Jamaica’s renowned floral artistry was on full display at Flower Mart 2009, the premier outdoor festival for garden and floral enthusiasts from the mid-Atlantic United States region, held on May 1 and 2, in Washington, D.C.
The event was staged on the grounds of the historic Washington National Cathedral, under the theme ‘Flowers Around the World’, and featured exhibitions from several countries. Jamaica, the only Caribbean country which participated, staged exhibits featuring arrangements utilising native plants and display materials depicting the theme, ‘Land of Wood and Water’.
Well-known local floral designer, Marigold Harding, headed the Jamaican team, with support from the Embassy of Jamaica in Washington.
Mrs. Harding, wife of President of the Senate, Dr. Oswald Harding, is a veteran of the international flower show circuit and has participated in, and represented Jamaica at major events, such as the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show in the United Kingdom, where she has been an exhibitor for the last seven years. She has also represented the country at the noted Canada Blooms Festival, as well as other exhibitions in Belgium.
She is the first Jamaican ever to be named as an international judge in floral art competitions.
Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Anthony Johnson (left), is greeted by the Archbishop of Washington’s National Cathedral, Rt. Rev. John Bryson Chane, on his arrival at Flower Mart 2009, which took place May 1-2 on the grounds of the National Cathedral, in Washington, D.C. Jamaica was the only Caribbean country to participate in the festival. Looking on are Karen Chane (third left), wife of the Archbishop; and Marigold Harding (right), well known floral designer who headed the Jamaican exhibition team.
“The invitation to Jamaica to participate in the 2009 festival was a reflection of the (significant) interest in Jamaica and what we do. We’ve been very successful in other arenas, such as sports and education. Using this medium will provide yet another aspect of Jamaica, its flora and fauna, that people have not traditionally seen,” Mrs. Harding told JIS News.
“For Jamaica to be the only Caribbean country to participate in this important flower show gives us an opportunity to highlight Jamaica and to show to the rest of the world what we can do, how we can participate in an international exhibition and for us to have a presence,” she added.
Mrs. Harding pointed out that Jamaica is participating for a third time and would continue to participate in the show as long as the country is invited.
Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Anthony Johnson, who visited the show said that the continued participation of Jamaica in the event is a signal of the important role which Jamaica plays internationally. “Jamaica is indebted to Mrs. Marigold Harding and her assistant, Mrs. Unis Morrison, who continue to represent Jamaica at this prestigious event,” he said.
The country’s participation was made possible through sponsorship from Air Jamaica Ltd., the Embassy of Jamaica and Pan Jamaican investment Trust Ltd.
The 2009 Flower Mart, which attracted thousands of patrons, is a fixture on the Washington spring calendar and is a key component of an array of events staged in the District of Columbia, designed to attract tourists to the American capital.