Design Mechanics Workshop 10/2010 notes From National Garden Clubs

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Design Mechanics Workshop 10/2010 notes

From National Garden Clubs

Handbook for Flower Shows: Growing & Designing; Staging & Exhibiting; Judging Revised 2007. National Garden Clubs

This is the handbook with design types defined and all the rules for exhibiting. More useful for judges Order at

Design tips from National Garden Clubs You would like more here.
Places to purchase Flowers and design supplies:

  • Zieger & Sons, 6215 Ardleigh St, Phila., PA 19185 215-438-7060 Near Washington Lane and Stenton Ave. The Outdoor Gardeners are signed up as a dealer. I need to give your name to them. Walk around the goods in boxes and into the floral refrigerator. Place items on a silver cart near cash register. Give Acct# 1332 and your TOG membership card to check out.

  • Robertson’s on Germantown Ave and at their warehouse on Mermaid lane. Pricey.

Conditioning Plant material

  • Helen Breslin recommends putting flowers in water with the correct amount of conditioning granules 24 hours ahead of making the design


Floral Adhesive by Oasis Floral Products –at Younger’s—you can glue plant material to vase and then the glue will come off leaving no residue
Green Florist wire—Michaels Younger’s
Other thinner florist wire in colors Younger’s
Florist putty—green-roll in a small snake and apply to bottom of a flower pin holder (real name??) in a DRY vase. This will “glue” the holder to the vase. Michaels
Pipe Strapping –metal strips with holes—very strong yet pliable Loews/Home Depot
Serrated hose- like a slinky-type dryer hose.
Wooden bases –AC Moore and Michaels
Gutter guard—black mesh—also sturdy metal (paint it) Loews/Home Depot
Moss- dried AC Moore and Michaels
Clear floral tape --Michaels
Design photos on the Internet
8th District Garden Clubs
Montana Judge’s Council
Marie Harrison’s Flower Show Designs

Pots and anchoring plant material in them

Oasis Available from Ways and Means $1.25—contact Sue Cobb

Soak Oasis before cutting it


How well do they anchor?

Pin thingies

Anchor with putty when dry

For oddly shaped or very thin pots:

use chicken wire plain or with oasis stick in

Ziploc bag with oasis in it

tape netting to the pot and add oasis to it

Use sand (colored sand kills flowers)

Background panels

  • Small in a niche

  • Large on a table—how to anchor?

    • Buy panels at Loews or use foam core poster board

    • Cover with dollar store table cloth or fabric

    • Make it stand up with foam core taped on the back, with wooden posts with “L” brackets, or with dowel rods cemented into tin cans (see Ellie Schleicher)

    • For a niche, cut to specifications, but bring cutter, rules and cutting mat to event to trip off bits. Bring extra background for spills


Montgomery County Community College has courses on floral design see Elyse for details


The Complete Flower Arranger by Amalie Adler Ascher. New York: Somon & Schuster, 1974. Chapter 4 is Mastering Mechanics. Purchase used.
Delmar’s Handbook of Flowers Foliage, and Creative Design by Norah T. Hunter. Delmar Learning, 1999. $49-72. paperback Shows shapes for designs, a chapter on techniques and a big section naming specific flowers.
**Designing by Types by Harriet Osborne, ed. St. Louis: National Garden Clubs, Inc., 2008. Clearly illustrates types of designs. From NGC: $44.95

This is the one book you would like to have for our flower shows.

The Essence of Floral Creativity: A Legacy by Bob Thomas. St. Louis: National Council of State Garden Clubs, Inc., 1999 . Review elements of design and design types. From NGC $40.00
The Flower Arranging Expert by Dr. D.G. Hessayon. New York: Expert Books, 1996. Review types of arrangements, some mechanics, drying flowers and a list of flowers to use. In print. $19.95
Fresh Flowers: Identifying, Selecting, and Arranging by Charles Marden Fitch. New York: Abbeville Press,1992. Suggested by Helen. Out of Print: buy used. Flower gallery, preserving flowers and Fresh flowers fact chart. Purchase used.
Table Setting For All Seasons in the Home and in the Flower Show by June Wood and Deen Day Smith. St. Louis: National Council of State Garden Clubs, Inc., 1995.

From NGC: $34.95 Excellent chapter on elements of design and color theory.

Vision of Beauty Calendars published annually by the National Council of State Garden Clubs. Good visual resource for arrangement ideas. $5 from our club in Oct.

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