Monday, April 30, 2001

Flower show closes in style

By Robert Anglen
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        About 45,000 people strolled through an 18th century European garden this week without ever leaving Cincinnati.

        The Gardens at Marly Court not only inspired amateur gardeners at this year's Cincinnati Flower Show at Ault Park, it was one of two exhibits to win Great Britain's highest horticultural award.

        Judges couldn't decide whether the award should go to the replica of gardens built for Louis XIV or to the whimsical designs based on the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling.

        So, for the first time, there was a tie for the Royal Horticultural Society Medal, said Marsha Haberer, chair of the Cincinnati Horticultural Society.

        “This is the only flower show in this country endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society of Great Britain,” she said Sunday. “It is terrific. We are honored that they think we are the best in the country.”

        Ms. Haberer said attendence at the annual Mount Lookout event was about the same as last year, with thin crowds at the beginning of the show turning into throngs by Sunday afternoon. She pointed to lines that extended well beyond the entrance to exhibits and brisk sales at vendor booths.

        But beyond the lily pads and castles, visitors and vendors said they were most inspired by the weather at this year's show.

        “The weather was beautiful. It's rare that we have that every day. Usually we can expect at least one bad day,” said Richard Wunder of Earthly Artifacts in Charleston, S.C.

        Rhonda Resler of Loveland said she's been coming to the show for three years and said this was the nicest its been.

        “There's lots of flowers in the beds, they're blooming,” she said. “Everything looks just beautiful.”


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