Last week in New Orleans, The Garden Club of America held its annual meeting alongside the Mississippi River in New Orleans. This enormous 3D sculpture of paper flowers changed with the lighting, dressing the meeting and then banquet room with festive flair. The paper flowers, measuring up to three to four feet were made of colored papers with gold trim. The mood changed with each change of lighting.
“Rhythm of the Rivers” was the theme of the meeting and the flower show. The flower show truly was the epitome of what an annual meeting flower show should be, showcasing the high standards of the GCA. The horticulture division, in particular, was celebrated for its excellent abundance.
Culled from an extensive jurying process, the thirty-eight photographs in seven classes truly echoed “The Song of the South”. This stunning manipulated image won its class and the GCA Novice Award in Photography! Notice that the original image is displayed at the top above the photograph.
“Life in the Big Easy” was the title of the Botanical Arts division. These four music boxes are a botanical embellishment class called “ Music of the Night”. Notice the original materials are set forth on a key card by each music box…quite a transformation.
The show was set in a huge ballroom with plenty of room for all divisions. Photography had its own lighting which set off each entry. What you almost can’t see in the foreground of this photo is 5 (of 6) pedestals with floral designs on them. The pedestals are made of plexiglass and totally disappear.
“Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler” – let the good times roll! Ten Floral Design classes showcased designers from all twelve GCA zones. This bustier made of wild rice floated over the floating pedestal and won Best in Show and first in class 1 “Crescent City”.
“Balconies” asked for all dried material in the design. The bright lime green branch of Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick, highlighted with a little red perfectly echoed the traceries of New Orleans’ famous wrought iron balconies, earning it first in its class and the Puckett Creativity Award. We all wished our name was on this!!!
The first place winner of “Jazz”, a rhythmic design, cleverly used not only the tubing for the lyric shape of the design, but also two kinds of fiddlehead ferns to repeat the loop shape for greater rhythm. It doesn’t hurt that they also look like musical notes!
A sumptuous selection of vibrant mostly tropical plant material plays out in this winner in “Tabasco Sauce”, a design featuring hot and spicy colors. The rhythm is established by the yellow caning looping around the stately design.
A headdress design was called “Voodoo”. Every show needs a little mojo! The head forms were supplied to the designers by the show. This blue ribbon winner masterfully handled the painted plant material to drape and fool the eye beautifully.
Congratulations to everyone who participated in this extraordinary Annual Meeting Flower Show – and a big shout out to the Chairman and Committee. This is my valentine to you! You WOW-ed us big time in the Big Easy!!