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Wednesday, October 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Gardening: SCC Spring Flower Show is Saturday

Loretta Etchison smells a fragrant vine as she checks out plants her SCC Floral Program students have prepared for today’s sale.
Loretta Etchison smells a fragrant vine as she checks out plants her SCC Floral Program students have prepared for today’s sale.
Pat Munts

Ah, spring! Last week’s streak of warm weather was all that was needed to give the daffodils, hellebores and forsythia the push to break into bloom. Not only did the plants look like they were celebrating, we humans seemed to breathe a sigh of celebration too.

It was as if Loretta Etchison and the students in the Spokane Community College Floral and Greenhouse Program had a special communication line to help them set the date of this year’s SCC Spring Flower Show – just as spring arrived. This year’s show is at the Lair Building on the SCC campus today.

The theme for the third annual show is “Swimming in Flowers” to celebrate the arrival of spring flowers. Special “mascots” for this year’s show will be six huge koi made of flowers set on display panels.

“When I asked the students to help plan the floral koi, they were so excited to have a unique way to show off their creativity,” Etchison said. “It’s a wonderful way for them display their talents before they graduate into the region’s floral industry.”

This year’s show will have something for everyone. There will be a European-style flower market where you can pick stems of your favorite flowers and make your own bouquet. This would be a great opportunity to make a one-of-a-kind bouquet for someone special – almost as good as picking them from your own garden. There will be a small standard flower show that will show off the students’ work and be judged by the Floral Designers Guild of the Washington State Federation of Garden Clubs.

To go along with this year’s theme, the Inland Empire Water Garden and Koi Society will have a display pool of koi and be available to answer questions about water gardening. Children will have a blast with several activities planned just for them. They will be able to plant a pot of seeds or plants, learning how in the process. There will be face painters, a chance to win a goldfish, and even a cake walk so they may be able to bring home dessert.

There also will be all kinds of plant-, flower- and garden-related vendors at the show, Etchison said. “The Lair and all its rooms will be full, with something interesting for every taste.”

The event helps fund the floral and horticulture students’ travel budget so they can go to national competitions. The students compete in team and individual events that test their knowledge and skills in areas of floral design, landscape maintenance and development and plant identification. SCC teams often do well at the competitions – sometimes beating out well-known four-year schools.

Master Gardener Pat Muntscan be reached by email at

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