Horticulture Students Create 'Winter Magic' in MCCC Student Center 


West Windsor, N.J. – A group of horticulture students at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) added a nature’s bounty of winter cheer to the West Windsor Campus Student Center in December. 

As part of a class project, students in Floral Design I (OHT 207) constructed a life-size picture frame they called “Winter Magic.” Designed as a floral “photo op” for Mercer students and staff alike, the frame featured evergreens, snapdragons, hydrangea, carnations, spider mums, lilies, winterberries and more. Some materials were harvested from around the college campus. 

Student Kelly Paragone of Hamilton was delighted with the project. “The installation is classic winter. Students and staff can step into it and take a really nice picture,” she said. 

With guidance from Adjunct Professor Deborah Pomroy, who teaches the course in the MCCC Greenhouse, the students worked on every aspect of the project, from creating a budget for materials and ordering supplies to designing and installing the display. They even publicized the photo station on Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag #MCCCFloralDesign as part of the marketing curriculum. 

Installation day on December 7 gave students the chance to put their planning into action. They built the display in 2-1/2 hours, as Pomroy asked questions and offered advice. 

“Stand back and look at it,” she instructed. “What areas need to be spruced up or filled in?”   

The display was installed for a full week, with students tending to the flowers and plants throughout. “During the week, they maintained it and made sure it held up,” Pomroy said. “This was great practical experience for them.” 

According to student Kathleen Thornton of Lawrenceville, the Winter Magic photo station was one of many fulfilling aspects of her Mercer education. 

“It was the horticulture program that brought me to Mercer,” said Thornton, who plans to continue her studies at Rutgers. “Every week we make something new. It’s always hands-on.”  

MCCC offers associate degree programs in Ornamental Horticulture, Plant Science and Sustainability, as well as credit and non-credit certificate programs.


MCCC Ornamental Horticulture Program

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Horticulture students planned every aspect of the winter display from conception through completion.


Each part of the display was created with love by Floral Design students.