Sticks, Stones and Succulents

Class Title: Sticks, Stones and Succulents
StagingBench 70cm width, height unrestricted

When looking at this Class title you need to think about the relative importance of each of the elements mentioned – sticks, stones, succulents. In the past, judging has often been based on the first word being the most important for the title, however this is not always the case these days. As this was for a relatively traditionally judged competition, I decided to make the stick part of the design both the structure and the dominant plant material of the design.

I freely admit to being a huge fan of the design work of Christine De Beer ( Thus my structure for this design is heavily influenced by some of her ideas around the use of twigs and sticks as structures.



A wreath shape was constructed by painstakingly gluing individual small sticks to one another until a good shape and texture was completed. One of the benefits of succulents is the absence of a water source in floral design so these have been glued in place as well. