouraged to participate. Any item out of your yard – from magnolia leaves and blooms to herbs and mixed arrangements – that has been in your possession for at least six weeks is eligible for entry.

“This is the perfect opportunity to share the beautiful flowers and plants growing in your yard, garden and home,” said Linda McGannon, flower show chair. “It should be a good year for blooms and greenery. The rain and cool spring temperatures are encouraging and should allow for a nice variety of flowers and shrubs.”

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 here.

In order to give your specimens the best presentation possible, McGannon said it is best to cut flowers the night before the show and place them in water. Master Gardeners will be on hand to help categorize and label your plants.

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

Helping judge this year’s contest is Morgan Judy Sass, regional vice president of AgSouth Farm Credit, ACA, and a former Clemson Extension agent for Orangeburg County, and Amy Dabbs, Clemson Extension horticulture agent and Master Gardener coordinator for Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. 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 2019 Home and Garden Symposium. Winners will be announced during the speakers’ presentations in Roquemore Auditorium.

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 blanchardmr@octech.edu or visit www.octech.edu.