skip to main content

12th Annual Dazzling Dahlia Festival - Sept. 10-11, 2022

Click here for information for the 2022 Festival!

Judges Winners:
  • BEST OF SHOW:  BASCOM: “Gilded Frame” (#1 below)
  • Second Place: Crown Heritage Flower Design Studio: "A Still Life, Animated" (#5 below)
  • Third Place: Episcopal Church of the Incarnation: “God’s Gilded Age” (#21 below)
Honorable  Mentions:
  • Highlands Rotary (#32 below)
  • Mtntop Rotary (#29 below)
  • Laurel Garden Club (#13 below)
People’s choice winners:   
  • BEST OF SHOW: Highlands Historical Society: "Tennis" (#37 below)
  •  
    Second Place: Lulu-Bleu: “Lulu Belle Roars in the ‘20s” (#10 below)
  • Third Place: BASCOM: “Gilded Frame” (#1 below)

2022 Dahlia Festival Entries

#1. “Gilded Frame”

Presenter: The Bascom
Designer: The Bascom Volunteers and Staff

The “Gilded Age” calls to mind several historical gilded ages across the globe, in art, literature, and as emulated in popular culture. “The Gilded Age” a historical television drama set in the 1800’s is currently enjoying a successful run on HBO, suggesting that our fascination with glitter, glamor, enterprise, and, yes, corruption, has not faded with time. The gilded age shimmers in nomenclature with a patina of glamor, but “gilded” is not gold; the era had its share of struggles as Americans grappled with pressing societal issues: race relationships, women’s rights, workers’ rights, and class struggles as many lived in abject poverty, as stark contrast to the unimaginable wealth of the baron tycoons.

Paintings from theAmerican Gilded Age (1870-1880) also exist in place of contrast and juxtaposition. The works are beautiful, vibrant, and seek to capture sophistication and elegance as America sought to move beyond its provincial past. Artists of the era captured both reality, such as John Singer Sargent’s portraiture, and the mythical as Harry Siddon Mowbray depicted in his painting of aristocrats in the romanticized East, Idle Hours. Realistic landscapes and loose atmospheric conceptions are both the product of the time. The era was often criticized for being superficial, thinly veiled commercial ventures meant to appeal to the aristocratic tastes of the wealthy. The promises and the tensions in these paintings will eventually give way to modern art as artists reject the trappings of the superficial and explore new approaches to art making.

The Bascom invites you to interact with our vignette and create your own tensions between the historical and the modern. Step into our landscape of lush florals arranged loosely into an atmospheric landscape and strike a pose for the camera with a top hat and a cell phone; hold a parasol while wearing period-inappropriate clothing, such as pants and sneakers. Embody the gilded age, whatever it means to you, within our gilded frame.

Bascom

#2. “Never Forget”

Presenter: Highlands Lawn & Garden
Designer: Tina Wilnoty, Darin Keener Parker Simms

In honor of those who have served and will serve our great country on the front lines here, and all over the world.

Highlands Lawn & Garden is blooming its 27th season providing the plateau with a one stop garden center. Our success and growth are due to hard work and commitment to providing quality plants and products to our customers. Owner David Sims & his wife Sherry, the owner of Highlands Pharmacy have lived in Highlands for 28 years. They believe in friendly customer service & appreciate the business of friends and neighbors.

IMG 1330

#3. “Celebrating 65 years of serving Highlands as a full service jeweler"

Presenter: T.A. Anderson Goldsmith

#4. Highlands Legacies

Presenter: Full House Gallery
Designers: Nancy Nichols, & Jonnie Swann 

Thoughts of Highlands immediately invoke happy memories of reunion, togetherness and celebration. Our arrangement sits amidst an establishment that speaks of the passage of time and cherished things… assuring that our culture and love of all things Highlands is passed down through generations.

4

#5. “A Still Life Animated”

Presenter: Crown Heritage Flowers Design Studio
Designer: Danielle Hartsfield Chambers

In this modern floral design inspired by the stunning floral bouquet portraits of Gilded Age regency artists, we explore the interplay of tone and texture to bring art to life. Our hope is to invoke softness and regality in paying homage to the beautiful, yet fleeting foundations of our work at Crown Heritage: the flowers. Lovingly selected, materially inspired and artfully done.

