By Dani-Elle Dubé
Roses are red, violets are blue, students celebrate the end by Going Out with a Bloom.
This year marks the final annual Spring Horticulture Show, a longstanding Algonquin tradition hosted by second-year students of the horticulture technician program.
The show’s end comes as a result of the phasing out of the horticulture technician program and replacing it with horticulture industries, a modified, condensed hands-on program that introduces technology and moves the classroom outdoors.
The new program emphasizes outdoor aspects of horticulture practice rather than greenhouse operations likes the technician program.
Going Out with a Bloom is this year’s theme and the preparation for the ten-day-long event began in the summer.
“We’re trying to bridge the two programs and develop it into a cohesive show,” explained Erin Davison, second-year student and coordinating seat of the show’s steering committee. “This way we represent the work from both sides — what everyone has enjoyed from the previous technician program and what’s to come with the industries program.”
From March 22 to March 31, M building hosted the exhibit and was opened to students and the public. Thousands of plants were on display and available for purchase.
The students were divided into groups and assigned an area to design, but ultimately all had to work together as one team.
“It’s entertaining,” said Tommy Green, professor and coordinator of the show. “Getting 40 people to work as a group is different every year. The last week was hectic.”
First-year students of the new horticulture industries program lent their green thumbs as well.
“With the industries program there’s a large edibles component — urban agriculture — so they’re actually running a nursery,” said Davison. “We also used the first-year students extensively for the construction projects.”
Second-year students made the final decisions on what they wanted to see constructed for the show but it was the first-years who built the structures from the ground up. From a built-in stone base barbeque to wooden lounge chairs, every hand-made project added to the event’s cheery ambiance.
“The show is amazing,” said Jon Power, horticulture technician student. “I was pretty much speechless as I saw it day by day.”
What really mattered most to Power was the reactions he heard from show attendees.
“We’re students and this is what we’ve been working for,” said Power. “For an outside stranger to just walk in and be amazed, it’s what it’s all about.”