Learning Floral Design can be a wonderful addition to your life. It can be relaxing and therapeutic with lasting effects on stress relief as well as the enjoyment of seeing your work beautify your home. Each month has a schedule that your club has predetermined and that is to be your guide.

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How do I begin?

Congratulations!  Now that you have found a garden club to join and have become a member the fun begins!  In your Garden Club handbook there will be a schedule with the classes of arrangements available for design entries as well as horticulture. Consult your Schedule and find out the arrangement assignments for the month. There are usually two different arrangement classes each month. Read the schedule carefully to determine style, size, and begin to think about which container to use. Members normally take a few days of planning before creating an arrangement.

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What is a schedule?

The schedule determines what you will be creating to bring in to be judged. For example in April you might find an arrangement class that has an Easter theme for a table, and in the Fall you might find a Back to School theme. The schedule specifies a theme and style as well as dimensions. An example of style would be Early Colonial, medium sized.

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What is a design class?  What is a horticulture class?

A flower show has two divisions, one being horticulture the other floral design. Within each division there are classes specified. A class in horticulture could be designated as Flowering (in bloom) and a separate class for foliage (non-blooming). Check the schedule for what you have available to enter and see where it might fit, but remember if you have a flower or some foliage not listed, bring them in! Someone will help you determine the precise category.

A floral design class will be defined on the schedule. It usually specifies the style and theme and any additional information to follow.

Follow the schedule carefully! Monthly garden club meetings are not as formal as a standard flower show, but follow the same rules. Red Hill has two classes every month as well as horticulture. A standard flower show would have many more classes available to enter.

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How do I get a blue ribbon?

When entries are judged, the judge can award a blue, red, yellow and white. The blue is determined to be best in its class, follows the schedule, has flowers that are at the peak of perfection, and demonstrates an excellent interpretation of the design specified in the schedule.

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Where can I find information on all the different arrangement styles and designs?

On our website there is a resources tab and we have links to Garden Club of Virginia, National Capital Area Garden Clubs and National Garden Clubs of America. All these websites have definitions and pictures of the many styles we endeavor to create.

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Where can I see pictures of the designs?

The resources tab on our website has links to the websites we can access that has excellent examples of designs.

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How do I transport my design?

This is something to think about before you create your design. You can use many types of containers/trays/boxes to prop up your design as you transport it. You can use old milk crates, boxes, and bubble wrap or towels to insulate the flowers/horticulture from tipping over. It is a great idea to ask your garden club friends how they transport their arrangements. At special events they sell specialty items that are created for such a daunting task.

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How do I fill out the entry card?

Please see your club representative about filling out your card. It usually requires class, material used, name or number and you should be able to find an example at the meeting.

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How do I place it on the table?

This is called "staging" and is very important!  Make sure that your design has been placed carefully in the correct location, with the best area facing the front. Consider the best "face" of the design and make sure it is displayed so that it will be judged on its best side. If it is horticulture make sure that your specimen is clean and trim off extra buds or leaves with holes. Select an appropriately proportioned bottle to the stem you will be exhibiting. Your horticulture should be upright and if you need to wedge a boxwood twig to make it stand up, use the correct material to display it. Each club uses different resources as their standard, please see our link for RHGC standards. Once you place your arrangement/horticulture on the table, no one, except the arranger, is allowed to touch it and it must be judged as is.

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