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From the President

(*Annual Reports from previous years are archived here.)

President's Message (from the NEWS)

Dear Garden Club Members,

What a wonderful Woodland Enchantment was staged by our Flower Show Chairman, Cathy Ritch, and her fabulous team of workers! Every year the process seems to improve and the results reflect it. But it is only the dedication of the committee chairs and the hard work of all the additional volunteers they recruit that make the process work. And of course, the process means displaying all of the creative entries and beautiful horticulture supplied by all of you across the state. It was an outstanding show where we were blessed with great weather to attract the public. I sincerely hope you were able to attend or volunteer or enter!

Cathy and I were privileged to open the show with (left to right) Roger Swain, and Kristie Gonsalves, President of North East Expos, Inc., the producer of the show.


The creative staging of the show had a central focus of murals depicting deep mysterious forests. They were surrounded by live trees, and grassy paths, then dotted with woodland animals and birds. The scene was enhanced by background music with sounds of the forest, including owls hooting and the occasional thunder. Many sparkling and purple enchanted trees were scattered throughout the space.

Flower Show Staging Chair Paula Inglese, Flower Show Chair Cathy Ritch, and Federation President Jane Waugh.

This message would take the entire newsletter if I began to describe the work of each committee chair, but I sincerely thank each and every one of them. The committee list can be found at the end of this message. Thanks go not only for all the effort, but also for the great attitude. It's not very often that one hears, as I did at the show on Thursday, a committee chair who was having such a good time that she said her cheeks hurt from smiling so much!

I do want to mention a few items new at the show this year. We had fabulous new carts, and plenty of them, for moving around entries on arrival as well as for many other uses. We were part of Kristie's award reception on Thursday evening where, for the first time, we presented the award of Excellence for Landscape Design as judged by the Landscape Design Council. We've given it in the past but not as part of this formal presentation. Also new was that two of our top designers, Cathy Ritch and Trish Manfredi, were invited to give floral demonstrations as official speakers on the show agenda.

Members of the Landscape Design Council in front of the winner for Excellence in Landscape Design by Earth Tones Native Plant Nursery. Photo by Nancy Baker.

And finally, we initiated a People's Choice Award where all attendees could vote for their favorite design in the show. Look for photos and a list of all winners on our website's Flower Show page.

Other exciting events coming in March are Landscape Design School and another Idea Exchange Symposium, and in April, our Annual Meeting at Aqua Turf where new officers will be presented and we will enjoy a wonderful design presentation. Look for more details in articles below. I hope to see you at one of these events, the final ones of my two-year term of growing together with you.

Happy Spring!

* Jane

Flower Show Committee -
created and maintained our "Woodland Enchantment"

* Flower Show Chair - Cathy Ritch
* Second VP & Membership Chair - Arlene Field
* Schedule & Administration - Donna Nowak
* Staging Chair - Paula Inglese
* Floor Plan/Signs/Entry Cards - MaryEllen Unger
* Design Coordinator & Comment Cards - Kris Urbanik
* Design Classification - Eunice Lasala & Carol Martens
* Design Quality Control - Susan Petty-Bailer
* Horticulture Coordinator - Ronnie Schoelzel
* Horticulture Entries - Cindy Marien
* Horticulture Walk-In Entries - Cordalie Benoit
* Horticulture Classification - Jessica Fischer
* Horticulture Placement -Diane White
* Educational Exhibits Chair - Maureen Carson
* Photography Chair - Renee Marsh
* Judges Chair - Trish Manfredi
* Photography Judges Chair - Jeanette Barrows
* Clerks Chair - Margareta Kotch
* Awards Chair - Deb Vallas
* Treasurer - Shirley Hall
* Painting Chair - Karin Pyskaty
* Design Education Signage - Alice Luster
* Publicity Chair - Barbara Bosco
* Entries Facilitator - Jan Hickcox
* Name Tags - Cheryl Damiani
* Hostess/Hospitality Co-Chairs - Linda Brown & Beth Brunone
* Books Chair - Sally Kuslis


Photography by Ellie Tessmer. Collage by Inge Venus.



FGCCT Honors Jacqueline Connell

The Harbor Lights Were Shining Brightly at

Greetings Fellow Gardeners!

It might have been frigid outside, but it was warm and wonderful at The Federation's State Flower Show, "Ports of Call," Feb 19-22 at the CT Convention Center in Hartford. Inspired by exotic ports around the world, the Floral Designs were stunning, the Horticulture shimmered and the Photography and Special Exhibits were fascinating. Many, many thanks to Show Chair, Barbara Bruce, and her legions of Exhibitors, Judges, Hostesses and Volunteers. It took much more than a village to put on this visual and fragrant extravaganza. Visitors were transported in their imaginations to dreamy climes around the globe. Congratulations on its grand success to everyone who helped with the show and to all who entered designs, plants, photography and special exhibits-we thank you for the superb adventure.

