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Horticulture Clubs Puts On A Good Show

By Alyse Taub
On October 8, 2007

  • Students, families and local residents take a look at the exhibits at this year's Horticulture Show Saturday.

Students, parents, faculty, as well at Connecticut locals, gathered this weekend at the Radcliffe Hicks Arena for the annual Horticulture Show. The show was sponsored by UConn's Horticulture and Turf Grass clubs and has been an annual event at UConn for over 60 years.

The theme for this year's show was "The Seasons of New England." The elaborate displays, all constructed by UConn students, depicted plants and landscape pieces that represented each of the four seasons. The spring display exhibited a water feature and several spring blooms. The fall display featured various berry plants as well as an organically grown giant pumpkin produced by one of UConn's graduate students, Matthew Debacco. The winter display featured evergreens and barks, and the summer display featured a putting hole made of sod and various summer grasses.

All of the plants featured in the show were available for sale to the guests. Fifteen percent of all the profits generated by the event were to be donated to a local charity, and the rest to fund the Horticulture and Turf Grass club events. The plants featured in the show were all grown at Pride's Corner Farms, a local nursery. Houseplants grown here on campus were also for sale, along with pumpkins, cider, apples and honey from local growers and farms, many of which are run by UConn horticulture alumni.

Although the event has been running annually for over 60 years, many setbacks threatened this year's event. Guests were required to don numbered tags, due to orders from the fire marshal requiring a maximum capacity of only 50 people. Other requirements did not allow the use of mulch and other flammable materials in the show.

Additionally, plants that were supposed to be available on Wednesday were not available until Thursday, causing the show to have to be put together in a hurry.

"It took a lot of man-hours," recalls Jordan Takvorian, a 7th-semester horticulture major and president of the UConn Horticulture Club.

"Many of us were here well past midnight and had to skip classes to pull the show together," added Debbie Ruszczyk, a 5th-semester horticulture major and vice president of the Horticulture Club.

"The displays were all really nice, you can tell they put a lot of effort into it and they took a long time to make," said Doni Simon, a 5th-semester pharmacy major.

"The plants were all very beautiful, but there were fewer than I remembered there being last year," added his mother, Barbara Simon, who was visiting for parents' weekend.

All in all it was worth the strong efforts put forth by the clubs.

Contact Alyse Taub at

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