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Greenburgh Town Hall Turns Really Green

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — The auditorium of the Greenburgh Town Hall looked more like an exotic garden on Friday, where one could find a 43-inch long squash, a one-pound eggplant and miniature flowers surrounded by African objects.

They were the works of the participants of the Flower Show promoted by the Parkway Gardens / Parkway Homes, a Greenburgh garden club that dates back to the 1950s.

“I am impressed with the tiny things and how they created so many colors,” said Irene Sweeny, who came from White Plains attending an invitation from Gwen Cort, the chairman of the show.

Sweeny was looking at Cort’s five-inch Asters, which, along with the green pepper around them and the tiny decorated vase, formed a charming arrangement.

The show, which is also a competition, had 24 participants,16 members from the Parkway Gardens and eight invitees from the Ardsley Garden Club, competing on the divisions of “horticulture” and “design” and having their works rated by six judges. In the horticulture category, the judges looked at the plant’s foliage and overall appearance. In the design category, they looked at the creativity of the arrangement and its adherence to the theme, which this year was “Africa.”

“You see how heavy it’s on this side and how light it’s on the other?” said Barbara Novich, one of the judges, pointing to a fir that had one branch falling along the vase and the opposite one standing straight, and that received a second-place award. “It wasn’t properly grown.”

Then she turned to a first-place award ilex of vivid green leaves.

“This one was in perfect condition. Everything was shining and clean,” she said.

Novich, an Ardsley resident and member of the Ardsley Garden Club, said that she has 20 years of gardening and that it took her seven years and a lot of study to become a judge.

But Novich also competed in the design category with two teammates, winning a first-place award with a red protea sided by carved black wood African heads, among other objects that Novich brought many years ago from a vacation trip to Kenya.

During the show, the participants, besides admiring each other works, spent a good time talking about plants.

Cort said that gardeners like to exchange information.

“Gardens are very positive people,” she said. “Because when you plant something, you have to believe it’s going to grow.”

The show is open to the public, and will still have a second round Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon in the Greenburgh Town Hall. Pictures of all the plants and arrangements will be posted at

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