DelVal ‘Best in Show: Academic Educational’ at Philadelphia Flower Show

Mar 03, 2008

Delaware Valley College students, led by faculty members in the Department of  Ornamental Horticulture and Environmental Design, earned "Best in Show: Academic/Educational" honors at the 2008 Philadelphia Flower Show for their display titled "Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans," based on the Louis Armstrong song of the same name.

Complimenting the show's overall theme of "Jazz it Up," the display celebrated the birthplace of jazz by focusing on what New Orleans was before Katrina hit. The DelVal display featured Southern Magnolias glistening in the sunlight as you entered Chez Celese, a city park and bistro in New Orleans. Former New Orleans restaurateur, Charles Gray, who owned the famous Corinne Dunbar's for 33 years, visited the display and discussed his own memories of New Orleans as he distributed recipes from his famous restaurant.

Howard Eyre, assistant professor in DelVal's Department of Ornamental Horticulture and Environmental Design and consultant who has worked in New Orleans on issues following the flooding along with Eve Minson, assistant professor in the department, directed the students in the exhibit. Students prepared the entry as part of DelVal's Flower Show Practicum course using more than 150 plants with focus on the Southern Magnolia, a tree often seen in southern gardens and one that the city of New Orleans is well known for, but misses currently, in the landscape.

All students taking the course are ornamental horticulture majors and include: seniors David Bodine of Ringoes, NJ, Kenneth Dilts of Robbinsville, NJ, Jarod Eaton of Columbia, MD, Kristen Fowler of Montgomeryville, PA, Gregory Lorang of Marlton, NJ, Shaun Mortimer of Spring City, PA; juniors Lee Armillei of Coatesville, PA, Adam Kahora of New Tripoli, PA, and Devin Kozicki of Easton, PA.

Nathan Lanning of Elizabethtown, PA, Rachel Neuhauser of Freeville, NY, Daniel Tompkins of Southington, CN, and Kevin Weber of Telford, PA, and sophomores Joseph Peluso of Maplewood, NJ, and Kyle Steele of Mattituck, NY.

"What an exciting and proud honor for our students," said Dr. Barbara Muse, chair of the Department of Ornamental Horticulture and Environmental Design and professor of plant science. "They work so diligently and with such passion, but to have their efforts honored with a 'Best of Show,' makes it that much more significant as they get ready to pursue careers in ornamental horticulture."

Delaware Valley College participates in the Philadelphia Flower Show annually, offering students a unique and complex hands-on learning experience, particularly in the preparation of out-of-season plant materials for the show. The Philadelphia Flower Show is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society and is the largest indoor flower show in the world.