Hydrangea Festival wins national award

The Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival continues to reap awards on the regional and National level.  Within the past few weeks, the 2012 Standard Flower Show, “The Royals”, won “Best Flower Show” in its category (Near Club Show – meaning that multiple garden clubs cooperated to present the show) in the Deep South Region of the National Garden Club which includes Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.  At the National Garden Clubs convention, “The Royals” again was recognized as “Best Flower Show” in its category.

This marks the fifth Regional and National recognition for the festival’s Standard Flower Show in the six years of the festival, and the 2013 Standard Flower Show will not be considered for awards until next year.

The Near Club Standard Flower Show is produced and organized by the four garden clubs in Douglas County:  Ama-Kanasta, Skint Chestnut, Sweetwater, and Town and Country.  They are assisted by the Douglas County Master Gardeners and the full festival committee, and entries are open to the Public.  The Near Club Standard Flower Show is annually held inside the Douglas County Courthouse Atrium during the Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival.

One of the organizing forces behind the Standard Flower Show and its inclusion in the festival was Mrs. Betty Benson and the Regional and National conventions recognized Mrs. Benson for her contributions by naming her the recipient of the Member Award of Honor.  The Member Award of Honor recognizes those whose volunteer efforts have made outstanding contributions to garden clubs and community in civic development, conservation, design, horticultural therapy, horticulture, landscape design, youth activities, and/or all around excellence.

 Mrs. Benson was honored in the fields of civic development, design, horticulture, youth activities, and all around excellence, and was jointly nominated by the four garden clubs of Douglas County at the State and Regional level. The Garden Club of Georgia Board of Directors and the Georgia Design Club joined to nominate her for National recognition.   She has been involved with garden clubs most of her adult life; has served on the Board of Directors of the Garden Club of Georgia for 24 years; is the author of multiple books on flowers, flower arranging, and flower shows; and has a large and beautiful garden of her own.  Her encouragement to youth in gardening was especially noted, and the festival Standard Flower Show features a Youth Division that has received rave reviews.

 The Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival is an annual event organized and produced by the Douglas County Tourism and History Commission in cooperation with the Douglas County Board of Commissioners and the City of Douglasville.  It is held on the first full weekend in June in locations throughout the County and headquartered at the Douglas County Courthouse.

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