June 5, 2023
Thank You to our Volunteers and Visitors for Making Flower Mart 2023 A Success
With the theme “A New Beginning” the All Hallows Guild’s 84th Flower Mart, which raises funds to support the upkeep of the gardens and grounds of the Washington National Cathedral, was a resounding success! Two days of glorious sunshine and blue skies created a magical experience for visitors who flocked to the Cathedral Close to enjoy all that Flower Mart offers – varied and multicultural entertainment both inside and outside of the cathedral; the international floral show exhibiting floral displays from 19 countries; a multitude of food and gift vendor choices; children’s rides and games; an antique carousel; cathedral tower climb; puppet show; a children’s used book sale tent; white elephant tent and, of course, plants.
Planning an event this size is a year-long process involving meticulous attention to detail and commitment on the part of Ayca Tanis, this year’s Flower Mart Chair, all members of the Flower Mart Committee and All Hallows Guild Board, as well as the Corporate and Individual Sponsors of the 84th Flower Mart. So many volunteers contribute to the success of Flower Mart; several groups help the Guild in its mission year after year. Here are just a few, starting with members of the Cathedral Close.
PECF (Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation) Staff
Months before Flower Mart, the PECF Foundation staff are working behind the scenes to make it happen. Sandy Flowers and her Horticulture and Grounds crew order plants and provide expert plant advice, unload trucks of plants, and set up tables and plant stands for plants to be sold at All Hallows Guilds Premier Plants Booth. They put up and take down the carousel (which takes several days on each end of Flower Mart), work extra hard to make sure the gardens and grounds are at their best, and clean up and restore the grounds after Flower Mart is over. Cathedral staff helped arrange for volunteers and PECF Security is ever present to make sure participants can enjoy the event safely.
The Cathedral Tower Climb
The Cathedral Visitor Services Group offers a special Tower Climb that is only offered during Flower Mart. Proceeds are donated to Flower Mart.
National Cathedral and St. Albans Schools’ Children’s Used Books
The National Cathedral School first started helping at Flower Mart in 1949. Students staffed the first Used Book Sale booth in 1954 with a Parisian theme of “Stall on the Seine”. The next year students dressed in Dickensian costumes. The book tent has transformed throughout the years, with the NCS and St. Albans’ Parent Associations now managing the tent that specializes in Children’s and Young Adult tents. Volunteers offer a children’s storytelling hour.
Beauvoir Children’s Rides and Games
Beauvoir School consistently outdoes itself with the creativity and zest that they bring to Children’s Games. The Children’s Games area consists of a mix of rides and bounces with more old-fashioned games such as bottle top toss and pond fishing. Face painting and balloon animals were other popular draws.
Episcopal Church Women (ECW) Baked Goods
The ECW Baked Goods booth is a popular stop along the winding vendor path. Its variety of cupcakes, breads, cookies, and refreshing drinks is a draw for kids, parents, and the casual stroller. The booth successfully sold out all its goods by 3 pm on Saturday. All proceeds support the All Hallows Guild and its mission of the upkeep of the Cathedral gardens and grounds. The ECW board of the Diocese of Washington has been organizing the Baked Goods booth for 70 years. Each year, ECW chapters across the Diocese provide donations from their parish.
St. Andrews Episcopal School
Kenwood Garden Club
Flower Mart Visitors enjoyed entertainment both inside and outside of the Cathedral. Singing and dance groups from the Close schools performed as did 13 non-school related groups including dance groups such as a Flamenco, Irish, and Classical Indian Dance. Musical groups such as a folk/rock band, marimba ensemble, and the Children’s Chorus of Washington were just some of the musical entertainments. The Washington Revels traditionally close out Flower Mart on Saturday afternoon.
AHG Information Booth
All Hallows Guild volunteers provided visitors with directions and information. They also sold azaleas, floral bouquets, and large umbrellas (which thankfully were not needed at this Flower Mart!).
All Hallows Guild’s Premier Plant Booth
By the numbers, it was the best Premier Plants Flower Mart Sale with 100% of the proceeds benefitting the gardens and grounds of the Washington National Cathedral.
It took 5 hours to set up 6,377 plants ordered in coordination with the Horticulture and grounds staff. The plants consisted of perennials (87 types totaling 1,899 plants arranged alphabetically by Latin names and by sun or shade recommendations); herbs (64 types totaling 2,658 plants, arranged alphabetically); annuals (136 types totaling 1,820 plants arranged by shade or sun recommendations). Signage indicating special plant conditions such as attractive to birds and butterflies; fragrant and aromatic; deer resistant; native plants; and plants of the Bishops Garden was added to the plant stands.
A total of 58 volunteers from All Hallows Guild Members and their families, Trowel Garden Club members, Flower Mart Corporate Sponsors and their staff members, and volunteers responding directly to All Hallows Guild website were spread over 6 shifts. The Horticulture and Grounds staff provided expert plant advice as well as unloading trucks of plants and setting up tables and plant stands. This year the booth sold out in 12 hours due to the superb weather, wonderful volunteers and an exceptional plant selection.
White Elephant Booth
The White Elephant Booth is a Flower Mart tradition. There currently are about 10 regular volunteers that help sort, price and pack donations starting around the end of February through flower mart week. Over 70 volunteers are on hand the week of Flower Mart to unpack, set up, and sell. Volunteers are mainly parents of alumni of St. Albans and NCS as well as Guild community friends. Donations come primarily from the Cleveland Park Listserv although advertisement was placed in about 12 Listservs from upper northwest communities. The White Elephant tent has its own website. For more information on what they sell, see https://www.flowermartwe.com
The Spirit In Bloom Art Exhibit
On Friday and Saturday from 11 am – 1 pm, artists from the Botanical Art Society of the National Capital Region (BASNCR) were on hand in the Cathedral tower doing informal live demos, painting and drawing plants, explaining their techniques, and answering questions for visitors to All Hallows Guild’s spring art exhibition “The Spirit in Bloom.” Participating artists were Barbara Schoeberl, Alice Tangerini, Ariane D’Souza, Marsha Ogden, and Anne Clippinger, all of whom had work in the show.
Food and Gift Vendors
Thank you to the many food and gift vendors that provide a portion of their proceeds to help All Hallows Guild maintain the gardens and grounds of the Cathedral.