Photo by Melody

Deep South Regional Petite Advanced-Standard Flower Show

By Marie Harrison (can2growJune 4, 2009

The Deep South Region (DSR) of National Garden Clubs (NGC) held its first ever Standard Flower Show in Huntsville, Alabama, in March. Participating were designers and gardeners from the six-state region, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Louisiana. The competition was keen and the spirit high as club members throughout the region placed their entries.

Gardening picture

Entitled "Southern Hospitality", the Petite Advanced-Standard Flower Show was held at the Huntsville Marriott Hotel in Huntsville, Alabama, in conjunction with the DSR convention. The convention, themed "Botanical Blast" drew many club members from all six states.

ImageEach state was asked to fill a section of floral designs, consisting of three classes with four designs each. As all floral designs are interpretive, classes were titled to highlight the attractions each state offered (see abbreviated Schedule below). Since it was a petite flower show, all designs were either petite (not to exceed five inches in any dimension) or small (not to exceed eight inches in any dimension). In this article, the Section winners for Division I, Design, will be shown. Horticulture winners will be featured in another article.

The overall winner in the Design Division is awarded the Award of Design Excellence. This design must have won its Section Award. Winner of this prestigeous award was Jo Ann Wade of Alabama. Her design was illuminated, and it interpreted "Montgomery, the State Capitol." It also won the Tricolor Award, the top award offered in Section A. This design measures no more than 8" in any dimension. It features orchid blossoms, and staging is provided by the designer within a 10" by 10" area.Image

Winner of the Designer's Choice Award for Section B was Cinny O'Donnell from Florida. Her design interpreted "Disneyworld Vacation" and was no greater than 8" in any dimension. In this design, as required by the Schedule, she used a frame. Notice that her frame is circular. Flowers are dried hydrangea blossoms painted red, accompanied by tiny bits of fern frond. Her design, too, was illuminated.Image

For Section C, Frances Thomaston of Georgia won the Award of Distinction for her 5" miniature design staged on a gold-tone hook. She used contrived flowers made from real plant material in her tiny, hanging design. Interpreting "Gone with the Wind," this design turned in response to air currents and was seen from all sides. Image

Peggy Cazis from Louisiana won the Designer's Choice Award. Her small design (8") featured water and interpreted "The Mighty Mississippi River." This design sat on top of a mirror and was backed by an unusual backdrop.

ImageFrom Mississippi, Debby Cooper took home the honors by winning the Tricolor Award in Section E. She interpreted "Jackson, the State Capitol" in her small design that featured pine. Rhythm was enhanced by the use of gold wire, and her unusual container added interest to the design.Image

The Award of Distinction for Section F went to Pat Malone of Tennessee. She interpreted "Nashville, the State Capitol." Her unusual design was placed on a rust-colored mirror which accented the rust-colored seedpods used in the design. A small piece of Sansevieria provided line, and a coiled container added depth and space.

Other blue ribbon winners were: from Alabama, Pat Libby and Mia Martin; from Florida, Joan Pryor and Inez Cone; From Georgia, Mina Bloodworth and Jane Johnson; from Louisiana, Cecil Revels and Laura Brussard; from Mississippi, Marty DeBolt and Pattie Smith; and from Tennessee, Barbara Wells and Gwen Faller.

                              Division II: Design "Y'all Come Sit a Spell..."

Section A: "Alabama, the Heart of Dixie" (Eligible for the Tricolor Award)

            Class 1: "Montgomery, the State Capitol" (a small design)

            Class 2: "The Rockets of Huntsville" (a small Spatial Thrust design)

            Class 3: "Roll Tide! War Eagle!" (A miniature design)

Section B: "Florida, the Sunshine State" (Eligible for the Designer's Choice Award)

            Class 1: "Tallahassee, the State Capitol" (A small design)

            Class 2: "Beaches" (A miniature design incorporating a seashell)

            Class 3: "Disneyworld Vacation" (A small design using a frame)

Section C: "Georgia on my Mind" (Eligible for the Award of Distinction)

            Class 7: "Atlanta, the State Capitol" (A small design)

            Class 8: "The Athens Symposium" (A creative small design)

            Class 9: "Gone with the Wind" (A miniature hanging design)

Section D: "Louisiana, Sportsman's Paradise" (Eligible for Designer's Choice Award)

            Class 10: "Baton Rouge, the State Capitol" (A small design)

            Class 11: "Mardi Gras Celebration" (A miniature design)

            Class 12: "The Mighty Mississippi River" (A small design featuring water)

Section E: "Mississippi, the Magnolia State" (Eligible for the Tricolor Award)

            Class 13: "Jackson, the State Capitol" (A small design)

            Class 14: "The Natchez Trace" (A small all-foliage mass design)

            Class 15: "Vicksburg, the Confederate Stronghold" (A miniature design)

Section F: "Tennessee, the Volunteer State" (Eligible for the Award of Distinction)

            Class 16: "Nashville, the State Capitol" (A small design)

            Class 17: "The Grand Ole Opry" (A small hanging design)

            Class 18: "Elvis!" (A miniature design)      


                                                                           Some useful definitions:

Award of Design Excellence: A Division Award awarded to the highest scoring exhibit in the entire Design Division

Tricolor Award: All plant materials must be fresh

Designer's Choice Award: Designer has freedom to choose plant materials and other components.

Award of Distinction: All plant material used must be dried.



  About Marie Harrison  
Marie HarrisonServing as a Master Flower Show Judge, a Floral Design Instructor, instructor of horticulture for National Garden Clubs, and a University of Florida Master Gardener immerses me in gardening/teaching activities. In addition to these activities, I contribute regularly to Florida Gardening magazine and other publications. I am author of four gardening books, all published by Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida. Read about them and visit me at

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