One of the biggest retail holidays of the year is Valentine’s Day. Students who are in the Horticulture Plant Shop and Flower Center are able to take part in the rush and have kept the stores busy and full this semester through various means of advertising. The preparation that goes into these holidays can be quite extensive. This year the students started preparing for Valentine’s Day the first week of the semester. Bright, colorful posters and fliers have been floating around offering Miniature Roses and Fresh Flower Bouquets for that special “sweetheart” and echoing sweet sentiments such as “Watch Your Love Grow.” Other preparations included sending out email reminders, ordering plants, prepping the plants with colorful wraps, and setting up eye-pleasing displays meant to draw customers in. The money earned from sales like Valentine’s Day goes to fund the Horticulture Department’s many field trips and plant materials for classes. The plants and flowers available change every week, so to keep up with the current stock, be sure to drop by the Flower Center in Benson 147 Mon-Fri from 8am-6pm and the Benson Greenhouses in Benson 275 Mon-Fri from 8am-5pm. The Plant Shop also has a booth in the MC every Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm.
To kick off the winter 2012 semester, Brother Toll’s Nursery Managementclass took a trip to Boise, ID to attend the Idaho Nursery and Landscaping Association (INLA) expo. This event is a great way to network with and see the different businesses around the country that are making waves in the Horticulture industry. The trip lasted three days and was filled with classes and seminars that were taught by leading national businesses. The students were taught about current topics that are pertinent to the Horticulture industry and various other subjects. The students were also able to attend the INLA Horticulture Trade Show and saw booths run by dozens of companies that provide materials and services for the Horticulture industry. The students had the opportunity to run a booth for the BYUI Horticulture Department. There are several scholarships that are offered through the INLA. Out of the four scholarships awarded, our students came home with three of them! The scholarships were $750 each and were given to Micah Woods, Ashley Barkow, and Ismael Ruelas. Bryan Randall also won an award in a plant identification contest. His prize was a brand new Kindle. The trip was fun for all who went and we are now looking forward for next year’s trip! For information on the scholarships and how to apply, click here.
Very early in the morning on December 27th, 2011, several students and Sister Infanger left for Pasadena, California. They were headed to attend the annual Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. The trip lasted one week and the students were able to participate in the making of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. Two of the participating students were new to the trip this year, Mallory Layton and Liesel Hirschi. They were able to go and work as floral designers on a few floats that the Phoenix Decorating company produced. Returning alumni were Hayley Sheppard, a senior at BYUI, and Kristin Wheelwright, a graduate of BYUI who flew all the way from New York to participate. Hayley and Kristin were actually hired by the Phoenix Decorating company to design and put together some of the floats. Because there were a few days before Sister Infanger and her students could start working on the floats, they spent some time sightseeing in sunny and warm Pasadena. They were able to go to the Griffith Observatory, they experienced the winter beach at Santa Monica Pier, and they even got to go shopping in the Old Downtown area! And then the work began. Out of the 44 floats that were in the Rose Parade, the Phoenix company produced 22 of them! Lucky Sister Infanger and crew got to work on these beautiful pieces of art! The theme of the parade this year was Just Imagine. It was held on Monday January 2, 2012 and the float decorators worked hard all Saturday night to be sure the floats were ready for final judging on Sunday. The four girls and Sister Infanger were separated onto teams that took care of several different floats. The work that they did largely included designing the floral part of the floats. Some of their other responsibilities included wiring, greening, and finally placing the flowers to bring to life the magnificent floats. The girls and Sister Infanger stayed in Pasadena for the final judging and then drove home that night. “I was actually home in time to watch it on TV! Which was weird!” stated Sister Infanger. The girls had worked hard and were rewarded with the satisfaction of several floats winning trophies in the tournament.
The floats, which the girls and Sister Infanger worked on, that received awards are as follows:
-Craftsman Trophy- Trader Joe’s “Hot Lava” (Sis. Infanger and Liesel)
-Directors’ Trophy- Bayer Advanced “Garden of Imagination” (Kristin)
-Judges’ Special Trophy- Donate Life “One More Day” (Sis. Infanger and Liesel)
-National Trophy- Western Asset Management “Imagine in America” (Mallory)
-Princesses’ Trophy- Rotary International “Inching Towards the End of Polio” (Hayley)
-Theme Trophy- US Bank “Idea Factory” (Kristin)
-Tournament Special Trophy- RFD-TV “Happy Trails” (Mallory)
(For a list of all the floats that received awards click here.)
This trip was deemed very successful and was “a good experience” all around. The students were able to network with recognized national leaders in the Floral Design and Event industry. Attending this event gives them the opportunity to design in one of the largest floral events in the nation. Not only is this Pasadena trip an annual opportunity, but students from the Horticulture Department also have the opportunity to apply for and attend the annual Grand Floral Parade in Portland, Oregon. The application to the Portland event for this year will be available in March.
Our aim for the Department of Horticulture at Brigham Young University-Idaho is to nurture understanding of both the art and science of Horticulture. Students learn experimentally in the classroom, laboratory, greenhouse, and ten acre Thomas E. Ricks demonstration garden as they pursue an Associates or Bachelors Degree. Using the medium of plants, students develop habits of hard work, enlightened minds, and healthy living that assist in gainful employment opportunitues.