I mentioned Flower Show Judge School in a post the other day, and I’ll share bits and pieces of what I’m learning with you over time.
Having chaired the Coronado Flower Show this year and last, I learned a lot about the process of running a flower show. Thankfully I had a nice group of knowledgable people around me who made sure I was pointed in the right direction because I was pretty clueless!
There is a lot of thought, work and process that goes into planning a flower show. Judging is a big part of a show, bringing in competitors with high quality entries. Judging is based on National Garden Clubs, Inc. Standard System of Awarding to ensure that all entries are judged fairly, whether from an experienced gardener/designer or a beginning gardener/designer entering a show for the first time.
The planning for the Coronado Flower Show begins in the fall of the previous year. Besides coming up with a theme for the show, judges for the show need to be secured months in advance because judges are hard to come by these days. There are lots of flower shows in the spring so competition to secure judges is high. The ranks are thinning and since there hasn’t been a judges course offered on the west coast in quite a few years, judges are a hot ticket these days!
When National Garden Clubs, Inc. decided to offer the judges course on the west coast for the first time in years, I decided to jump on board with a group of friends from Coronado. Our first of four courses was last August, the second was in February, our third was last week and our last course will be next February. Each course consists of two full days of cramming lots of information into our heads so we can take a test on the third day. After we finish the four courses and pass the tests, we have to take a comprehensive test and write a flower show schedule. We also have to enter flower shows with horticulture and design entries and score at least 90 to count toward our judging qualification.
We’re learning all sorts of great information on horticulture and design, and we’re learning how to point score entries in both categories. It’s interesting to see how differently entries fare when you point score versus what your first impression might be. Point scoring is a very fair system of judging entries but not as easy as it sounds, hence all the training and practice. I think horticulture is going to be my forte (not a big surprise) but it’s been interesting to spend so much time on floral design. I don’t love design like a lot of people in the classes, but I am learning a lot.
Okay, you’ve probably heard enough for one post, and if your eyes aren’t glazed over by now, that’s a good thing! More to follow! (Lucky you!)