Saturday, August 6, 2016

You Are Cordially Invited to a Small Standard Flower Show! Saturday, August 20, 2016

You are cordially invited to the last flower show event  in NCAGC this summer!

What's really special about NCAGC DIII Director Jane Smith's District III garden clubs (serving communities in the northern Virginia area), is that they are hosting a wonderful flower show on Saturday, August 20, 2016 in conjunction with Historic Vienna, Virginia,  that has sections open to the public.  So if you've been growing tomatoes, squash, fruits and vegetables, select your finest, prettiest and plumpest specimens and come enter for competition.  Is there a junior gardener in your family? Children are welcome to compete their horticultural specimens, too!  There's something for everyone so bring the family.

And here's the  District III Small Standard Flower How "Schedule." - For those of your unfamiliar with flower show terminology, a 'schedule' is every detail and rule pertaining to a specific flower show.  Specific rules for a flower show where a non-garden club person might enter give you direction on preparing your horticulture specimens for judging.  Make sure you take ripeness, color, shape and size into consideration. You may want to bring several specimens for the judges to inspect. So do be sure to read the schedule carefully.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Summer School! or How I Learned to Love Judging Tagetes

Thea here. I hope you are all having a wonderful summer - at home in your gardens, at the beach, on a road trip, or a trip to somewhere you've never explored before.  Most garden clubs in National Capital Area Garden Clubs take the summer off from formal monthly meetings, but that doesn't mean garden club activities cease. Clubs and councils around our area are busy putting the final touches on their new club year, and councils are planning out workshops and schools.

 Our leaders at the District level are planning interesting activities.  They might even be hosting a flower show. (Psst! District III is hosting a flower show this month! Hope you can join us.) Last week, I and several other club members from NCAGC  area, as well as students from other states, attended Course III of Flower Show School in Northern Virginia.

Flower Show School students brainstorming together

Scoring a variety of tomato samples

who knew marigolds (tagetes) were so fascinating

In order to kick off a successful course for FSS, quite a bit of organization on the part of our FS School chair and registrar takes place. Members of our local Judges' Council created designs and helped gather plant specimens.

plant collection design by Dottie Howatt
Design by Betty Galway

design by Thea McGinnis
Students were also asked to create floral designs that will be dissected as part of the instruction. More designs and horticulture were created by Judges from the Council for scoring exams. Students and teachers needed to be fed.  For instructors, a rigorous curriculum and exams needed to be prepared and presented. You might imagine the myriad of details that go into ensuring every students gains to most value from this challenging and incredibly interesting three day class.
Design Instructor, Julia Clevett (Virginia), demonstrating her own cretive design
Horticulture Instructor, Dottie Howatt (Delaware)
Flower Show School is a great example of how garden club members pass on their knowledge and expertise in design, horticulture and judging along to their fellow members. NGC provides students with TOP NOTCH instructors who have committed to years of learning to become experts in their field.
Julia Clavitt clarifying point scoring during practice
We also see that sharing of knowledge at the garden club level - during club meeting activities and committees that work in local schools, nursing homes and community gardens. That knowledge gets passed on at the District and State level as well.
sharing experiences

In each of our schools - Flower Show School, Environmental Studies, Gardening Studies and Landscape - NGC offers garden club members an opportunity to push their own personal boundaries and strive to be more and learn more - to leave your comfort zone in, say, traditional floral design and give creative, more abstract designs a go - and to know that you can master enough knowledge to be able to judge designs and plant material for the benefit of members and the public.

Do check out NCAGC's website here for upcoming workshops and schools this coming Fall.  I believe there will be FSS Course IV scheduled in November.  The courses do not have to be taken in order so please plan to join us.  I can honestly say that while I love taking courses and continuing my own personal commitment to life long learning, what is most important to me are the friendships and relationships I have forged by participating in garden club activities, especially at the NGC schools.  Come on. Take a course. It's fun!