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Flower Show School Resources

Flower shows provide a unique opportunity for floral designers, horticulturalists, judges and the viewing public to become an integral part of the creative process. Judges use the Handbook for Flower Shows as a guideline to thoughtfully and impartially evaluate flower show exhibits. This book provides the tools necessary to successfully plan, execute and judge a flower show. We invite you to use it to shape the creative process as you exhibit in upcoming flower shows. 

Flower Show School Forms & Information

Flower Show Handbook Updates- 2020





Flower Show School Course Curricula

NGC Flower Show Schools provide an educational opportunity for participants to increase their knowledge of NGC Flower Show procedures. Participants gain skills in exhibiting and judging the various Flower Show divisions with emphasis on the Horticulture and Design Divisions. Members are welcome to attend Flower Show School to become Flower Show Judges or to just gain knowledge while having fun.

NGC recommends that a course series be taken in sequential order, however this is not required. 

Flower Show Procedures Horticulture Design
Classroom Training (2 hrs. ) Classroom Training (5 hrs. ) Classroom Training (5 hrs. )
  1. Introduction to the Handbook for Flower Shows
  2. Flower show composition including Flower Show Flower hierarchy, overview of divisions, sections, classes and subclasses
  3. Explanation of NGC non-Top Exhibitor Awards
  4. Overview of the Flower Show Schedule
  1. Plant Nomenclature
  2. Writing/Filling out Entry Tags
  3. General Requirements for NGC Horticulture Top Exhibitor Awards
  4. Explanation of Judging Qualities found on the Horticulture Point Scoring Form: Conformance, Plant Identification, Maturity, Color, Form, Condition/ Blemishes, Grooming and Staging
  5. Review of Horticulture Commenting Vocabulary
  6. Judging Procedures
  7. Discussion of growing and showing two Horticulture types with emphasis on exhibiting and judging
  8. Practice point scoring

Written Point Score Exam (1 hr.)

  1. Brief history of floral design including European and American designs including Mid-20th Century Traditional Design
  2. Emphasis on the Elements and Principles of Design
  3. General Requirements for NGC Design Top Exhibitor Awards
  4. Explanation of Judging qualities found on the Design Point Scoring Form
  5. Design Commenting Vocabulary
  6. Judging Procedures
  7. Instructor's designs illustrate Principles of Design and include Traditional designs: Line, Line-Mass and Mass
  8. Practice point scoring

Written Point Score Exam (1 hr.)

After the successful completion of any two courses, students are eligible to earn exhibiting credits toward becoming an Accredited Judge. NGC recommends a course series be taken in sequential order, however this is not required.See the Handbook for Flower Shows, 2017 for more information. Courses 2, 3 and 4 may be taken in any order.

Flower Show Procedures Horticulture Design
Classroom Training (2 hrs. ) Classroom Training (5 hrs. ) Classroom Training (5 hrs. )
  1. Review of Standard Flower Show and Specialty Flower Show requirements
  2. Review Standard System of Awarding
  3. Duties of Flower Show Chairman and Flower Show Committees
  4. Explanation of Botanical Arts Photography section and requirements for Botanical Arts Photography Award. (Committee to work with instructor on obtaining examples of Botanical Arts Photography)
  1. Staging Horticulture Innovatively
  2. Discussion of Petite Horticulture
  3. General Requirements for NGC Horticulture Top Exhibitor Awards: Section Awards, including Elfin Award
  4. Review Judging Qualities found on the Horticulture Point Scoring Form
  5. Review of Horticulture Commenting Vocabulary
  6. Review Judging Procedures
  7. Discussion of growing and showing two Horticulture types with emphasis on exhibiting and judging
  8. Practice point scoring

Written Point Score Exam (2 hrs)

  1. Table Designs: Functional and Exhibition
  2. Role of Balance, Color and Texture in Table Designs
  3. Creative Staging Table Designs
  4. Discuss Petite Designs, General requirements for Petite Award.
  5. General Requirements for NGC Design section Top Exhibitor Awards - Table Artistry Award
  6. Review of Judging qualities found on the Design Point Scoring Form
  7. Review of Design Commenting Vocabulary
  8. Review of Judging Procedures
  9. Instructor's designs illustrate Tables: Functional, Exhibition and Tray plus Petite designs, Table/Tray for one
  10. Practice point scoring

Written Point Score Exam (2 hrs.)