IMG 1273

#6. “Jannie Bean Fine Custom Jewelry”

Presenter: Tom & Jannie Bean Custom Jewelry
Designer: Lisa Dailey

Our first visit to Highlands took us to Mountain Fresh where Tom and l met Pat & Bee Gleason for coffee. We only had 45 minutes to visit because we were on our way home to Minnesota at the end of our vacation. I remember exclaiming to Tom, “The foliage is so rich and beautiful, I could live here!” Three months later, we were living here! The mountains, the forests, the native plants are all so irresistible! This is our 6th year now, and this is our home.

IMG 1270

#7 “The Park on Main”

Presenter: The Park on Main
Designers: Staff at The Park on Main

Mr. Pickles is the mascot of The Park on Main and he welcomes all his friends to stay with him at the hotel. Times have not always been so luxurious and there was a time during the Gilded Age. In America, the wages of the workers were growing sometimes as much as 15% a year, while in Europe wages weredecreasing and people were thankful for what they had during this time. Mr. Pickles invites you to see his doghouse from the Gilded Age – just a little “smaller” than our Grand King Fireplace Suite at The Park on Main.

IMG 1268

#8. “The Age of Bubbles”

Presenter: Highlands Wine Shoppe
Designers: Annelize & Stephanie

IMG 1329

#9. “The Gilded Highlands Plateau”

Presenter: J. McLaughlin
Designers: Carla Funk,Vevie Dimmitt, Nancy Nichols, and Jonnie Swann

Imagine… the founding of Highlands in 1875 and the optimism of creating a mountain retreat for the Eastern half of the United States! The transcontinental railroad, unprecedented economic growth, an expanding leisure class…Travel back in time to the age of elegant aspirations.

Now… imagine the village of Highlands in Macon County, North Carolina, which was founded in 1875 by Samuel Kelsey and Clinton C. Hutchinson, two developers living in Kansas who took a map and drew lines from Chicago to Savannah and then from New York to New Orleans. Highlands was the place of the intersecting lines. They created a health and summer resort at more than 4,000 feet on the highest crest of the western North Carolina plateau in the Southern Appalachian Mountains.

Now… imagine the Highlands Plateau with people such as the Ravenels, Monroes, the Bascoms, the Sloans, the Kelseys, and the Hutchensons who made their money elsewhere and built more simple summer homes for peace, health and tranquility. The air was so fresh, the forests so lush, and it was easy to relax. At that time, the small mountain town was rumored to have holistic properties due to its clean air and natural setting.

While these wealthy people enjoyed very nice homes around Highlands, they did not compare to those of the Astors, Vanderbilts, and Morgans who were enjoying glamorous lives in Asheville. Highlands was not a glamorous town, but one where people enjoyed the welcoming, peaceful, and beautiful surroundings.

IMG 1275

#10. “Lulu Belle Roars in the ‘20s”

Presenter: Lulu-Bleu
Designers: Sally Zangger, Marti Lay, and Lulu Bales

Lulu Belle is the cat’s meow as she strolls through the Highlands woodlands and wildflower fields. This lovely lady is on her way to celebrate Lulu Bleu’s 16th anniversary! The boutique, a favorite local gathering spot, is gearing up for a fabulous roaring ‘20s party full of festivities including dancing, charades, party favors and Martini’s! Oh what fun the gilded age is!

IMG 1276

#11. “Pack Your Bags”

Presenter: Sotheby's International Realty
Designer: Jody Lovell

Our luxury real estate agents are local experts, globally connected and ready to guide you on your home buying and selling journey.

IMG 1289

#12. “All of Nature’s Native Green is Golden on our Plateau!”

Presenter: Wild Azalea Garden Club
Designer: Nancy Jamison

Our Highlands woodland plateau is blessed with a diversity of beautiful Native plants crowned with Dahlias in the late Summer season!

IMG 1287

#13. “Music to My Ears”

Presenter: Laurel Garden Club
Designers: Ruth Edwards, Adele Scielzo, Betsy Hahn

The Gilded Age produced many wonderful inventions including the Gramophone which brought mechanical music into homes throughout the nation.

IMG 1280

#14. “Anna Wear”

A Highlands boutique with a stylish mountain vibe.

IMG 1282

#15. “Dahlias Under Glass”

Presenter: Oakleaf
Designer: Kirk Moore

Like the gastronomical masterpieces set onto grand gilded mansions dining tables in the late 19th and early 20th century; Oakleaf proudly displays “Dahlias under Glass.” A bevy of colorful botanical confections presented as a veritable feast for the eyes.

IMG 1283

#16. “Highlands Tavern”

Highlands new, old tavern feel, hot spot. Custom cocktails, bourbon tastings and creative chefs using local ingredients will inspire your dining and drinking choices.

