By Barbara Hadley-Smith
A flower show in miniature was the exciting kick-off for The Garden Club of Frankfort’s Centennial Celebration. The Petite Flower Show, titled “10 decades of Community Service” featured 40 entries which honored its founder, Lilian Lindsey, and represented the historical timeline of the club’s existence since its formation in 1924.
A Petite Flower Show includes designs that are three inches to 12 inches in height, width and length, and there are specific requirements as to the materials that can be used in the different sections (categories) of exhibits.
Even though the exhibits are small they embody all the creativity and artistry found in larger designs. These petite arrangements demand precision, attention to detail and a deep understanding of color, form and proportion. Participants can spend hours meticulously arranging each stem and adjusting the angles.
While working on her design, with greenery and flowers spread all around, one member’s husband walked by and observed, “I’ve never seen a bigger mess for such a small arrangement.”
A team of judges certified by the National Garden Club scored the entries based on a standard system of points. Exhibitors are not in competition with one another, but are judged against perfection (100 points). Winners of first-place blue ribbons are eligible to win the major honors, which are the Award of Excellence, Designer’s Choice and the two Tri-Color awards.
Receiving the show’s top honor, Award of Excellence was Donna Hopkins. This award is given to the entry that judges deemed earned the highest points of the whole show. In addition, Donna received the Designer ‘s Choice Award, which was given to the highest rated entry of her section, Expanded Horizons. Her exhibit represented the decade of the 1930s called “Raisin’ Cain … Not Just Flowers.”
In 1933, the club worked diligently to prohibit unsightly billboards, strongly supporting House Bill 343 regulating billboards in Kentucky. This elicited a comment from someone in the community that “some of the members of the garden club raise flowers, others raise Cain.”
The two Tri-Color ribbons were awarded to Pat Huddleston and Carla Hawkins.
Pat received the most points in her section, Unexpected Journeys, for her entry, ”Miss Lilian,” representing the 1920s decade. In 1921, the first year of the club’s existence, members planted 600 to 800 dogwood trees throughout the community, and in 1928, they planted the Singing Bridge boxes.
Carla won her award with the most points in her section, Years of Community Outreach. Her display evoked the 1949 Silver Jubilee of the club, when it celebrated 25 years of community involvement.
The President’s Award is given to the blue-ribbon design securing the highest points in the Novice Class. The recipient of that award was Mary Jacobs.
The flower show included a youth botanical arts division with a variety of exhibits. “Please Don’t Eat the Dwarf Daisy” featured mini silicone cupcakes decorated with fresh flowers by children ages 5-7. The category of “Spring to Summer … Sunny Days” contained displays of notecards decorated by children ages 8-10 with preserved petite flowers, celebrating the art of pressed botanicals.
“Cotillion” included corsages (wearable art) made by young people ages 11-13.
Two Youth Education exhibits won ribbons. Chloe Nance created “Mother Nature and Me,” which demonstrated crafting jewelry by hand using plants, flowers, seed pods, etc, in celebration of natural beauty. Tova Travis exhibited “Making Paper the Time-Honored Way,” which explained how to make paper and make it beautiful with the addition of botanicals, and environmentally friendly with seeds on paper that can be planted at a different time.