Martiniquans make local flower show a regional affair

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This article by Michelle Loubon appeared in trinidad’s Express.

Strolling through Trinidad Country Club in Maraval, Reema Carmona, wife of President Anthony Carmona, described the floral banquet as “stunning”. There were some eye-catching blooms, orchids, anthuriums and floral arrangements, which Carmona labelled as “absolutely gorgeous”, at Saturday’s premiere of the Horticultural Society of Trinidad and Tobago (HSTT) Flower Show.

Among those present were HSTT president Paul Duval, first vice-president Loraine Mahabal, secretary Francica Lord, treasurer Janice Barnes and assistant treasurer Mario Young.

They were joined by Mayor of Trois-Ilets, Martinique, Armaud Rene-Corcul, and his 15-member contingent; HSTT floral designers Simone Taylor and Enid Lashley and award-winning horticulturist Joan Wilson.

Rene-Corcul was in Trinidad to promote the Martiniquan Flower Festival, which is scheduled for June 15-21.
The theme for HSTT’s 2015 event is “Pleasures of the Garden”.

Carmona was given a grand tour of the display, which was concentrated in the ballroom.

She slipped past a dizzying array of sections including Bonsai, Thailand (Joan Wilson), complete with brollies; beautiful blooms in East of Eden; and Forestry Division and Ministry of Food Production’s indigenous and exotic fruits and vegetables.
Carmona also posed for photographs beside a chaconia sprouting from a vase and greenery from the Office of the President’s display.

Along the way, Carmona was given quick lessons on the medicinal and ornamental value of plants and flowers.
David Maharaj, of the Ministry of Food Production, proudly displayed nature’s bounty, including Palmyra palms, Sapucaya nuts, sygen, chalta, screw pine, fish poison tree and T&T’s world-famous cocoa.

Carmona made her way outdoors to the vendors, where Agricultural Society of Trinidad and Tobago (ASTT) president Dhano Sookoo presented her with an umbrella and portugals.

Mrs Carmona stopped to chat with the zookeepers and beekeepers. Before exiting, Lord pinned a corsage on her and she was presented with a floral bouquet.

Asked to share her sentiments on the Martiniquan contingent, Carmona said: “We have a wide array of flowers. I will be supporting it (Martiniquan Flower Festival). It is an opportunity to put the Caribbean on the globe. We have very exotic flowers. We have to think and be aware about the environmental awareness.”

She also thanked the HSTT for their hospitality and urged them to continue their “positive work”.

Giving an overview of the event, Duval said: “It cost about $150,000…we have 30 kiosks. We used the ballroom to have one display…this year we separated the display from the vendors. We expect about 10,000 people. We have put a lot of emphasis on the floral market…we have an exciting assortment of flowers and foliage. I want to thank Taylor for putting it all together. I want to thank the mayor (Rene-Corcul) and the team who are here.”

Through a translator, Rene-Corcul said: “We are here to promote the Martiniquan Flower Festival. It will be held where Empress Josephine, wife of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, was born. Before, we went to St Vincent to garner support. We are inviting many Caribbean countries to participate. We have met with Association of Caribbean States (ACS). It is the biggest flower festival in the Caribbean on several hectares.”

The HSTT Flower Show continued yesterday at Trinidad Country Club.

For the original report go to http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Martiniquans-make-local-flower-show-a-regional-affair-297955591.html

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