ANNA MARIA – It was St. Patrick’s Day on the Island, but the shirts, hats and beads weren’t the only thing green that was drawing attention. March 17 was also the annual Anna Maria Island Garden Club’s Flower Show at Roser Church.
With more than 100 members and 72 years on the Island, the AMI Garden Club remains active and strives to share the joy of growing plants, as well as turning them into works of art, with anyone interested in learning and participating.
“The Garden Club is here to help the three cities here on the Island with beautification and education and trying to bring people together to learn about flowers and how they can use them,” garden club member Ginger Huhn said. “We have a plant sale every year, and of course this event as well as others. We stay very active and busy.”
Other than the hot, stormy months of June, July and August, when they take a break, the non-profit organization is meeting, fundraising and working with the community the other nine months out of the year.
“We have monthly meetings and we try to hit a lot of different topics in those meetings,” Huhn said. “We’ll have a plant talk, so people can learn about growing and raising certain types of plants, and other similar subjects.”
The flower show has different categories every year. For 2023 some of the categories included plants arranged in boots, hats, and more. The categories are changed for each year’s show to keep it “fresh.” All arrangements in the show are made by club members but judged by the public.
When the show started, people threw pennies in a bowl next to their favorite arrangements for judging. Club members later realized there had to be a better way than counting thousands of pennies. They then moved to a format where judges would decide, but that didn’t get the best results either, since there was a lot of pressure on the judges. Recently, they began giving every visitor a certain number of tickets. With the ticket judging, the judges remain anonymous, and the endless supply of pennies problem was solved.
Anyone in attendance didn’t have to leave empty-handed, as many of the arrangements were offered in a silent auction. The highest bidder could take home their favorite and enjoy it. Proceeds from the auction help fund Garden Club activities throughout the year.