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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

‘Celebrate and Pollinate’ Flower Show


Shreveport Garden Study Club shines light on pollinators

The Shreveport Garden Study Club’s “Celebrate & Pollinate” Flower Show is scheduled for March 22 and 23 at Artspace.

According to Clare Nelson, chair of the event, the nationally recognized flower show is the first of its kind for Shreveport. Thirty-seven floral and horticultural judges will be here to judge floral designs, horticultural entries, botanical arts and a pollinator Victory Garden exhibit. The Downtown Development Authority is partnering with the club to present the event, and merchants in the Artspace vicinity are teaming up to present gardenthemed drinks. The Robinson Film Center is screening “The Secret Garden.”

Co-chair for the event, Kathy Rasberry, said this is the 25th-anniversary presentation. The Shreveport chapter is part of the Garden Club of America, whose goal is to educate the public on horticultural and conservation efforts.

The show will feature four types of floral designs. There will be over 100 horticultural specimens, three classes of botanical art and a flower design competition. Rasberry said local club members, as well as participants from a five-state region, will compete. She said they have never had a flower show like this in Shreveport before, and this event will be an opportunity to convey the club’s message of cultivation and conservation.

“One of the civic goals of our Garden Club is to focus on the health of pollinators in our community,” Rasberry said. “The exhibit shines the lights on the vital importance of pollinators and includes plants that support pollinators in both public and private gardens. Many of our yards are like pollinator deserts. It’s green grass, boxwoods and begonias. That just doesn’t do the trick.”

She said their “educational focus is to show how individuals can do small things in our own backyards to support pollinators that allow us to enjoy delicious foods and fruits.”

Included among the pollinators are bees, butterflies, beetles, flies, bats, birds and moths, she said. The club hopes to educate attendees that these pollinators serve a vital function in the food chain and contribute to ridding the world of pollutants. They are much more than the “garden pests” some see them as.

“Many of the pollinators in our country are really in trouble,” Rasberry added.

“There’s a huge focus on the decline in the numbers of bees. We’re going to try to help our community to understand the small things they can do to improve that.”

Aside from that focus, the goal of the Shreveport Garden Study Club is to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening and civic conservation, beautification and preservation. “Our garden club has been partners with the city of Shreveport for 25 years to restore and beautify Greenwood Cemetery, which is located at 130 E. Stoner. That has been our historic civic improvement project. We brought it from ruin to this beautiful pearl that it is today.”

She said the Greenwood Cemetery was the second cemetery in the city, but it began as a city park and became a cemetery.

“If you’ve not treated yourself to a drivethrough, it’s really amazing what we’ve done – not to toot our own horn.”

The club is a non-profit, one of over 200 Garden Club of America chapters boasting 1,800 members that devote energy and expertise to community projects. It was founded in 1913.

The event is open to the public. Rasberry said to be sure to check out the Garden Shop, where there will be items to purchase centered on the pollinator theme. “I think it will be a lovely experience for anyone who comes to visit.”


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