Beyond the White Gloves, Zone II Meeting and Flower Show

The 20 Clubs in Zone II gather every year at an Annual Zone Meeting.  Each club in the Zone takes a turn hosting the meeting.  The meetings must contain a business meeting, an educational component and a presentation of Zone Awards. A flower show is optional.

Meeting Chairs:  Katie Baccile, Nina King, Susan Schieffelin

Annual Report on the Beyond the White Gloves the Club (June 2015)

The Greenwich Garden Club hosted the 2015 Annual Zone II Meeting & Flower Show May 6 & 7 at the Greenwich Country Club. The Co-chairs of the meeting were Katie Baccile, Nina King and Susan Schieffelin. Eighty-three ladies attended including Presidents and Delegates from the 20 Clubs in Zone II, Zone and National leadership, and GCA President Katie Heins. After months of planning and preparation, our members arrived at GCC in full force beginning Tuesday morning to put together gift bags, decorate, set up for the flower show, and to photograph every step of the meeting over the next two days. By 1:00 the ballroom of the Greenwich Country Club was transformed into a lovely show setting just in time to begin receiving horticulture entries.

Tuesday evening Betsy Vitton hosted a lovely dinner at her home for the judges who were from out of town (some came from as far away as Minnesota). Wednesday morning it was “all hands on deck” as our members welcomed club presidents and delegates to the business meeting, directed flower show traffic and volunteered as runners, clerks and for other assorted duties. The Business meeting began with welcome greetings from our Club President Karen Marache, the Zone Chairman Beth Montgelas, and GCA President Katie Heins followed by a report from each Club President and Zone Representative. As the Business meeting progressed, judging of the flower show began, which was followed by a judges’ lunch at which Jane Dunn’s magnificent Tulips were the centerpieces at each table. While the judges enjoyed their buffet luncheon, our 83 guests donned their decorated hats, and after posing for a group photograph, collected their box lunch and departed for a garden tour. The ladies were thrilled to see the gardens of Allison Bourke, Anne Harrison, and Gillian Steele. As the ladies were enjoying themselves, our awards committee was busy tallying and recording the results of the judging and making sure that each award and commendation was correctly written in beautiful Calligraphy.

The Flower Show opened to the public at 1 pm and our Club hostesses welcomed visitors from the community and other clubs in the area. Our “guests” returned from their garden tour and were greeted with a pair of white gloves as they entered the flower show and enjoyed a lovely tea party. Prizes were awarded for several hats. We ended the day with three lovely dinner parties graciously hosted by Karen Gregory, Kelly Pasciucco, and Katie Simon. Thursday morning we began the educational component of the meetings bright and early at the GEC. Our Club members were on hand with smiles and coffee for attendees who met with Lisa Bebe to learn of our involvement with the GEC and to tour the wildflower trail (the restoration of which was part of our Centennial Project). In addition to seeing a few wild flowers and some specimen plantings of Colonel Montgomery, the ladies were treated to a special appearance of a Pileated Woodpecker.

Photo: Cocky Fisher and Grace Schoelkopf assemble their 1st Place entry in Class 3/Mrs. Badger, who was a leader in the recycling movement, founder of Greenwich’s recycling effort, and recipient of the GCA Margaret Douglas Medal for Education in Conservation. Class Instructions: Create a Contemporary Design arrangement taking trash to treasure through the inclusion of recycled materials.

Following the Wildflower walk, the ladies gathered back at Greenwich Country Club and were treated to a wonderful presentation “ Collaborating in the Garden” by our guest speaker Carlo Balistrieri, Vice President, Preservation of The Garden Conservancy. Next on the agenda we had the National committee chairmen for Founders Fund, Garden History & Deign, and Horticulture serve on a panel to explain their committee initiatives and participate in a group question and answer session. The two-day meeting culminated with a lovely awards luncheon at the Greenwich Country Club. Eugenie Pavelic and Anne Getz creative centerpieces enhanced the tone of the ceremony conducted by the Zone II Awards Representative, our very own Nina King. Several of our members were surprised when presented with Zone awards at the Lunch. Allison Bourke won the Marcy Crutcher Zone award for Horticultural Excellence.
Liza Weihman won the Barbara Spaulding Cramer Zone Floral Design Education Award.
Kim Gregory, Eugenie Pavelic, and Urling Searle won the Zone Civic Improvement Award. The Club also sponsored Rod Christie, Executive Director Mianus River Gorge for a Zone Conservation Commendation. The Greenwich Garden Club won: The Corliss Knapp Engle Horticulture Sweepstakes Award for the most points earned for ribbons in the Horticulture Division of the Flower Show Our Conservation exhibit “Beyond our Front Door” was awarded the Marion Thompson Fuller Brown Conservation Award Beyond the White Gloves Flower Show was given 7 Judges Commendations for specific classes, Hospitality, and Communications as well. After the meeting the thank you notes have poured in with heartfelt thanks and congratulations. Sentiments included quotes such as: “This is the best Zone Meeting I have attended” “ I love Zone Meetings and this was one of the best!” “Greenwich Garden Club has certainly raised the bar for Zone Meetings to follow”
“Thank you for the warm hospitality that was felt at every turn from entering the business meeting, to the fabulous garden tour, wonderful dinner and enlightening educational program. I was taking notes left and right.”

The Meeting Co-Chairs would like to offer their heartfelt thanks and give their own Commendation to the entire membership of the Greenwich Garden Club for the warm hospitality they showed to our guests countless combined volunteer hours given to make this meeting a wonderful success that we can all be so very proud of.

– Katie Baccile, Nina King, Susan Schieffelin