INTERNATIONAL AFFILIATE NEWS
Archbishop of Guatemala Oscar Julio Vian Morales called on Club Jardin de Guatemala to decorate the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint James with a Flower Show for the week-long celebration of the cathedral’s 200th anniversary. Club Jardin de Guatemala and its affiliate, Florali, shared the invitation, calling upon the other NGC Affiliate Garden Clubs of Guatemala to take part in this historic celebration.
The results were outstanding. The Horticulture Division was staged in a building adjacent to the Cathedral, a school that also houses the Cathedral’s museum. The building had a traditional Spanish open court and all classrooms and the four hallways served as a perfect stage to showcase the extraordinary Guatemalan flora, represented by three hundred exhibited horticultural specimens. In one of the classrooms, three educational exhibits were staged, sharing the theme of “Native Plants used for Food and Medicine,” including two multicolored collages made of dried flowers sent by members of the Club Jardin Tropical de Retalhuleu.
As one walked into the decorated Cathedral, the first sensation was the mixture of floral aromas. From the entrance narthex (an antechamber or large porch) to the sanctuary altar, decorative wreaths were exhibited on each of the cathedral’s columns. The nave of the cathedral featured 60 floral designs ornamentally placed in individual architectural niches; altars and praying benches were adorned with flowers.
The sanctuary altar, which rises above the center of the cathedral, was the focal point and a floral statement, as the large circular Guatemalan marble cupola held by four tall columns had been completely covered with flowers. In the chancel, or backdrop to the altar, a tall circle of flowers, representing the crown of thorns, repeated the circular form of the cupola.
NGC Judges included NGC President Sandy Robinson, NGC Second Vice-President Gay Austin, and International Liaison Idalia Aguilar. It was indeed a privilege to judge this educational, cultural, historical, and religious event. Gracias Guatemala.
Idalia de Aguilar, NGC IA Liaison
Article and photos reprinted with permission by The National Gardener, Fall 2015.