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Floral Design & Flower Show Committees

Tips for Exhibiting

Olive Coghlan

GCA Rules for Flower Arrangement

1. All arrangements must include fresh and/or dried plant material. Artificial material is NOT allowed. Fresh material must be in water or conditioned to remain in pristine form while on exhibition.

3. Live animals (including fish), taxidermy and natural bird's nests are NOT permitted.

4. Mechanics should not be visible unless they are an integral part of the design. Plant material may not touch the table.

5. An entry must be arranged by the exhibitor(s) under whose name(s) it has been entered. All participants must be listed.

Possible cautions:

1. Although permitted (unless otherwise stated), the use of cut fruit and cut vegetables is discouraged and should only be undertaken with the proper treatment to prevent spoilage.

2. Although permitted, the treatment of fresh plant material should be done with the utmost discretion.

Important Points to Remember for Flower Show Entrants

A NOVICE arranger is a member who has not in any previous in-Club year received a FIRST in an arrangement class.

A member will remain a NOVICE for the full Club year, regardless of which month her first blue ribbon was awarded.


Read the Class Description and be careful to adhere to the directions, paying particular attention to size and content specifications.

While there is officially no limit on the number of members working on an exhibit, it is recommended that it be a maximum of three.

When doing a group entry, if any member of the group is not a NOVICE, the group may not enter a Novice class.

Entries MUST be presented for passing no later than the stipulated time. (usually 9:45 a.m. for a 10:00 a.m. judging)

Completed entry cards MUST be submitted with the entry. Please prepare these cards in advance. If you need help with this, please come before 9:15 a.m., as there is a limited number of passers. Know your entry number (available from Martha Wickenden).
List each plant material's common name and botanical name.
Good sources: The American Horticultural Society's AZ of Garden Plants;

You are responsible for logging the entry in the red books. Out-of-club entries must also be recorded in the back of the red book.

Do NOT use plant materials that are considered "invasive".

Consider that the exhibit tables are 42" high, so check how your exhibit looks at that level.

It is a good idea to have some spare plant materials in case of damage in transportation. Also certain materials may not do well overnight (e.g. hydrangea).

You may use a 'title' card or photograph, if necessary, to help convey your interpretation of the class.

Plan ahead. Collect your container, oasis, props etc. a week in advance and start to think about plant materials and where to source them.

Strictly adhere to directions and dimensions and remember, no invasive plant material.

Feel free to work with a partner. Have fun!

Come with all materials identified - ask florist; check A-Z encyclopedia of Garden Plants (American Horticultural Society);
There are wonderful resources online. Try an on-line resource, Dave's Garden Guide or The Better Homes and Garden's Plant Encyclopedia . Google to find Botanical names.

Subscribe to GCA publications, including "By Design"

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