Darien's Round Meadow Landscapes Wins Floral Contest

Darien, CT—June 27, 2001—Round Meadow Landscapes of Darien, CT, walked away with top honors in the 2001 Floral Jump Contest at the 72nd Ox Ridge Charity Horse Show, June 11 -17, at the Ox Ridge Hunt Club. The contest was held on the horse show’s final day, Sunday, June 17, despite heavy rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Alison. 

Round Meadow Landscapes is owned by Woody Oldrin, who along with fellow designers Alison O’Neil and Dave Winston, designed and built the extensive landscaping with three co-workers helping out on the installation. 

The Floral Jump Contest, sponsored by American Airlines® “Coach With More Class,” brought six area florists and nurseries to the Grand Prix Ring where they decorated the jumps in time for some of the best show jumping horses and riders in the country to compete in the prestigious $35,000 Ox Ridge Grand Prix. 

“The Floral Jump Contest is fun, a great team-building exercise for the company, ” Oldrin said following Round Meadow Landscapes’ third victory in the contest. “Winning isn’t as important as the fun we have” on this assignment, he noted, which is the philosophy Round Meadow brings to all their jobs. If the landscapers enjoy their efforts, the clients will enjoy the results. 

The effort paid off again this year, as Round Meadow Landscapes was recognized for their expansive display of a Connecticut coastal garden theme. “It poured during the four and a half hours the six of us spent building the landscape,” Oldrin remarked. Ironically fitting in with their pre-planned seashore theme, Round Meadow Landscapes arrived to learn that they were assigned to decorate a water jump. On one side of the jump, the team built a sand dune decorated with native grasses and sedges, such as would be found on Norwalk islands. The other side of the jump featured more colorful hydrangeas, straw daisies, native dogwoods and more florals, mimicking a Nantucket-style cottage garden. 

Oldrin credits his success in the Floral Jump Contest, including first place in 1997 for the “Flights of Fancy” design, and for their 1999 interpretation of “Bridging the Coasts—East to West,” to their experience after five years participating. “We’re very detail-conscious,” he added. Round Meadow Landscape’s designers make sure to bring a variety of empty pots and other structures to help them vary the height of their plantings. They also go out of their way to conceal the pots and other man-made materials to enhance the natural appearance of their native plant materials. 

Round Meadow Landscapes took home the Floral Jump Contest’s grand prize, round-trip air transportation for two to any domestic or Caribbean destination served by American Airlines®, after being ruled the winner by a panel of horticultural experts. The judges panel included: Mr. Frank Laning, Floral Designer, AAF, AIFD, PFC-1, Owner of Flowers by Frank Laning in Chappaqua, NY; Mark Sorosiak, Landscape Architect, M.A.S. Group of Woodbury, CT; Andrew Stewart, Landscape Designer, Young’s Nurseries of Wilton, CT. 

Oliver Nurseries of Fairfield, CT, which won the Floral Jump Contest in 2000, took second place this year. 

The Ox Ridge Charity Horse Show is Connecticut’s oldest equestrian tradition, and was the first show in New England to feature a Grand Prix show jumping event. Proceeds from the Ox Ridge Charity Horse Show benefit the Center for Hope in Darien, CT, which provides support and counseling for children and families facing life-threatening illnesses. For more information on the Ox Ridge Charity Horse Show, please call (203) 656-1743.