On Tuesday, May 1, the Garden Club of Montclair held its annual May Basket Competition for the township’s retailers and businesses. Each year in conjunction with the May in Montclair celebration, the Garden Club invites local businesses to create floral displays outside their establishments that celebrate spring and highlight their business themes. As a member of the Montclair Garden Club I was invited to take photographs of some of the more fetching designs in this year’s competition. With 72 businesses participating from the South End, Central, Grove Street, Watchung Plaza and Upper Montclair Business Districts competition must have been fierce from what I saw.
Susan Straten, co-chair with Aida Malouf of the Garden Club’s May Basket Committee, said, “The Garden Club enjoys this annual event; our wonderful Montclair businesses go all out for the competition and the creativity displayed is wonderful.”
This year 36 blue ribbons were awarded to the businesses with the most outstanding displays – the designers demonstrated creativity in either interpretation of their business theme or a spring theme. In addition, many merchants filled the planters outside their establishments with flowers that patrons will enjoy throughout the summer.
The most notable displays included
Sanford Insurance Group, 210 Bellevue Avenue. Designer Theresa Sanford created a clever spring rain theme -- rubber boots filled with bright floral arrangements, umbrellas adorned with cascading forsythia and the sign “Are you well protected?”
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, 736 Bellevue Avenue, featured a fully landscaped dollhouse, complete with “slate sidewalks.”
Watchung Booksellers, 54 Fairfield Street. Designer Carolyn Anbar used chicken wire, brightly blooming flowers and vines to depict a person sitting in a chair reading a book.
Learning Express, 596 Valley Road. A tea table for the pint-sized set was the whimsical centerpiece of this installation.
Gallery U, 197 Glenridge Avenue. Resident Artist and Instructor Carmen Bury embellished a sculpture of a woman’s torso with brightly toned flowers and eye-catching details.
As you shop around Montclair, look at the designs, pick your favorite and let us know in the Comments section.