Randalls Island Park Alliance

Let’s Get Glam GLAM

In Meet The Crew, New Ideas and Expansions, Randall's Island on March 24, 2013 at 3:00 pm

dianne for blogBy Diane B.

Greetings! This is Diane, one of the 2013 Horticulture seasonal employees of Randall’s Island Park Alliance. To state a few facts about myself, I recently moved here from Delaware. Last year I graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in Plant science, with a concentration in plant propagation.

As a new and upcoming horticulturist, I was looking for a place that would expand my knowledge of what is available and also provide a lot of hands on learning experience, and that’s when I found Randall’s Island. This area seemed like the perfect place for learning about new opportunities and challenges. We’ve only been here a week and already we’re starting our first challenge of the season, planning decorative flower arrangements for the Gala.

The Gala was a charity benefit for Randall’s Island Park Alliance.  It  was held on Tuesday, March 12 at the American Natural History Museum.  Being the horticulture crew, we were given the task to providing a tropical island atmosphere using  live tropical plants for the event rooms.

The first room that needed to be setup was the cocktail area room, which was held in the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda. The pictures above are the two flower arrangements that we made and placed throughout the cocktail room.



In the picture on the right, we have pincushion yellow gold (Leaucospermum) this flower is a native to the South African region where it is normally seen as an evergreen shrub and blooms between the months of November to April. The flower on the right is a King Protea (Protea cynaroides) mostly admired for its giant flower heads; it is also a South African native. These flowers are amazing  to use for flower arrangements, because of its long vase life. It is easily dried;  so you can keep it around for an even longer.

Finally, the last and final part of the project was the sixty two center pieces for the dinner tables. The centerpieces consisted of two to three inch tall wheat grass with eight poppy flowers scattered throughout the tray. The idea was to show the illusion of the flowers growing straight out of the wheat grass.

poppy centerpiece

These plants were found to be the most challenging of the entire project.  We arranged the poppies two days in advance. The poppy flower petals and stems are very fragile. Each flower had to be carefully placed and packaged within the transportation truck so they would not break during the trip to the dining tables. Luckily, we had plenty of left over poppies and any damaged stems we quickly replaced before dinner was served.

All in all I would say this project was a great success. We tackled everything with a Macgyver-esque ability and achieved our goal of providing fresh looking exotic plants for the enjoyment of the Gala patrons.

  1. Congratulations Diane, great job.

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