On September 20-21, 2008, the Suncoast and Tampa Bay Chapters of The Gesneriad Society jointly held a show and sale at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. By all accounts the show was a success, due in no small part to the dedication and support of the Tampa Bay Chapter and their willingness to support our efforts in Sarasota.
The show had 119 entries, including award-winning plants, artistic designs/plantings, and arts entries. Best in Show went to Jo Anne Martinez for her spectacular Gesneria 'Ako Cardinal Flight'. Sweepstakes in Horticulture went to Nancy Kast for her nine blue ribbon-winning entries.
The new GRC was prominently featured at the show alongside Karen Schunk, who maintained an exhibit of her fantastic botanical watercolor paintings and prints. Karen, a Selby Research Assistant, volunteer and supporter, helped field questions about gesneriad research and Selby Gardens (while I was out taking photographs!).
The show generated a great deal of interest in gesneriads at the Gardens and an increased number of visitors came through the gates owing to the show and sale. The show was a particularly great opportunity for us at the GRC to promote our efforts and mission. Thanks to all who participated!