Flower Show Blossoms in Ocean City

Flower Show Blossoms in Ocean City

Eleanor Blumenthal, 102, of Northfield, admires a floral display at the annual Ocean City Flower Show.


Eleanor Blumenthal loves roses so much, she even wears them. Well, not exactly, but she does wear a pair of sunglasses adorned with a floral design.

And on Saturday, on the second-day of the 48th annual Ocean City Flower Show at the Music Pier, Blumenthal, 102, of Northfield, donned the shades as she and her son, Terry Peikin, of Margate, and daughter-in-law, Diane Stefani, enjoyed the floral displays.

“They are absolutely beautiful,” Blumenthal said as she smiled. “I love them all. I especially love roses.”

After two years as a virtual event, the popular Floral Show returned to the Music Pier featuring designs from experts to novices.

The show features entries of brightly colored floral arrangements.

Each year the show, which began Friday and runs through Sunday, features a theme. There are several categories for artistic design and horticulture. This year’s theme was “Careers – All That You Can Do.”

Roses, carnations, daisies, orchids, violets and just about every other flower and plant imaginable were displayed on the tables and in window boxes for the show.

The creations were judged by federated Flower Show judges.

There was a wide range of categories and entries from adults to children, all taking part in the contests.

Kay Reilly wins a ribbon for her hairdresser floral design.

The Garden Club of Ocean City organizes the Flower Show each year in the city event.

“It is really great to be back in-person for the show after two years. It was tough getting everyone back into it,  but things really worked out beautifully,” said Kathy Wheatcroft, co-chair with Kay Reilly, of the Flower Show subcommittee.

Wheatcroft and Reilly spoke of the importance of the theme of careers this year, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, as a way to highlight first responders.

Onstage at the Music Pier was a display of mannequins dressed in emergency worker uniforms amid floral arrangements.

“This the prime spotlight. We are honoring police, fire, the entire medical field,” Reilly said.

Flower Show subcommittee members Kay Reilly, left, and Kathy Wheatcroft stand onstage in front of the emergency responders display.

Other careers showcased were home improvement experts, farmers, geologists and culinary masters.

Both Wheatcroft and Reilly noted that each year they are amazed by the unique and creative designs.

For home improvement, one person designed a floral arrangement around a spigot.

Wheatcroft and Reilly each received ribbons and recognition for their floral designs. Judging is independent of the Flower Show subcommittee, they noted.

Susan Bundy admired some arrangements from children. Vibrant florals from brilliant yellow to scarlet red and deep purple and bright orange-hued flowers graced the tables.

“This is my first time at the show. I love all of these flowers,” Bundy, of South Plainfield, N.J., said.

Marilyn York, of Linwood, is proud of her winning coral cactus.

Marilyn York, of Linwood, won Best in Horticulture for her many plants on display.

“Some plants were in in 2019. They are all different varieties” York noted.

Her coral cactus was a first place winner. “I have had it for 14 years,” she said.

Jenny O’Neill is an avid gardener. The Aldan, Pa., resident marveled at some of the plants.

“They are just magnificent,” she said, adding that she enjoys gardening. “It is a good stress reliever.”

Others who attended the show said it was a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Carol Milligan, foreground, with friend, Eleanor Bolton, both of Egg Harbor Township, peruse the tables.

Eleanor Bolton and her friend, Carol Milligan, both of Egg Harbor Township, are gardeners.

“We both like gardening,” Bolton said. “I like colorful reds. They attract the hummingbirds.”

Milligan said that she likes milkweed in her garden because it attracts butterflies.

She added that of the two friends, Bolton is the expert when it comes to gardening.

“Eleanor teaches me a lot about gardening,” Milligan said. “And we always like coming to the show to see the displays.”

The show continues Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. Donations to the Garden Club are optional.

Susan Bundy, of South Plainfield, N.J., admires some of the entries.
Kathy Wheatcroft, an artist as well as a flower expert, brings home a ribbon for her floral design with a likeness to her painting.
This floral display is in the culinary category resembling a cupcake.
Another award winner.