Behind the scenes at the
2012 Glide Wildflower Show
On the Wednesday before the show, collectors pour into the building
toting their treasures. Ice chest after ice chest is emptied.
Yogurt cups, drink cups, punch glasses are everywhere, each
containing a plastic baggie filled with floral preservative and a
beautiful botanical specimen.
Thursday is the day of transformation. A small, dedicated group of volunteers take each individual plant and lovingly place it in the perfect vase. These ladies are called the vasers. We are talking about behind-the-scene miracle workers.
But before the vasers can do their magic, another group of diehard workers has to do theirs. The botanists! These experts painstakingly examine each specimen to make absolutely certain it is properly identified. The show is the place where people come to learn the facts about native wildflowers. The Glide Wildflower Council takes seriously its responsibility to provide completely accurate information.
The plants have been identified by the collectors. They now wait for the botanists to scrutinize them and the vasers to glamorize them.
Vasing takes place in the kitchen.
Here is what it looks like before the process gets started.
The floor and counters are protected with a special plastic film.
This job requires a very artistic eye.
A volunteer studies the vase collection, looking for the perfect vase.
Vasers attempt to display the plants in a way that replicates the
way they grow in nature.
As with any type of floral work, the tools of the trade must be close at hand. Utility knives and pruners are helpful tools. Once the plants have been moved into the vases, the volunteers end up with a LOT of plastic cups to save for next year. Containers are just one of the many things stored in the new Wildflower Show building.
Plants are now coming and going. Vasers continually bring to the kitchen more plants to be vased. And once in a vase, they are returned to their show location.
Volunteers walk around the tables all day long spritzing the plants
with water. Others double check that the plants are
placed on the right table
The botanists give some plants the once-over. One side of the room has been converted into a science lab.
There are lots and lots of serious botanical reference books in addition to the high powered microscopes.
The volunteers spend the entire day working. And just like any
other army, you have to keep the soldiers fed!
Double check, then triple check plant identifications, then rearrange plants on the tables to group related plants.
The clock is ticking. Only 43 more hours
till the doors open to the public.