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Armature form design

Tuesday and Wednesday the 51st Michigan Flower Symposium was held in Kalamazoo. I dithered hadn’t planned on attending or not, remaining a flower show judge or not, but a couple emails changed my mind and I went.

David Robson from Illinois gave an informative and interesting program on ferns. I love ferns but my soil is too dry to grow them except for the wild parts of the property, too far from the house. Maidenhair and Ostrich ferns grow wild out there. An excellent speaker, David kept the audience’s attention.

Reflective design

Wednesday Charlene Mutchler, a very experienced floral design instructor, took over the program. She talked about and showed examples of the new armature form design, reflective, creative abstract, and multi-rhythmic designs. She has the symposium order the flowers and then designs from what components, vases, etc. the symposium can provide.

Multi-rhythmic design


Hopefully I passed the two point scoring exams on horticulture and floral design so this will be the last one I have to do that particular chore.

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Steel horse sculpture at Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park


October 2, a beautiful sunny Sunday in October, several ladies and I completed our plans for a Tri-Refresher for Michigan Garden Clubs and District 4 in conjunction with the Central Region (7 states) Meeting. Tri-Refreshers allow garden club members to refresh their consultant credentials in Landscape Design, Garden Study, or Environmental Studies — or all three if they are master level in each. We started off a the spectacular Frederick Meijer Botanical and Sculpture Gardens on the north Beltline.

After lunch we went to the Bunker Interpretive Center at Calvin College south of the gardens. Their specialty is green building and using native plants to landscape. Great learning center, and the restrooms had composting toilets! (I didn’t take a photo of those!)

Tropical Atrium at Frederick Meijer Gardens

Cactus Atrium at Frederick Meijer Gardens

Native plants landscape the front of the Bunker Intrepretive Center.

A week ago, Cadillac Garden Club hosted the District V spring meeting(click to see photos) for Michigan Garden Clubs, Inc. at the Kettunen Center. The facilities were wonderful and their help prepared a delicious lunch. I received a certificate from the state president for being her parliamentarian, plus a jar of her homemade hot fudge sundae topping. (Yum! I reluctantly shared it.) Dee Blair gave a program on her garden in Traverse City, which I’ve seen and is a wonderful garden to tour–very innovation and yet perfect for the Victorian house it surrounds. Morning Glory’s, my other garden club, helped by doing one of the workshops. This was a nature walk to gaze upon wildflowers. Well, our wildflowers are a little behind schedule because of all all cold weather. The authority on the wildflowers took our group on a walk the Friday before so we could identify the flowers and know where they were, but when I guided my group, I misguided them. We were on the wrong path. The only saving grace from my muddle was the group saw a scarlet tanager, and the walk was good exercise in a beautiful wooded area. Great day.

nature walk

Oh Lord! What wildflower did she say to look for here?


Photograph by Jim Higgins.

At the recent judge’s symposium in Ann Arbor the instructors were great.

Horticulture instructor lectured about Heuchera and Moon Gardens, both interesting subjects. I came home with a strong desire to find better spots for my poor, struggling coral bells, and explore the internet for Heuchera capable of growing in my area. Most seem to be very cold tolerant, and like sharp drainage, so I should be able to find some great cultivars.

Symposium design June 2010

Symposium design June 2010

Instructor's design

Our design instructor talked about texture and form in design. Her designs were all wonderful, as were the practice point scoring designs. Now, if I passed the two point scoring exams, I’ll remain a flower show judge in good standing.

Meeting friends who are flower show judges from around the state is the added benefit to attending symposiums and workshops, as well as getting to know others in our group better.

Practice Point Scoring Design


Practice Point Scoring Design

Just returned from an executive board meeting in Battle Creek. Two and a half hour drive from here. Time went fast traveling with a partner. We talked the whole way down and back. Stayed at the McCamly Plaza Hotel and then stayed over to work on updating the state Bylaws. Hard work.

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