Claudia Bates was the presenter of the program at the March 5 Membership meeting. She dazzled the group with the collection of containers she brought and how she uses them in her designs.

She has won many a flower show blue ribbon and she showed us how she works her magic. Here are some pointers she shared:

  • Do not be intimidated by the new Flower Show Handbook released last year. Many of the new designs are actually long-standing designs with different names
  • Color is very important in a design
  • Color combination is a big part of a design’s appeal
  • Background color can make your design, or parts of it, fade or pop
  • Create your own staging panels to test how your design will show
  • Staging panels also give a visual frame of reference & proportion
  • Choose bright vs pale colors for a flower show to give yourself a leg up over competing designs. Size and bling help also.
  • Gerbera Daisies have naturally bright colors
  • The more colors you add to your design, the busier it will look
  • She loves Valspar brand spray paints for their truer colors
  • Claudia often uses basket rattan to create line, rhythm, movement and/or depth in her designs.
  • Arnies Baskets has a website where you can buy basket rattan in many colors and thicknesses at great prices.
  • Gradation of plant material (smallest to largest going from top to bottom) creates rhythm.
  • Claudia likes colored electrical tape more than floral tape. It comes in great colors and is user-friendly
  • Stone Lantern sells needlepoint pin holders with a screw-on stem.  Protective rubber collars for them are also available on their website.
  • Claudia claims well-conditioned flowers last 24 – 48 hours without water. She soaks her flowers, stripped of their leaves, in her bathtub for 24 hours. Gladiolus is the only flower this doesn’t work on.
  • Claudia encouraged all to visit, or even enter the State Flower Show in April.  (LINK?)