Shangri-La…Old Friends

Shangri-La coverThe Par classes in a flower show schedule celebrate those plants which don’t fit in another class in the schedule. In the Shangri-La Schedule, the Par class was called Longevity. It had three divisions, depending on the length of ownership of the plant, 1 year or more, 5 years or more and, also called Old Friends, 15 years or more!

Longevity Novice Award Sanseveria cylindricaLongevity was staged around the main courtyard of the Museum of Fine Arts, Honolulu. Convenient parapets were just the right height to stage the plants.  In the back is the brilliant lighting of the stage.  An Old Friend, this 16 year-old Sansiveria cylindra won the GCA’s Novice Horticulture Award.

Longevity Deuterocohina first“Full sun by the ocean” were the growing conditions for this Old Friend of 15+ years, Deuterocohnia brevifolia earning it a blue ribbon.

 Betty Ho Horiculture AwardBetty Ho was a GCHonolulu member who loved to grown Bromedliads and had a large collection in her garden in Nuuanu, where its is rainy and lush. The award above spells out the criteria but my correspondent adds: “ As forgiving as we are with all friends that show fine lines of time, the grooming should be as flawless as possible.”

 Shangri-La courtyard at night with exhibits in PARThe Betty Ho Award went to this 25 year-old Vriesea sp, photographed climbing against the night sky of the courtyard. The comment read ..Congratulations on having your plant bloom for your show”.

Vriesea 'FenestralisAnother stunning Bromeliad, Vriesea “Fenestralis’ which won a blue ribbon.

 Peperomia blandaA 20+ Old Friend, Peperomia blanda obtusafolia var. floribunda grown inside in bright light, but not sun.

 NeoregeliaA blue ribbon for Neoregelia var. ‘Osser’, 5 years old, and grown in the shade.

Clivia miniata var. citrinaAt 11 years-old not an Old Friend yet, but a lovely plant of Clivia miniata var. ‘Citrina’.

 Shangri-La Best In ShowBest in Show was captured by this 6 year-old Pachypodium rosulatum, grown in full sun.

 flying homeFinally it was time to say Mahalo, Garden Club of Honolulu, for the most special Judging experience ever!!

 arriving homeEventually I came down to earth!! Cheers!

Posted in flower show, Garden Club of America, Shangri-La | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shangri-La…the challenge

Pure pleasure in HawaiiThroughout the Museum of Fine Arts, Honolulu, the gallery spaces of Shangri-La GC Honolulu’s GCA Major Flower Show, showcased lyrical flower arrangements (just for pleasure) like this one with bamboo, hala leaves, and Anthurium with the thematic turquoise woven in midolino constructions.

Vibrant colorsMore turquoise was seen on the cocktail tables with ivy and roses and sparkling jewels.

Peach and Tranquility Challenge ScenePeace and Tranquility were two judges’ floral design Challenge Classes. Ten designers were given the opportunity and the means to be creative, generating a great buzz in the room.

Tranquility Challenge componentsTranquility was the Challenge Class for Approved Judges. We were given a faceted charcoal ceramic container and, even more demanding, assorted wire structures with which to start designing.

Tranquility Challenge PMThose components were accompanied by thoughtful, generous supplies of plant materials: chocolate Anthurium, Hypericum, ‘James Storie’ orchid, Leucadendron argenteum, Equisetum, Magnolia, and palm.

Susan DetjensAs is usual with a GCA Major Show, there was a lot of time allotted in which to create the design. Two of us, being fascinated by the forms, spent a lot of time making structures of the wire components.

Susan DetjensOnce I was satisfied by the components, I found my structure wouldn’t entirely cooperate with easy placement of the flowers!!

 Tranquility  Challenge EquisetumThis designer put long wires in the Equisetum to be able to bend and shape them to create bolder forms of the wire structures. We both earned HMs.

Tranquility Challenge ThirdThird place captured by this designer, using the gorgeous plant material as the stars of the show. Aren’t the Anthuriums luscious?

 Tranquility Challenge SecondThis second place winner reminds us how fascinating it is to see the creativity at work with the same fresh materials.

 Tranquility Challenge FirstFirst place, Tranquility.   It is hard to see in the photo but the designer has woven together the palm leaves on the left of the vibrant orchids, creating an interesting texture.

 Peace plant materials A black vase and a black cross woven structure, along with this plant material, were the basis for the second challenge class, called Peace, for Prospective Judges. White Anthurium, monstera leaves, Amaranthus, yellow pin-cushion protea, green Dendrobium orchids, Equisetum, lily turf grass and a jasmine kind of vine gave the designers a wide choice to execute their designs.

Peace Challenge ThirdThese pedestals for Peace were staged in front of Tranquility, making it harder to photograph them without the shot ‘bleeding’ into those designs. Third place went to this design. The black structure is visible emerging from the yellow protea.

Peace Challenge SecondSecond place in Peace was achieved by this designer using the bold forms and contrast of the anthuriums and monstera leaves to complement the structure.

By keeping to a circular, rhythmic form, including stringing some of the orchid blossoms, lPeace Challenge Firstthe designer honored the Hawaiian islands with this first place design. Challenge classes are the Project Runway of flower shows. Fast thinking followed by careful execution are the hallmarks of the winners. Kudos to all the designers who entered these classes and accepted the challenge. We did have a good time!!


Posted in floral design ideas, floral designs, flower arrangements, flower show, Shangri-La | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Shangri-La…the horticulture

Shangri-La from the pools to the playhouseAt her home, Shangri-La, Doris Duke loved to combine lush Hawaiian horticulture with Islamic architecture and art. There still are many elegant gardens surrounding the house, right to the water’s edge.

Majesty in the CourtyardShangri-La, the flower show (previous post), drew on this combination to create a Persian Garden in the Museum Courtyard with a Horticulture Class called Majesty. The courtyard was divided into the classic four square pattern with elegant plants of Alcantarea.

 Majesty  AlaccantareaAll the many Alcantarea odorata entries were exhibited in the same 16” pot and were grown beautifully for just over a year.

Shangri-La watercolor signageThe luminous watercolor logo shimmered on all the beautifully designed class signage. Euphoria was the class title for – you got it – Euphorbia.

Shangri-La Euphorbia FirstOver 20 years old, this magnificent, this elegant Euphorbia milii won first place in Euphoria.

 Euphorbia Crown of ThornsSecond place in Euphoria.  I tried to find the variety of this one on Google Images, but none was as beautiful as this plant.

 Harmony TillandsiaHarmony was a class calling for 5 or more varieties of Tillandsia.

 Harmony Tillandsia Second PlaceHarmony, second place was this charming grouping. Exhibitors had to use the same square container as well as some rocks.  Everyone in this class did a wonderful job with such a fascinating variety of Tillandsia.

 Harmony Tillandsia Third PlaceThis third place winner had 9 varieties. I find this fascinating from a design viewpoint. The large Tillandsia on the right shelters the rest of the collection in a dramatic way. (and yes, I know this has nothing to do with plant culture!)

Flapjack Succulent FirstFlapjack succulents, Kalanchoe luciae, are always handsome plants in any container. I loved the way they spread across this low saucer in the first place winner in Elegance.

 Shangri-La Succulents SECONDSecond place in Elegance was this 5 year old, dramatically blooming, Vriesia “Fenestralis’. Lots more horticulture in next Sunday’s post. I’ve saved the BEST for last. Aren’t you envious of this serene, open air staging at the Museum of Fine Arts?


Posted in flower show, Horticulture, Shangri-La | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments