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At my garden club’s flower show last Friday, my 22 year old Mammillaria elongata cactus took the Award of Merit (orange ribbon) in the houseplants class of the horticulture section. Yeah! (Except there were some very worthy entries just as deserving!)

Cactus winner

This garden club held what is called a ‘small’ flower show rather the the standard flower show. Many clubs take advantage of this type of show because it doesn’t demand the same number of entries. For example a small show needs only three design classes rather than five, or a total of 12 designs rather than 20. It is very intimidating to make a design that everyone will see and has been judged. The show “Quilting Bee” was held at a local church during the Ludington Sidewalk Sales Days. The room was full of quilts made by a local quilting group. They were awesome! I hope people walked one block over to see this excellent one-day show.

Succulent garden

While not winning a blue ribbon, I loved the succulent garden in this piece of wood.

Blue ribbon winner in design class "Log Cabin Quilt"

Blue ribbon winner in design class “Log Cabin Quilt”

Blue ribbon winner in design class "Mariner's Compass Quilt."

Blue ribbon winner in design class “Mariner’s Compass Quilt.”

Blue ribbon and Award of Design Excellence in the design class "Flower Basket Quilt."

Blue ribbon and Award of Design Excellence in the design class “Blazing Star Quilt.”

There was a fourth design class but my photo was bad. Here, however, is another entry in the design class “Flower Basket Quilt.” It is a beautiful mass (type of design) design of summer flowers. Beautiful!

The ribbon you earn doesn't necessarily reflect on the beauty of the design.

The ribbon you earn doesn’t necessarily reflect on the beauty of the design.

Horticulture is a show has to match what is in bloom at the time of the show. This consideration often affects the time a show is scheduled, but when clubs want to attract audiences, they often have to co-ordinate with local events in their area.

A blue ribbon winner in the Annual Flower Section.

A blue ribbon winner in the Annual Flower Section.

Blue ribbon and Award of Merit , which is the best blue ribbon winner in the Annual Flowers.

Blue ribbon and Award of Merit , which is the best blue ribbon winner in the Annual Flowers.

This was the Award of Merit winner in the Bulbs, Corms, Tubers and Rhizomes section, and also earned the best specimen in the show with the Award of Horticultural Excellence.

This was the Award of Merit winner in the Bulbs, Corms, Tubers and Rhizomes section, and also earned the best specimen in the show with the Award of Horticultural Excellence.

This was a wonderful small show. I was pleased to have been asked to judge it. It will also be the last flower show I judge as I asked to become an Emeritus Judge (a judge who no longer judges.) I will still participate in flower shows, in fact my garden club will be giving a show next June 4th. You’re welcome to come to Cadillac and see it.

“Traveling the USA” Flower Show
I judge this show yesterday at the Spring Lake District Library. Tri-Cities Garden Club includes the cities of Spring Lake, Ferrysburg, and Grand Haven, which are located where the Grand River reaches Lake Michigan. I’ve judged their flower shows before and the club members always do a fantastic job. Yesterday was no different. They had a great Design Division, and abundance of horticulture in that division, and tremendous Special Exhibits Division. Many of my photos were blurry so I didn’t post them. After judging, they took the judges to lunch. Thank you Tri-Cities Garden Club!
Here are some photos.

Entrance display to library

Entrance display to library

DSCF0329

Horticulture:

Horticulture: Flowering Shrubs

Horticulture: Flowering Shrubs

Horticulture: Annuals

Horticulture: Annuals

Horticulture: Bulbs: Lilies

Horticulture: Bulbs: Lilies

Horticulture: Bulbs: Dahlias

Horticulture: Bulbs: Dahlias

Horticulture Perennials

Horticulture Perennials

Design:

Design Class 9

Design Class 9 “Favorite Regional Restaurants”

Design Class 7

Design Class 7: “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives”

Design Class 6

Desgin Class 6 “Hawaii Volcanoes National Park”

A design I really liked.

A design I really liked.

Something Different — A Photograph Class!

