Founders Keepers Flower Show April 2010
The boyhood home and bucolic landscape of American Revolutionary son, John Jay, in Rye, New York was the perfect setting for the Rye Garden Club's Flower Show, "Founders Keepers" on April 29th and 30th, 2010. Co-chaired by Jannie Gerrish and Emmy Klarberg, every room of the 1838 Greek Revival mansion built by John Jay's son, Peter, was open to the public and positively glowed with gorgeous flowers or plant specimens. Even the veranda overlooking Long Island Sound was transformed: whimsical parterre gardens filled with zebra topiaries and seashells were flanked by imaginative "Pot-et-fleurs" flower arrangements set upon antique wrought iron garden chairs.

A real highlight of the show was a unique conservation exhibit in the form of a dollhouse that took center stage and was augmented by the Jay Heritage Center's new Greenscreen with a slide show of energy efficiency steps from RGC. "The restoration of the magnificent Jay mansion is the inspiration for our Conservation Exhibit, as it so beautifully shows how home renovation and historic preservation can go hand-in-hand with environmental stewardship," said Rye Garden Club (RGC) members. "Historic methods of climate control such as the use of shutters and proper placement of plantings are just as relevant today as they were in the past. Time honored practices of re-using existing materials plus recycling products from local sources remain the ideal. New technological advances, such as low-VOC paints and geothermal heating, further build upon the pragmatic mindset of our Founding Fathers"

In fact, the RGC's Conservation/Education Exhibit inspired by the Jay House was awarded the coveted Marion Thompson Fuller Brown Award for an outstanding conservation exhibit at a GCA show. The award recognizes an exhibit of exceptional educational and visual merit, which increases knowledge and awareness of the environment.

A Celebration Cocktail party held on Thursday evening allowed over 150 guests to stroll through the rainbow of exhibits in deft flower arranging, horticulture and garden photography. From Classes aptly dubbed "Chief Justice" to "Witness to History," "View from the Veranda" and "Future Farmers," this outstanding Garden Club of America show was a solid success and promises a greener future founded on the past. The Jay Heritage Center hopes to host more educational events like this one in the future that draw upon the landmark's historic and natural resonance.

See the Conservation Exhibit on Flickr at:
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