Shelter Island Garden Show and house tour returns Saturday

Garden Club event

Zantedeschia. Gypsophila. Hydrangea macrophylla. 

Confusing? Perhaps to a novice, but not to the seasoned members of the Garden Club of Shelter Island. These are just some of the names of the beautiful flowers that will be on display during the Garden Club’s annual Garden Show and House Tour. 

This year’s theme is “I Do, I Do,” inspired by the upcoming weddings of several club members’ grandchildren. Fitting well with the wedding theme, the flower show will take place this Saturday at Manhanset Chapel. 

The design portion of this weekend’s show will take place in four Island residences which will be open as part of the event’s house tour. The homes are scattered throughout the Island, from the Heights to West Neck to Silver Beach.

Chaired by club president and Island resident Dianne Bowditch, the yearly event is a culmination of months of careful planning by the Garden Club. With over 100 Island residents holding a membership, the Garden Club of Shelter Island is one of the largest garden clubs on Long Island. In 2014, Ms. Bowditch mentioned in a recent phone interview, the club’s flower show gained national recognition from the National Garden Clubs Inc., winning a blue ribbon, as well as on the state level in the Federated Garden Clubs of New York State, coming in first place.

Part of the reason the club does so well competitively, Ms. Bowditch said, is its large, active and enthusiastic youth program.

The flower show at Manhanset Chapel will include educational exhibits that speak to the history of the wedding bouquet and the art of wedding flowers. Donating invitational exhibits to the show are: Mashomack Preserve, Sylvester Manor Educational Farm and Fairweather Magazine.

One of the flowers show’s competitive categories is open to the public. This year’s category is herbs. Entries can be any homegrown herb that has been in the grower’s possession for at least 90 days. Cut specimens should be displayed in a clear glass bottle. Entries will be accepted on Friday, July 15 from 3 to 5 p.m. at Manhanset Chapel. Club members will be present to provide information and answer any questions.

The garden club has the mission of not only cultivating beauty, but also sharing it and its ensuing delight with the Shelter Island community. As a non-profit organization, its community works include acting as “garden godmothers” by planting seeds and beautifying popular spots around the Island. Proceeds of annual events, such as the upcoming garden show, benefit organizations with like-minded missions of bettering the community, such as Mashomack Preserve, the Shelter Island Library and the Shelter Island Historical Society.

“It’s important to stop and see life through that lens,” Ms. Bowditch remarked about the beauty her club brings to the Island.

The Garden Show will take place at Manhanset Chapel at 24 North Ferry Road on Saturday, July 16 from 1 to 5 p.m. Donation is $40 at the door, or $35 for advanced reservations which may be purchased at Call Ida Marie Bottone for more information at (631) 749-3375.