After the successful completion of any three courses, the student is referred to as a Student Judge and is eligible to earn judging credits. NGC recommends that a course series be taken in sequential order, however this is not required. See the Handbook for Flower Shows, 2017 for more information. Courses 2, Course 3 and Course 4 may be taken in any order.

Flower Show Procedures Horticulture Design
Classroom Training (2 hrs. ) Classroom Training (5 hrs. ) Classroom Training (5 hrs. )
  1. Explanation of Education Division and judging educational exhibits
  2. Explanation of Youth/Sponsored Groups Division
  3. Requirements to become an Accredited Flower Show Judge
  4. Judging etiquette/ethics
  5. Review writing a Flower Show Schedule with emphasis on format and general rules

Effective date July 1, 2021

  1. Introduction of Combination Plantings
  2. Creating a Horticulture Schedule: sections and classes
  3. Review of general requirements for NGC Horticulture Top Exhibitor Awards
  4. Review judging qualities found on the Combination Plantings Point Score Form.
  5. Discussion of growing & showing one Horticulture type and Combination Plantings with emphasis on exhibiting and judging. Local Flower Show Schools Committee to provide adequate number of specimens and 3 or more different types of Combination Plantings (dish gardens, planters, terrariums, hanging gardens, troughs) in consultation with the instructor. It is recommended that the plant topic be part of the Combination Plantings but not required.
  6. Practice point scoring: (2 hours) Local Flower Show School Chairman to provide
    1. Three exhibits of studied plant
    2. Three Combination Plantings, per instructor’s specification

Written Point Score Exam: (2 hrs.) Local Flower Show School Chairman to provide

  1. Three exhibits of studied plant
  2. Three Combination Plantings, per instructor’s specification.
  1. Creating a Design Schedule: sections and classes
  2. Creative Staging Options
  3. Creative Design General Characteristics
  4. Elements and Principles as they relate to Creative Design
  5. Dynamic balance, plastic organization, juxtaposition and abstraction
  6. General Requirements for NGC Design Section Top Exhibitor Awards - Designer's Choice, Club Competition
  7. Review of Judging Qualities found on the Design Point Scoring Form
  8. Review of Design Commenting Vocabulary
  9. Review of Judging Procedures
  10. Instructor's designs illustrate different Creative Design types
  11. Practice point scoring

Written Point Score Exam (2 hrs)

After the successful completion of all 4 courses the Student Judge will receive a Schedule Writing Assignment. NGC recommends a course series be taken in sequential order, however this is not required. See the Handbook for Flower Shows, 2017 for all requirements. Course 2, Course 3 and Course 4 may be taken in any order.

Flower Show Procedures Horticulture Design
Classroom Training (2 hrs. ) Classroom Training (5 hrs. ) Classroom Training (5 hrs. )
  1. Review of judging etiquette/ethics
  2. Flower Show Achievement Awards
  3. Flower Show Schedule writing assignment
  4. Writing a Flower Show Schedule, with emphasis on format and general rules 
  5. Evaluating an NGC Flower Show, Flower Show Evaluation, Point Scoring Form and Criteria

Effective July 1, 2021

  1. Introduction of Collections and Displays
  2. Review Horticulture Schedule Writing: sections and classes
  3. Discussion of Botanical Arts Horticulture section.
  4. Discussion of Club Competition- Displays and Gardens\
  5. Review General Requirements for all NGC Horticulture/Botanical Arts Horticulture Top Exhibitor Awards.
  6. Review judging qualities on the Display Point Score Form. Collection point score form is used for all cut or container-grown horticulture specimens and collections.
  7. Discussion of growing & showing one Horticulture type and Collections and Displays with emphasis on exhibiting and judging. Local Flower Show School Committee to provide adequate number of specimens and three or more different Collections and three or more different Displays (flowering, foliage, succulents, arboreal, etc.) in consultation with the instructor. It is required that the plant topic be part of one Collection.
  8. Practice point scoring:   2 hours. Local Flower Show Committee to provide
    1. One specimen of plant type studied
    2. One Collection of plant type studied
    3. One Collection of a different plant type
    4. Three Displays, per instructor’s specification