IMG 1297

#17. “Lady DaHelyea of Highlands”

Presenter: Jeanie Edwards Fine Art
Designer: Jeanie Edwards

Lady DaHelyeah of Highlands first stepped foot on the plateau in June of 1910 when she accompanied her husband, Ransom, to Highlands to seek the treatment of one Ms. Mary Lapham. He had read about her groundbreaking remedies for Tuberculous and her “Bug Hill” sanatorium. While her husband was convalescing “Lady D” was quick to make friends around the sleepy little mountain town. One of the first friends she made was Elenore Raoul Greene, who owned a lovely little plot of land just outside of town. She was a real firecracker being Emory’s first female law school graduate, and along with her sister, Rosine, they were among the south’s first suffragettes. All that was important, but what amazed Lady D was Elenore’s profound gardening skills. Lady D would wile away her days walking through Elenore’s expansive gardens. Seeing how much her husband was benefiting from the mountain air and the treatments he was receiving she decided to make the move from the heat of New Orleans to Highlands a permanent one. With help and guidance from dear friends, The Eskrigges, who had also made the move from New Orleans they purchased a sprawling homestead on Satulah. Lady D fell in love with the easy life here in Highlands; her days spent cultivating her immaculately laid out flower gardens and afternoons spent on the porch of Highfield, the summer home of Wade Hampton Perry and his charming wife Florence.

During her first winter in Highlands Lady D made another rather large decision. She decided that she would have the grandest glass house in the southeastern US constructed on her property. She could not be without her plants for those long cold winter months, and Ransom was still not well enough to travel. Once her glass house was complete she was able to keep her passion for orchids, peonies, and her favorite dahlias alive until Mother Nature awoke the sleepy mountain once again.

As her husband grew stronger so did their love for the area. They also found out what joy and love children could bring as they welcomed their twins, Althea and Alex in 1912. They enjoyed many wonderful years here on the plateau enjoying all she had to offer from hiking, golfing, and exploring. You can still witness the lasting mark Lady D left on the town with a short stroll through the botanical gardens or around Harris Lake.

Lady D was laid to rest in the year of our lord 1970 next to Ransom in the family plot just on the edge of her beloved gardens.

*Please note this is a fictional account of a fictional character*

IMG 1299

#18. “Old Edwards Inn”

Designer: Lisa Dailey

Old Edwards Inn and Spa’s display exclusively showcases native dahlia varieties grown by Director of Farms Matthew Clayton and his team in Cashiers, at GlenCove by Old Edwards. GlenCove is a private multigenerational adventure wellness community filled with streams, ponds, and trails;with the organic garden as its centerpiece.

IMG 1295

#19. “Dress Like You’re Famous”

Presenter: Allison Diane Clothing

We feature the best brands in luxury clothing, accessories and much more.

IMG 1291

#20. “The Highlands Hatter”

During the Gilded Age, with the increase in Industry and Manufacturing, Business Proprietors became wealthy off the backs of the working class.

IMG 1292

#21. “God’s Gilded Age”

Presenter: Episcopal Church of the Incarnation
Designers: Sandy Norton, Prissy Wilson, Minje Ramey, Laura Montgomery

The Gilded Age is but a 30 year span in the history of our country, but God’s Gilded Age began with creation and will last through eternity. The beauty of this world is all around us: in the raging waterfalls and ambling creeks, the blue ridge mountains and the pastel sunsets, and especially in God’s creatures great and small. Have you ever wondered how God must have delighted in creating butterflies? They are graceful, buoyed on the wings of the wind, and their colors show forth the glory of God. To delight in God’s creation is to delight in God.

Psalm 8:1, 3-4 "Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens... When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?"

IMG 1301

#22. “Cullasaja Women’s Outreach”

Designer: Margaret Lauletta, Natalie Jones

IMG 1313

#23. “The Gildedage of Pollinators”

Presenter: Highlands Biological Foundation
Designers: Charlotte Muir, Lisa Dailey, Lisa Alexander

In 2018, Highlands became a certified bee city. As a community, we agreed to work to help protect our local pollinators. North America is home to approximately 4,000 species of native bees and many other pollinators such as butterflies, moths, flies, beetles and birds. Keeping our local pollinators numerous and happy helps to keep our ecosystem functioning. Yet, pollinators are coping with their own “Gilded Age” as their native habitats are being developed for increased residential and commercial use. As a community we can help protect our pollinators by planting native species of plants, creating nesting habitat, and limiting pesticide use. We hope you will join the Highlands Biological Foundation in protecting our pollinators!

