Creativity flourishes at the Garden Club flower show

The day before the 2011 Georgetown Garden Club Flower Show, people bustled in and out of the Georgetown Community Center carrying boxes full of seemingly unrelated objects, such as bright orange sticks, glass bowls, and leaf sprigs.

“The show in 2011 was called ‘In the Abstract,’” says Georgetown Garden Club President Sandra Miller. “The design portion of the show included four separate categories within the ‘Abstract’ theme that contestants could choose from, each with its own set of rules.”

Sandra and other GGC members had arrived earlier that morning to set up a host of tables for the show. Sandra continued to run about, setting out display jars and filling them with water. Her aunt, a ninety-year-old woman who has been creating designs for a number of years, arrived with her own box of unique assortments.

Sandra’s aunt and the other artisans carefully assembled the various items on their designated tables, creating arrangements that fell in the categories of Abstract Creative, Stretch, Angular, or Creative Line Design.

Sue Vallejo won the Merit Award in the bromeliad class and the Award of Horticultural Excellence which is the top award for the Horticulture Division

Sue Vallejo won the Merit Award in the bromeliad class and the Award of Horticultural Excellence

Contestants returned the following morning to place the more delicate pieces of their arrangements, such as the flowers or cattails. They had to fight through crowds of contestants arriving to set up for the horticultural divisions, the much larger competition in the show. The horticultural contestants needed the entire middle area of the room to display their prized specimens of various plants,  from cabbages to roses.

“It’s a madhouse the morning of the judging,” Sandra says. “Some contestants show designs and horticulture. They’re bringing in irises, roses, getting them all set up and finishing up their designs in time to get out before the judges come in.”

By 10:00, the contestants hoped that every flower and fern was in place, because they were shooed out as the judges entered. For an hour and a half, the judges carefully evaluated each arrangement and horticulture specimen.

“A lot of people from the public who come are surprised at what designs win,” Sandra says. “It’s not always the ‘prettiest’ design that wins, because each entry has to meet all the criteria within its category.”

Since the first show in April 1945, The club has held a show almost annually in conjunction with Arbor Day. Catch this year’s show on April 23 at 10 a.m. in Georgetown Community Center, San Gabriel Park, 445 East Morrow. It is open to the public for free from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information about the show or the club, visit

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