Special Exhibits: Class 4

Special Exhibits: Class 4 “Remembering When” Black & White

Special Exhibits: Class 2

Special Exhibits: Class 2 “Post Cards” Individual Plant

Special Exhibits: Class 3

Special Exhibits: Class 3 “Photo Ops” Plant Detail (red ribbon winner)

Had a great time at the Odawa Casino in Petoskey, Michigan. I did the design to welcome the incoming President. Beforehand, when I first agreed to do the design, I ask the incoming president what she liked, and she said something natural and woodsy. The wood is an old apple tree trunk. My inspiration was lake water on the shoreline. It is very traditional in concept, and not woodsy, but she liked it and that’s what counts.  Ingredients: old piece of wood, cleaned and varnished, spider mums, and Limonium altaica (altaica statice).

Floral design to honor the incoming president.

Floral design to honor the incoming president.

On March 19, I had the honor of being one of the judges for the District IIB Flower Show “All Creatures Great and Small” held at the MSU Pavilion during the Lansing Home and Garden Show. I knew many of the Michigan judges and it was pleasant to reacquaint over a wonderful lunch provided by the district. I was on the ‘orange’ panel consisting of three judges. We spent a lot of time discussing the merits of every exhibit we judged. It was a well-planned, beautiful, and interesting show.

DIIB Flower Show view

DIIB Flower Show

District IIB Flower Show another view

A second overall view of the flower show.

Now March in Michigan isn’t a great horticultural month, but the twenty clubs in the district came through with many branches, houseplants, bulbs, and dish gardens. You can see many of the exhibits in the above photos. The

Dish Garden filled with fairies and a dragon.

Dish Garden filled with fairies and a dragon.

District IIB has many fine floral designers, so the show’s design division was exceptional. I’ve chosen a photo of the table design I liked best even though it earned a red ribbon (tells a lot about the overall quality of designs!). This wasn’t a class I judged, and I certainly respect the judges’ decision. Yet, choosing your own winner in each class is part of the fun of a flower show for viewers.

Table exhibit

Table design from “Mother Nature’s Tea” class

The last division of educational and craft exhibits was also excellent. Educational designs are to teach the public about Michigan Garden Club goals, environmental concerns, etc.

Educational exhibits

Two educational exhibits from show.


This craft design was in the “Bird Brain” class.
Craft Design

“Bird Brain” craft design

While five hours round trip driving time to get to the show wasn’t much fun, the weather cooperated and the trip was worth the journey. Luckily, Lansing and surrounding communities have a much easier drive.

At the beginning of December Cadillac Garden Club held its annual Christmas House Tour. Here are some photos of the designs in the house the team I worked on created. The purpose is to add fresh plant material in addition to the home owner’s Christmas decorations.
12_13 house tour 1

12_13 house tour 6

12_13 house tour 8

12_13 house tour 5

12_13 house tour 7

12_13 house tour 9

12_13 house tour 2

12_13 house tour 3

12_13 house tour 4

Beautiful flowers!

Beautiful flowers! Click on photos for larger images.


Yesterday I went to the second flower show I’ve been asked to judge this summer. This show was much smaller than the Tri-Cities Garden Club’s show in July, but I forgot to take my camera that day so had no photos to post. Before we started all the judges were invited to Jamesport Brewery in Ludington where we had lunch. Before we started another judge led me into the antique store next door and I bought two vintage brooches. What fun. After lunch and much catching up (most judges know each other), we went to the Community Church to do our job.

The Horticulture was a little weak, but they had some good specimen. The biggest problem is exhibitors do not use the complete botanical nomenclature on the entry card.

Bulbs & Tuberous section

Bulbs & Tuberous section


Arborial specimen, loved the berries!

Arborial specimen, loved the berries!


Award of Horticultural Excellence

Award of Horticultural Excellence

Mason County Garden Club’s show, while small, had elegant designs. Some of the designs:

4 table designs presented on one table.

4 table designs presented on one table.


Designer's choice design

Designer’s choice design


Novice class

Novice class

Oh dear! Yesterday went with seven members of Morning Glories Garden Club down to Countryside Nursery in Allendale, Michigan: Five acres of greenhouses in their new facility. There went one hundred and twenty dollars in about an hour, and I was only one of the lesser purchasers. What a selection of perennials and annuals, and I didn’t even get to all the annuals, the shrubs, or the herbs. I heard they had 10,000 visitors on Mother’s Day!