The Highlands Biological Foundation is dedicated to educating our community on the biodiversity and ecological importance of the Highlands Plateau. HBF supports both academic research on mountain ecosystems, communities, and species as well as numerous public education programs available to all ages at the Highlands Nature Center. Community generosity ensures that the Highlands Nature Center and its programs remain free to the public. Thank you for your support!

IMG 1315

#24. “Center Life Enrichment”

The Center for Life Enrichment is a continuing education, nonprofit organization. It is aligned with both Western Carolina University and Emory University. The Center is operated by a board of directors elected by its membership and has tax exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service. The courses are open to all persons in Highlands and the surrounding areas. Membership is encouraged so that you may take advantage of discounted rates. Individual membership begins at $35 per year and provides discounted courses as well as the priority opportunity in registering for all courses.

IMG 1306

#25. “Peggy Crosby”

Peggy Crosby center has always served Highlands, first as the hospital, and now as a home to non25profits and businesses who offer community services.

#26. “Revenge is best served cold.”

Presenter: Mountain Findings
Designers: Jill Helmer & Glenda Bell

Making the cut is never easy. "New money" such as the Vanderbilts, had never and would never receive an invitation to Mrs. Astor’s annual January ball. Not being on Mrs. Astor’s "list of 400", what is an ever climbing prudent socialite like Alva Vanderbilt to do? Throw her own party and exclude the snobby self-proclaimed Mrs. Astor and her daughter Carrie.

On that starlit evening of March 26, 1883, the ballroom at Alva and William Vanderbilt’s residence Petit Chateau was extravagantly decorated awaiting the arrival of over 1,000 guests. Carriages lined Fifth Avenue as men in their dashing tuxedos, and women draped in jewels and outrageous costumes lined up to enter the recently completed residence. Upon entering the ballroom, guests were greeted with Champagne, music, and walls covered in ferns, palms, and roses. The stunning floral centerpieces were dahlias artfully arranged in Alva Vanderbilt’s silver.

The dahlias alone made the headlines of all the papers. Hundreds of miles away in Western North Carolina, railroad magnate Vanderbilt, had hired Samuel Kelsey to force the dahlia’s into blooming for this grand event. Never had New York society seen such exotic flowers. The wealthy were well traveled but rarely to Mexico and Central America where the Aztecs and Toltecs had been responsible for the dahlia’s proliferation.

The Vanderbilts had finally made the cut. Alva had succeeded in knocking Mrs. Astor from her throne and had placed the Vanderbilts amongst New York’s highest in society.

Postscript: It was William’s brother George Washington Vanderbilt who went on to build Biltmore in Asheville, NC.

IMG 1327
 
 

#27. “Planting Seeds For A Better Tomorrow with Highlands Cashiers Land Trust”

Presenter: Highlands Cashiers Land Trust
Designer: Julie Schott

Deeply woven into the fabric of our community, Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust has been conserving the places we all love and need for 112 years. When Highlands’ founder, Samuel Kelsey, stood atop what is now HCLT’s conserved Satulah Mountain Preserve, he knew that he had found someplace special, a realization that you, as someone standing here in this beautiful green space nestled in this charming community surrounded by these incredible mountains have likely also realized. Indeed, a place this special needs to be cared for

and HCLT is equipped and ready to continue this charge for the next 100 years. An accredited 501c3 non-profit organization, your Land Trust protects the lush forests, majestic peaks, gurgling waters and open spaces that make our plateau so special. These places are necessary for the health and well-being of all who call our mountains home - two legged, four legged, scaled, feathered, leaf - covered and blooming. We are funded thanks to the support of people like you. Now more than ever, the pressure is on our mountains - they need us. Please consider investing in our home by donating to HCLT today at hicashlt.org. All the native botanicals used here were collected from our conserved properties here on the plateau.

IMG 1305

#28. “Mountain Theatre Company”

Designer: Natalie Jones

Since the Highlands playhouse was built in 1934, theatre has waxed and waned but has always survived thanks to the passion and talents of local people committed to the arts. The playhouse, built as the high school auditorium, hosted its first play in 1939, “Dulcy.” A full house paid .50 for reserved seats and .35 for general admission. Today the Mountain Theatre Company is presenting its 84th season of live theatre, the passion and purpose remain the same; “to serve as a gathering place for all who love live entertainment .” Jersey Boys and Sentimental Journey wowed and celebrated the return to live theatre. Look for Brooklyn: The Musical, September 23 -October 16th to close out our most successful season to dIMG 1311ate.