Left to Right: Becky Paul passing the legacy on to "Ports of Call" Chair, Barbara Bruce; Opening ceremony with Roger Swain; North East Expos President Kristie Gonsalves; FGCCT President Jacqueline Connell and FS Chair Barbara Bruce;
Award of Horticultural Excellence and Grower's Choice Award for Clivia by Ginni Donovan, Cheshire GC and Suburban GC of Cheshire.

From Left to Right: Club Competition Award: Vignette "Adventures in Africa" by Evergreen GC; President Susan Fisher. Designers Susan Jackson, Sally Whipple. Missing from photo: Joan Merman and Rita Patrello. Section A, Class 3 "Coral Fringed Barbados" by Alice Luster. Designer's Choice Award; Terry Stoleson Creative Design Award; and Award of Design Excellence. Educational Top Exhibitor Award for "The Plight of the Magnificent Monarchs" by Pomperaug Valley GC; Designer Marty Sherman.

From left to Right: CT Photography Award to Susan Berensen for "Vacation Memories." Landscape Design Council Award presented to Creative Contours for Landscape #15.Artistic Crafts Award to Mary Pura, Danbury GC, for "Lei."

Photos by Becky Paul, Leslie Martino and Inge Venus.

Show Committee - The Crew

President - Jacqueline Connell
General Chairman, Schedule & Treasurer -
Barbara Bruce
Northeast Expos Liaison - Jane Waugh
Design Coordinator - Barbara Bosco
Horticulture Coordinator - Ronnie Schoelzel
Special Exhibits - Maureen Carson
Photography - Leslie Martino & Jacqueline Connell
Floor Plan - Alice & Duane Luster
Design Classification - Terry Stoleson & Maria Nahom
Horticulture Classification - Rodney Hayes & Felise Cressman
Staging - Pat Dray & MaryEllen Unger
Design Entries Facilitator - Jan Hickcox
Horticulture Entries - Cindy Marien
Painting - Kathrine Neville
Design Quality Control - Ellen Clarke
Horticulture Entries Facilitator - Cordalie Benoit
Horticulture Placement - Kathrine Neville
Signs & Entry Cards - MaryEllen Unger
Administration/Formatting - Donna Nowak
Judges - Trish Manfredi
Awards - Alison Feaster & Kathie Skinner
Walk-in Horticulture Entries - Ellie Tessmer
Judges Clerks - Margareta Kotch
Publicity - Rebecca Paul
Comment Cards - Kris Urbanik
Hospitality - Sophie Kelley
Hostesses - Cathy Ritch
Membership - Leslie Martino
Books - Nancy Cebik & Sally Kuslis


Connecticut Landscape Design School March 24-26

March in The Federation means another Landscape Design Study School is coming. Landscape Chair, Susan Laursen, and her committee will present Course I March 24-26. While the courses may be taken in any order, Course I is the perfect place to start. It covers such varied topics as the development of design, principles and elements of landscape design, including space and color, the site plan, the role of designers and available resources. We are delighted to be back in our "home away from home" at the CT Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven. Join us and learn how to integrate effective design into your home landscape or a club or town project.

SAVE THE DATE: April 15 for FGCCT's Annual Meeting at Aqua Turf

Please attend the State Annual Meeting at Aqua Turf in Plantsville on April 15 to inaugurate our new State President, Jane Waugh, and her in-coming Administration.

We are most fortunate to have Candace Morgenstern as our featured program speaker. Candace brings both a wealth of experience and a fresh approach to Floral Design. For years a Judge and National Board Member, former State President of RI, a leader of the American delegation of the World Association of Flower Arrangers (WAFA), Candace is sure to dazzle us with her innovative arrangements. Don't miss this very special opportunity to experience one of the East Coast's most accomplished designers.

Share the Best of Yourself: Be a Mentor

Many of our clubs will be changing officers and committee chairs this spring. If you hold one of these key positions, please help create a smooth transition and a nurturing environment by serving as a Mentor to your successor. You have spent the last couple of years or more learning the "tricks of the trade," the intricacies of your particular office--these are rich and vital commodities. When you take your successor under your wing, you, your successor, and your club will all be winners.

Happy Vernal Equinox, Happy Spring!

* Jacqueline Connell




So many clubs have been supportive of our Science Center Children’s Garden by sending in donations. We welcome other clubs to join in.
This endeavor will be so rewarding to families visiting the center. For a complete list of clubs that have donated check our website

A special thank you goes to Chair Dee Mozzocchi, and to Kathrine Neville and her committee for working on the exciting garden plans.



Copyright © The Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut, Inc.
Last updated
March 9, 2017