The Gardeners PHS Flower Show Reputation Repeats in 2019

Our Club Exhibit

We once again celebrate our members who entered and won many awards in the 2019 Pennsylvania Horticulture Flower Show and who once again had to fight Mother Nature.

Congratulations to Bonnie Buchak, Regina Voit Baime, Barbara Geltosky, DeeDee Heyward, Eileen Longacre, Liz Mercogliano, Judi Garst, Sidney Spahr and Wyn Coghlan. This photo from Barbara Geltosky celebrates our third place finish in the Window Sill– “Window-still”– exhibit at the Philadelphia Flower Show!”



Donaldson Award

I pressed Deb Donaldson for some insight on the club wins. Here are her thoughts:

“Team Donaldson was thrilled to contribute 2,648 points to The Gardeners quest of once again winning the coveted Margaret Buckley Zantzinger Award. It’s a group effort with Sidney verifying at least 3 of our talented incredible floral design members exhibit, and me verifying at least three members exhibit at least one plant in the Hamilton Horticulture court. I’m proud to be a member of such a terrific club!

Each year I am amazed , and honored, to be part of my team, as we accomplish the process of submitting plants for judging in such an efficient manner. Their abundance of talents, complimentary skills, commitment, and our shared communication ( lots of good humor…yes jokes and laughter even at 5:45 arrival ), have made us the most dynamic and capable group I feel ( and numerous horticulture chairs have echoed) to walk the horticulture court! Without this amazing incredible group of friends willing to create the time, find the energy, and lose sleep, it would be simply impossible to enter as many plants.

PHS Luncheon Award

Sample of Donaldson Entry

Another Sample of Donaldson Entry

Team Donaldson includes The Gardeners members Binney McCague, Lyn Marinchak, Sarah Collier and Cathy Decker. Additionally, recently retired Bill Collier joined us two early mornings this year. He was masterful !

While one would feel Mother Nature would bless the Philadelphia Flower Show with clear skies, and seasonal or above temps, she once again caused anxiety with bitter cold and frozen roads–forcing us for third year in a row to decrease planned entries and lose even more sleep. Nonetheless 394 plants were judged. I was thrilled to win the Far Out Cactus award for the first time, and also gather 3 Philadelphia Cactus and Succulent Society best day rosettes and The Gerald S. Barad award for outstanding blue ribbon winner in cactus and succulent classes….GO TEAM…WE ROCKED THE CENTER!” (You sure did Deb.)


Dora the Designer

In addition, I asked Dora Rogers why she didn’t enter the jewelry class as she often does and here is what she had to say:  “For the first time in 30 years I didn’t enter the Show as part of a Gardeners team or individually!

Days before the Show I was asked if I’d like to volunteer. Since “no” has rarely been part of my vocabulary in the volunteer world, I said “Yes!”

I suddenly became co-chair of the Designers Studio. I loved working with Margo Eremus and Tony Volpe. All was going along fine until Friday when 2 presenters bowed out and we needed 1 fill-in. With 90 seconds notice, I had a microphone on and was on stage creating an arrangement in a competition with 2 professional floral designers. Needless to say, mine was not the people’s choice winner, but I was able to channel all of the Judges’ comments from Gardeners flier shows.

Now it’s back to Botanical Art and staying behind the curtain.”


Pam Thompson reported some of this earlier, but I will report again:

Spahr/Jones Entry

Fernandez First Place

Coghlan/Spahr Entry

Georgia O’Keefe captured the Niche for Coghlan_Spahr

We had three Niche winning arrangements:

• Sidney Spahr and Wyn Coghlan
• Sidney Spahr and JoAnne Jones (Our Garden Club of Philadelphia and Vicinity)
• Pat Hamilton Fernandez.




Binney Award

Binney First

Geltosky Entry











Marinchak Entry

Marinchak Entry

Also Barbra Geltosky won one Second, one Third and three Honorable Mentions! Binney McCague won three thirds. Lyn Marinchak added: Her plant is called Christmas Carol–an Aloe–given to her as a birthday gift 3 years ago from Binney McCague. They watched it gro

w and finally Deb thought this is the year to try and enter. Ln said it was sound advice from a pro. She was overjoyed with her 24 points.


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