#29. “Painting On The Mountaintop”

Presenter: Highlands Mountaintop Rotary.
Designers: Cath Connolly Hudson and Michael Burrel

Highlands Mountaintop Rotary Club brings you a piece of the ‘Gilded Age’ when art depicting the world around us was important. It was a time when Portraits and Still Life paintings were treasured in every home.Bringing you a little grandeur of past times, our beautiful Still Life display of Dahlias and Native NC flowers is “Painted’ and alive with bloom on the easel.

IMG 1321

#30. “The Dahliatree”

Presenter: High Hampton
Designer: Drew English

The year was 1883, and Alva Vanderbilt, wife of William K. Vanderbilt, was preparing to host one of the most extravagant parties New York Society and the United States had ever seen. Her fancy dress costume party would come to epitomize the Gilded Age as a time of opulence, grandeur and excess. With an estimated floral/flower budget of over $11,000 (equivalent to about $320,000 today), The New York Times reported on the ball and printed vivid descriptions of the Vanderbilt’s Fifth Avenue mansion, “Le Petite Chateau”-“gilded baskets filled with natural roses of extraordinary size” Some halls were so filled with foliage that “the walls were nowhere to be seen...in their places- an impenetrable thicket of fern above fern and palm above palm, while from the branches of the palms hung a profusion of lovely orchids, displaying a rich variety of color and an almost endless variation of fantastic forms.”

This display is in the spirit of Avla’s lavish floral décor at “Le Petite Chateau” that evening, but this time using Dahlias. The Dahlias affixed and hanging on the Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel branches appear to actually bloom from the branches, as if Dahlias grew on trees!

This “Dahlia Tree '' represents the whimsy and abundance of the Vanderbilt’s historic party and the lavishness of the Gilded Age.

image 6487327
 
 

#31. “The Goldenage Of Children’s Literature”

Presenter: Boys & Girls Club of the Plateau
Designers: Young Members with Support From Volunteers Roddy Tattersall and Elenor Welling

The Golden Age of Children's Literature coincided with the Gilded age and resulted in great works from Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll, George MacDonald, Kenneth Grahame, Beatrix Potter, Frances Hodgson Burnett, J. M. Barrie, Rudyard Kipling, and A. A. Milne. Featured here are Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne, TIMG 1309he Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, and Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter.

#32. “Highlands Rotary”

Designers: Sherry Holt, Linda Carter & Scott Carter

Rotary Club of Highlands was chartered in 1945. We meet every Tuesday at noon for a luncheon and fellowship at the Town Community Building. The current Club is run by a board of directors under the by-laws of Rotary International. Each year a new President takes leadership July 1 through June 30. Over the years the club has grown in membership therefore were able to establish more service events as well as fundraisers. All monies raised from fundraisers goes back into the community. We partner with other charities and Rotary clubs to serve the greater need of our community and beyond. For more information on our club and events go to www.highlandsroatry.org .

 IMG 1303
 

#33. “Timeless Beauty Expressed In The Arts”

Presenter: Highlands Performing Arts Center
Designers: Ruth Claiborne, Cindy Trevathan, & Dennis Leftwich

“Feed the body food and drink, it will survive today. Feed the soul art and music, it will live forever.” (JulieAndrews). There are many ways to feed the soul. The Highlands Plateau nourishes us with breathtaking surroundings that naturally appeal to lovers of the arts.

The beauty of nature and the clean and pleasant air of the Blue Ridge attracted magnates of the Gilded Age. In 1888 George Vanderbilt commissioned Richard Morris and Frederick Law Olmstead to create The Biltmore in Asheville, fulfilling his dream of a 250-room country chateau situated on 125,000 wooded acres. It stands as a symbol of all that glittered in that era.

75 miles away, Highlands was the brainchild of Samuel Kelsey and C.C. Hutchinson, who in 1875 charted their lines from New York to New Orleans, Chicago to Savannah. At the intersection, they birthed a town in the rainforest, nestled among mountains, rivers, waterfalls, flora and fauna. Gilded Age estates of Highlands are icons of gracious elegance in wood and stone. At Wolf Ridge, Wantoot (Playmore), Chetolah, Cheeonondah, and other quintessentially Highlands estates, we find perfect proportions, spectacular views, and successions of devoted owners.

