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Where Cape Legends Flower

“This exhibitor arrived with a six-foot tall plant just covered in tomatoes—it was so big her husband had to help carry it into the show! The public loved it,” Lyman says with a smile.

More than 2,000 visitors gloried in last year’s Southeastern District show at Heritage, widely recognized as one of New England’s largest public garden spaces. In addition to several museums, Heritage features prized plantings such as Rhododendron and Hydrangea collections and more recent botanical attractions, such as the McGraw Family Garden of the Senses.

“The staff at Heritage is so gracious and generous with their time and efforts in helping us in innumerable ways to put this show together, maintain it and break it down when it’s over,” notes Ahern. “Also, the beauty of Heritage is a special treat to anyone who comes to see the flower show and discovers this treasure on Cape Cod!”

One of the missions of the Garden Club Federation is to increase the environmental awareness of each area’s community with Education Exhibits at selected flower shows. There will be four education exhibits in the “Cape Legends” show, including displays showcasing the Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts Audubon’s Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary, Spohr Gardens, and Heritage Museums & Gardens.

“All the exhibits—floral design, horticulture, and education—are valuable because we are sharing a way to present art and information through the medium of plant material,” says Ahern.

“It’s amazing how many people go through the horticulture exhibits with their notebooks, writing down the names of plants and asking the show hostesses questions about their own gardens,” notes Lyman. “Often the hostesses will hear stories about what visitors are growing in their own gardens.” 

“This flower show introduces visitors to plants they can grow in our area that they may not be aware of,” Lyman continues. “We have many adventurous horticulturists who try new varieties and exhibit them in the horticulture division, which can be great inspiration for growers in our area and beyond.”

Each year behind the scenes of the flower show on the final day, the committee will take notes, share opinions, and rest their weary feet. And less than a month later, they will meet again with some experienced hands and new volunteers to start planning for next year’s big event, which is certain to be the very best in show.

For more information, please visit the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts online at

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