Written Point Exam:   2 hrs. Local Flower Show School Chairman to provide

  1. One Collection of studied plant type
  2. One Display, per instructor’s specification.
  1. Review Design Schedule Writing: sections and classes
  2. Elements and Principles of Design as they relate to Abstract Design
  3. Review characteristics of Creative Design
  4. Review Plastic Organization, Penetration of Space and Dynamic Balance
  5. Discussion of Botanical Arts Division, including Botanical Arts Designs sections, NGC Top Exhibitor Awards Botanical Arts Design and Artistic Crafts Awards
  6. General Requirements for all NGC Design Top Exhibitor Awards
  7. Review of Division and Section Awards
  8. Review of judging qualities found on the Design Point Scoring Form
  9. Review of Design Commenting Vocabulary
  10. Review of Judging Procedures
  11. Instructor's designs illustrate Plastic Organization, Penetration of Space and Dynamic Balance using Advanced Design Types
  12. Practice point scoring

Written Point Score Exam (2 hrs)

Flower Show School Reading

The following required reading list applies to all Flower Show School courses. Students should read pages as noted in Student Outlines provided by each course instructor.

Handbook for Flower Shows, 2017 Edition Outlines of Period Flower Arranging Horticulture Exhibiting and Judging
Frances J. Hannay

National Garden Clubs continues to set the direction for American floral designing and raise the bar for both exhibitors and judges, and educates both our members and the public in floral design, horticulture and NGC projects. Find the digital or hard copy of the 2017 Flower Show Handbook here

Outlines of Period Flower Arranging - Frances J. Hannay Required for Course 1 only.

This book is a supplement to the Handbook for Flower Shows.  It was written to help garden club members entering shows and judges trying to determine winning exhibits.  Information includes physical characteristics, conditioning and grooming, requirements for exhibiting, as well as judging considerations for plants commonly exhibited in Standard Flower Shows.  Photographs enhance the text, providing clarity for both faults and superiority. Anyone interested in horticulture will find this book a worthy addition to a personal library!

While not required for attending Flower Show School, these books provide additional information for exhibitors and judges on specific design types and horticulture entries.

Guide to the New Petite Floral Designs Hortulana, The 21st Century Edition Designing by Types
Anna G. Burns Nancy A. Heber Harriett Osborn, Editor

Learn all about creating amazing designs - all 12" or less. Purchase this book directly from the author here.

A garden club member, a flower show judge or an individual who needs the correct spelling of a plant’s botanical name will find Hortulana helpful…a quick, reliable reference guide.

This book complements the design chapter of the 2007 edition of the Handbook for Flower Shows. It contains over 190 beautiful color images of designs with text. A marvelous reference for those who enjoy designing!

While not required for attending Flower Show School, these books provide additional information for exhibitors and judges on specific design types and horticulture entries.

Table Settings for All Seasons Plant Families for Designers COVID-19 Extensions
June Wood and Deen Day Smith Jan Warshauer, FSS Committee Chair

Enjoy the creation of more beautiful and exciting table settings, with some help from this book.

Interested in creating a monobotanic design? Need to know what plants are in the same family? This paper has all the information you need.

Download here

Due to the extensive cancellation of FS schools and flower shows due to the COVID-19 virus, the FSS Committee requests the COVID-19 policy to go into effect immediately. The FSS Committee encourages all clubs to reschedule cancelled flower shows as soon as possible to stimulate the enjoyment of sharing our love of nature.

Contact Us

For any questions regarding National Garden Clubs Flower Show Schools, please contact:

contact

Jan Warshauer, NGC Flower Show School Chairman