I got almost everything planted today before the rain started and it has been raining ever since I came back indoors. This is good because all those new plants will be well watered in. I still have perennials I started from seeds to plant, plus the vegetable garden; maybe Friday!

Winning exhibit Horticulture Division, class 18 Combination Planting grown for foliage

Winning exhibit Horticulture Division, class 18 Combination Planting grown for foliage


I was included in one of several panels of judges for the flower show at the Lansing Home and Garden Show taking place this weekend (March 14-17) in the MSU Pavilion. After being treated to a buffet luncheon at the University Club, all the judges went to the show’s location to judge. We had to finish before 3 pm as the show opened then.

I’ve judged this show before, but this one was one of the best flower shows I’ve seen in a long time. The entire area was like stepping into grandma’s attic; and then their were the exhibits. It’s not easy to do horticulture when spring hasn’t even arrived. The mainstay of course was houseplants and forced branches, but the examples were well presented and numerous.

A few of the Horticulture Exhibits:

Horticulture Division class 1 Forced non-hardy bulb

Horticulture Division class 1 Forced non-hardy bulb


Horticulture Division class 4 Cut specimen from bulb plant

Horticulture Division class 4 Cut specimen from bulb plant


Horticulture Division "Orchidaceae"

Horticulture Division “Orchidaceae”


Horticultural Division Flowering Container Plants

Horticultural Division Flowering Container Plants


Horticulture Division Crassulaceae

Horticulture Division Crassulaceae


Horticulture Division "Indoor Specialties" exhibits 6 to 15 years old

Horticulture Division “Indoor Specialties” exhibits 6 to 15 years old


A few of the Design Exhibits:
Design Division Miniature & Small Designs "Game Pieces" not to exceed 5"

Design Division Miniature & Small Designs “Game Pieces” not to exceed 5″


Design Division Miniature & Small "Knick Knacks" not to exceed 8"

Design Division Miniature & Small “Knick Knacks” not to exceed 8″


Design Division "Day Dreaming" table for 1 with Horticultural Arboreal exhibits in background

Design Division “Day Dreaming” table for 1 with Horticultural Arboreal exhibits in background


Design Division Table Artistry "Childhood Friend" functional table for two

Design Division Table Artistry “Childhood Friend” functional table for two


Design Division "Sports Memories" creative design

Design Division “Sports Memories” creative design


A few of the Special Exhibits
Special Exhibits -- Educational  "History of American Floral Design" showing traditional designs.

Special Exhibits — Educational “History of American Floral Design” showing traditional designs.


Special Exhibits Artistic Crafts "Notions & Necklaces" creating a necklace from plant materials

Special Exhibits Artistic Crafts “Notions & Necklaces” creating a necklace from plant materials


Special Exhibits Artistic Crafts "Buttons & Bows" hat decorated with plant material

Special Exhibits Artistic Crafts “Buttons & Bows” hat decorated with plant material

Special Exhibits Division -- Artistic Design "Party Shoes" decorated with plant material

Special Exhibits Division — Artistic Design “Party Shoes” decorated with plant material

The first Saturday of the last twelve Decembers, Cadillac Garden Club has sponsored their Christmas Home Tour. For teams of members decorate four homes with fresh plant material to ‘enhance’ the homeowner’s decor. Most of the houses go all out. The tour lasts from 10 AM to 3 PM and a couple hundred people take the tour.

I find it amazing how many years have passed. I can’t even remember all the homes I’ve contributed to or the designs I’ve made. This year our house had a Scandinavian theme and our colors were red, white, green, and straw.

We set up on Friday. I painted a gourd ahead of time and the intent was to create a flower beard and hair from mums. However, no one thought I should put holes through Santa’s face, so he ended up with a floral design on the back of his head. I guess I’ll have to try the flower beard and mustache at home and see how it goes.

Santa guord

Santa guord

CHT 12 3
I also did this table design.
Saturday Bill and I toured the homes. Each was very different and each team of members created styles unique for the house’s theme. We enjoyed our tour.

Award

Award

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