Music, dance, and storytelling are revered traditions in Highlands, where generations thrill to the songs of church organs, pianos, dulcimers, bagpipes, banjos, harps, and fiddles, often accompanying worship, drama and dance. Mindful of these deeply rooted traditions, the Highlands Performing Arts Center (PAC) honors past, present, and future by building a new venue for inspiration and rejuvenation. PAC presents music from classical chamber to bluegrass, timeless rock, musical theatre, drama, dance, film, comedy, and more. Arts have the power to transport our imaginations from our present time, back to the past, and forward to the future.

The time has now arrived to see what’s inside Highlands’ newest venue! Anticipate great performances enhanced by state-of-the-art sound, lighting, and communications technology, comfortable seating with unobstructed sight lines and brilliant acoustics. This theater was built with a mission to provide for the community a quality venue showcasing all the performing arts in connected buildings on one campus.

After seven years of hard work supported by 250 donors in amounts from $5 to $5 million, the new Highlands Performing Arts Center is ready to open its doors. The community has generously funded acquisition of three parcels of the PAC’s adjoining land, the design, engineering, and construction of a new 298 seat theater. We still need a few more angels to complete construction funding and endow the future.

Now we offer this venue to the community! The best is yet to come!33

#34. “Welcome Tootles’ Garden Party”

Presenter: Mountain Garden Club
Designer: Ellie Houston

J.B. (Jailbird) and his wife Bodacious welcome baby Tootles one year after their wedding last September! To celebrate and introduce her to the community they are holding a garden party outside the jailhouse. While planning the party, poor Bodacious came down with the latest flu epidemic and has been forced to ‘quarantine’ inside the jailhouse. You might see her looking out the window watching over J.B. taking care of Tootles!

 IMG 1323
 

#35. “Gilded Elegance – A still life of Dahlias”

Presenter: Sheep Laurel Garden Club
Designers: Linda Vann, Sally Price, Karen Hiron, Barbara Taylor, Betsy Nalty Simmons

America’s Gilded Age is a time in our history representative of prosperity and rapid expansion along with a newfound appreciation for hospitality, elegance, and beauty in society. Fortunately for us here on the plateau, North Carolina is home to the Biltmore, an icon of our Gilded Age. The Biltmore House, Gardens, & Forest, intact today as they were over a century ago, are wonderful examples of this prolific era, as if frozen in time.

Our inspiration today, a mid-1800s still-life of dahlias painted by Johan Laurents Jensen, also reflects threads of elegance demonstrative of the American Gilded Age, and just as the Biltmore is a piece of art frozen in time, as is our inspirational canvas of dahlias. A still life in flowers demonstrates the elegance of these dahlias in their most honored position, featured in a classic arrangement that perfectly depicts their formal yet approachable appeal. One can almost imagine the painting and the arrangement both dispIMG 0778layed in and around the Biltmore House at the height of the Gilded Age

#36. “The Evolution Of Floristry During The Gildedage”

Presenter: The Vineyardat High Holly

Before the Gilded Age, a typical florist operation resembled today’s garden centers. Greenhouses and outdoor beds produced flowers, nursery stock, and bedding plants, as well as potted plants, bulbs, and seeds. Floral decorations in large houses were the responsibility of the head gardeners or small local florist. In smaller houses, this task was executed by the mistress. Since science of post-harvest care and handling was not yet known, cut flowers had a very short vase life.

Around the time of the Gilded Age, customers’ taste and demands changed linked to the expansion of the middle class. As a specialized trade, flowers required more time for preparation, sales and delivery. In turn these changes increased sales from bulk cut flower markets and gave rise to floral wholesalers.

The prevailing method for bulk flower buying at the end of the 19th century was through brokers, with approximately two hundred in 1895 New York alone. The New York Flower Company was one of the first wholesale florists. The cut flowers were purchased from fifty different growers in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Flowers were shipped via rail to the wholesaler in large, refrigerated wooden boxes. Since then, new methods for post-harvest care and handling were obtained, giving the flowers greater longevity than in the past.

IMG 0781
 
 

#37. "Tennis"

Designers: Jan Moriarty, Annette Waldon
Presenter: Highlands Historical Society

Tennis was a rival for golf on the plateau. Hall House, all the golf clubs, and many private homes had tennis courts. Ladies and gentlemen wore the same finery for a Sunday stroll to Whiteside as they did fIMG 0779or a game of tennis. Ladies in long skirts, men in ties.