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Flower Arranging for Competition

Updated on December 7, 2008

Every year around February I start to get anxious about my flower arranging for the upcoming competition. This competition lasts 14 days with around five different sections every second day - the finished entries are on display for the day in between. So this time before I start again, I've decided to share with everyone my experiences and results from the last few years.

The competition is governed by the definitions outlined in two volumes "Floral Art Show Guide - Western Styles" and "Floral Art Show Guide - European Influenced Design" published by the Royal Horticultural Society of NSW. I tried to do without these books for a while but really they are invaluable in defining what the judges will look for in the interpretation of each design theme. In actual fact, this past year, I would not have won one of my prizes if I had not consulted these books as my interpretation of the theme was completely different to the judging criteria!

My reason for competing is to test the floral material we grow - we produce flowers for the cut flower market locally. Its very helpful to be able to say to our customers that this flower will last that amount of time based on my experience. So how do I get started?

When the schedule is published I go through each day's themes and do a rough sketch of what the finished design will look like (I hope!). For the themes that do not immediately inspire me, I will consult the rest of the family who being males, bless them, will look at me blankly and then bravely suggest all manner of interesting interpretations. Although they may challenge my construction abilities, their suggestions have often resulted in prizes and other times the end result has become a favourite such as the Terracotta Twosome in the photos.

Then it's a matter of listing the actual requirements to put together the arrangement and doing as much pre-construction as possibleas I have to travel about 1.5 hours from the farm to the competition venue. Its easy to be distracted on the day of competition especially when you are new to the competition group. I found it very daunting for the first few years, it seemed as though everyone knew everybody else, no-one spoke to me but all watched what I was doing every step of the way. These days I make a point of greeting everyone in the competition room when I arrive and then its "no talking" until after the judging.

The photos I have highlighted on this hub are part of my entries from the competition for 2008. Please enjoy them - if you want actual detail on how each of them was constructed please visit me at

2008 Royal Easter Show Floral Art

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Terracotta TwosomeAbstractCity SlickersExuberanceLandscapeBlack and One Color
Terracotta Twosome
Terracotta Twosome
City Slickers
City Slickers
Black and One Color
Black and One Color


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