by Kathy Niver, Awards Committee Chairperson
A new spring and a new decade can bring new opportunity, potential and inspiration to the garden. This was evident from the moment you entered this year’s Flower & Garden Show. The displays delighted gardeners with all kinds of possibilities for their home landscape and habitat. Choosing just one for the CT Hort Best in Show Award was truly challenging.
After careful consideration, Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC) won the unanimous vote from the CT Hort judges. They excelled in every category that CT Hort judges look for: Educational value, horticultural interest, good design, effective use of plant material and inspiration to a home gardener. The exuberance and enthusiasm that NVCC’s display elicited from all who saw it was compelling. Under the tutelage of Chris Tuccio, Asst. Professor of Horticulture and Mark Schwartz, Academic Asst. to Horticulture, NVCC students in the Horticultural Program and in the Agro Bio Club created a work of art. All plants (except trees) were grown by students. All materials were salvaged and repurposed. This was an outstanding example of what can be done with little-to-no-money and lots of imagination and talent.
Congratulations to NVCC and sincere thanks to an extraordinary team of judges: Jacklyn Stupienski, recipient of the CT Hort and the National HRI scholarships; Tom Christopher, author, radio host, podcast host and horticulturist; Justine Ramsey, owner of Floral Designs by Justine; and Elaine Widmer, gardener extraordinaire. Their collective expertise was invaluable in the judging process.