This should be relatively easy. You are only going to invite a mere 3000 people, follow all the rules prescribed in the regulations, create a show no one else has done before and have it judged by official NGC flower show judges. What were you thinking? This may NOT be that easily accomplished! And where do you start?

You start by getting a group of club members who want to accomplish this small feat and are willing to help put on a show to make your club proud. Mind you, many have done this before and you usually have a vast number of knowledgeable experienced members to choose from for this task. But wait, they have done it all before, are very busy or just do not want to get involved again! What do you do? Remind them of the adventure ahead, the fun in planning, the experience of getting to know members better and the reasons they joined the club: to educate themselves and others, to learn and work with friends, old and new, and enjoy the beauty of nature and how to keep it safe. We all love nature and gardening in some form and keeping our minds and bodies active is just a bonus!

So now your committee members, with all their smiling faces, have graciously volunteered. You get out your Handbook for Flower Shows and start planning. We all know the purpose of a flower show has four objectives:

  • To educate club members and the public
  • Stimulate interest in horticulture and floral design
  • Provide an outlet for creative expression
  • Convey to our community the objectives of the National Garden Club, Inc. (NGC).

And here are some basic requirements to accomplish this task:

  • It must be planned and staged by a NGC member club
  • Fresh plant material must be emphasized throughout the show
  • The schedule must be written and mechanically reproduced
  • A Horticulture and Design Division must be included
  • A panel of NGC approved judges must judge it
  • The NGC Standard System of Awarding must be used

Well, this is starting to sound easier and easier now that we know the rules and have a basic outline to follow!

There are three types of flower shows recognized by National Garden Club, Inc.: Small-Standard, Standard, and Advanced/Major Shows. We put on a Standard Flower Show and abide by its rules, meaning we present a show following all the general rules.  We have a Horticulture Division with 20 or more specimens with a minimum of 5 classes and a Design Division with 20 or more design exhibits with a minimum of 5 classes with 4 or more exhibits in each. Because we’ve chosen to apply for a Standard Flower Show Achievement Award we have a Special Exhibits Division, a must for this award.

Now that we have all this information, what comes next?  The committee decides on a theme and produces a schedule.  In the next Trowel Prints, I’ll talk about this aspect of the committee’s work, which is accomplished during the summer, long before the season begins.

~ by Roberta Ross, Flower Show Chair