American Beauty…timeless style

 Welcome to RosecliffWelcome to Rosecliff! June brings the flower world to Newport to the Newport Flower Show, celebrating its 20th anniversary. Congratulations to all those who have made this show better and better!

American Beauty – Timeless Style was the theme honoring great American traditions as well as the ‘American Beauty’ Rose, bred from a garden rose from the original Rosecliff. Photography, floral design and horticulture classes all reflected American cultural traditions with titles like The American Melting Pot (container class), The White City (honoring the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair with a garden design) and American Jazz (manipulated photograph).

Judges Challenge ClassAmerican Architecture – limitless was staged in the grand entrance hall of Rosecliff. This was a Judges Invitational Challenge Class filled with four of the GCA’s top designers. Heady company for each! Although Rosecliff was designed by Stanford White in 1902, this class calling for a contemporary design looked forward to architecture today.

And what a challenge it was. “A contemporary design that expresses elegance and limitless boundaries.” Designers were given a standing apparatus, a wooden framed cube, plexiglass poles, midolino sticks, yellow whatever, beautiful bright red Anthuriums, yellow Leucospermum, Hypericum, and Dracena, plus all the mechanics to put them together. The designs are shown in order of placement with first at the top.

American Decorator First & FirstAmerican Decoratorceaseless honored Dorothy Draper and her style called “Modern Baroque” which added modern to classical decoration. This design class called for a two-sided design, in which in the NGC tradition, each side was judged separately, effectively making it two classes. These classes, A and B, called for A: Classical and B: Modern. This asymmetrical design, with its lush peonies on the front and cool modern white Anthurium on the back, won first for both sides.

 Second American Decorator anthuriumAmerican Decorator Details of two other winning ‘back sides’ of designs in American Decorator show how effective Anthurium and calla lilies are to convey modernity. The crowds here were particularly fierce so photographing was difficult.

Cakes in Rosecliff dining RoomAppropriately enough, in Rosecliff’s dining room (surrounded by the photography panels) was American Wedding Cakes – breathless a tribute to the ‘Leonardo da Vinci of wedding cakes’, Sylvia Weinstock, whose tiered cakes have often been seen at Newport weddings.

 American wedding cake FIRSTFirst in the class was this towering floral confection of lush roses and bright green ‘Kermit’ button mums. The wider bands of ‘cake layers’ were created from very beautiful, circular-textured green ribbon.

 American Wedding cakes SecondA detail of the second place winner shows the myriad of June blooms that made up the many layers of this wedding cake. More to come….




About Susan

Susan Detjens is a former landscape painter, she lectures, demonstrates and runs workshops on floral design for museums, horticultural organizations and garden clubs across the US.
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