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News: Flower Show Season Bursts into Bloom


February 28, 2019

Promoting artistic and horticultural excellence in Philadelphia, Boston and Newport!

In just a few days the flower show season will burst into bloom with the opening of The Philadelphia Flower Show, a sanctioned non-GCA Major Flower Show. The Garden Club of America has a long and rich tradition of hosting and promoting community flower shows which showcase floral design, horticulture and photography and are free and open to the public. Out of these shows evolved a legacy of recognizing and awarding excellence.

The Garden Club of America Certificates of Excellence are presented at the country’s most prestigious flower shows. Whether the award is for extraordinary creativity in floral design or cultivation of a horticultural specimen to its highest form, to receive a Certificate of Excellence from The Garden Club of America is considered a high honor which can be achieved at a sanctioned non-GCA Major Flower Show. Upcoming shows include: The Philadelphia Flower Show (March 2-10, 2019), The Boston Flower Show (March 13-15, 2019) and The Newport Flower Show (June 21-23, 2019). Unlike other GCA flower shows which are sponsored by GCA member clubs, these sanctioned flower shows are presented by non-GCA organizations such as horticultural or preservation societies.

The process of becoming a sanctioned show by The Garden Club of America is rigorous. The show is visited by a panel of judges for three consecutive years to assess standards and procedures. Evaluations are presented to show leadership each year to commend and critique. At the end of the three years, a judgment is made as to whether a show rises to the highest attainable standards. If awarded this status, the show may present the highest flower show awards offered by the GCA. These awards are offered in the areas of Floral Design, Horticulture, Conservation, and Photography. The Bulkley Medal for an exhibit of exceptional merit in the field of horticulture, botany, or conservation that increases the knowledge and awareness of the viewing public may also be awarded.

The entries considered for these awards are judged by panels of the most experienced GCA judges within each discipline with an eye to such standards as creative distinction, overall quality and craftsmanship, and  grooming. The judging process offers an opportunity to acknowledge excellence, share information, broaden knowledge, and underscore the importance of good environmental stewardship.

As the season of competitive flower shows starts to bloom, The Garden Club of America looks forward to promoting artistic and horticultural excellence in fulfillment of part of its purpose “to stimulate the knowledge and the love of gardening… through educational programs and action in the fields of conservation and civic improvement.


Top photo: Floral arrangement in a niche at Newport Flower Show. Photo credit: Pat Fernandez

Left photo: A jewel from the Philadelphia Flower Show. Photo credit: Amy Cooke



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