About Cumberland

Cumberland students capture 10 awards during Philadelphia Flower Show

Wednesday, March 28, 2018
After two years of seeing the event from a visitor’s perspective, students in Cumberland County College’s Horticulture program decided instead to submit entries into this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show.

students in greenhouseTheir first-time efforts were rewarded with multiple ribbons in the nine various classes in which they entered—averaging just above a 50 percent ribbon award for any entry presented.

Started in 1829 by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the Philadelphia Flower Show is the nation’s largest and longest-running horticultural event. In addition to featuring elaborate garden displays, the weeklong event introduces the newest plant varieties, garden and design concepts, and organic and sustainable practices.

“It was our ambition to get noticed,” said Ned Gaine, Cumberland County College’s Agriculture/Horticulture Program Coordinator. “We selected some difficult and rare species to cultivate, entering some species never before seen by the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society.”

The students started with more than 200 seeds, but were left with only a few more than a dozen mature plants.

“Our students ‘created’ their entries either from seed or cutting in our Plant Propagation course and then potted, groomed and prepared them for display in our Herbaceous Plants course,” explained Gaine. “The plants were maintained to show quality throughout the required year of growth in our Greenhouse Management and Pest Control courses.

“As these were rare seeds and very few people on the east coast grow these species, we had to try several techniques to achieve germination and success,” Gaine said.

By overcoming several challenges, the students were able to master new skills while learning a key determinate to success: perseverance.

“It was really neat to see the work we did in class put on display at the flower show," said Cumberland County College student Kristen Timmons.

“Exhibiting at the Philadelphia Flower Show gave our horticulture students both a sense of the scale of the sector, and inspiration in the achievements possible,” said Gaine. Their three days of competition were capped on the final day with a 1st Place win in the succulent, flowering or fruiting class category.

“Scoring a total of 69 points for the week, Cumberland was shy just one point for the bronze medal at 70 points,” Gaine said. “This is a testament to the talents of our many students, faculty and staff who helped to make this happen. All should feel ownership in our accomplishment.”

Cumberland students who were involved in the project included: Payton Beyl, Javier Cruz, Tabitha Davis, Sam DiBella, Alisha DiStefano, Alexis Fair, Gary Fauver, Dylan Gentile, Miranda Mangano, Carlos Martinez, Cole Morman, Owen Naplacic, Roberto Ortuno-Sanchez, Alysah Pasquerilla, Caralynn Procaccio, Jennifer Raven Crow, Mickey Singletary, Kristen Timmons, and Kathy Whitesell.

Cumberland County College’s horticulture and agriculture/agribusiness program graduates benefit from the opportunity to acquire earned credits that can be transferred and applied toward a bachelor’s degree from Delaware Valley University, as the result of Cumberland’s articulation agreement with that institution last year.

“I believe the experience of the horticulture program’s participation in the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s plant show, provides an outlet for our county’s traditional strengths—both in horticulture and the arts,” Gaine said. “After gaining this experience, I am confident the horticulture program will bring a medal home to campus next year!”