Blooming birthday, part one…

GCA cakeThis week saw the culmination of the Garden Club of America’s Centennial Celebrations.  A gala dinner was held for over 400 members of GCA clubs and a few select guests.  This post and the next one are valentines to the many people who helped.  YOU made this happen.

gold and green flowersMrs. Flower Show and I had the privilege of creating the flowers for this huge event.  The requested color scheme was gold and green.  Here is a small portion of the flowers used to create the designs.

Cargo carWe plotted the event like a battle campaign with spreadsheets of flowers and lists, many, many lists!!  Two cars on three days went to New York loaded down with buckets, containers, mechanics and plant material…and the lists, did I mention the lists?

Sorting flowersOver 30 of the GCA’s most talented floral designers came to help with the huge project.  First all hands began to sort, cut and condition the plant material.  We had two shipments of tropical flowers directly from Hawaii and other flowers delivered from two New York flower market wholesalers.

Willow design startThere were 5 different designs for the dinner tables in a mix of traditional and modern styles, tall and short.  Once the plant material was all set, including a rush call for some missing items, designers set to work prepping the containers.  Here the “Willow” design is ready for flowers.  An eleven inch bowl from Target is lined with curly willow branches and glass pebbles are added on the bottom.

Structures are begunThis was the start of the “Structure” design.   Finding a clear container for this design was a real challenge as most glass containers are not totally flat on the bottom. We decided to use large Lomey saucers.    Eight wooden structures were made from half-inch balsa wood in a six-inch square, twenty-eight inches high.  Glue dots adhered the structure firmly to the dish, and they stayed in place even after the water was added.

Centennial cascadesThe tallest most formal design was a “Cascade”.  Here they are lined up ready to be moved.  Many other hands made that happen by walking down the stairs to put the designs in place. Thank you, thank you to everyone who worked so hard and created such beauty.   Stay tuned for Part Two in the next post (Sunday) for the rest of the glory, er story.




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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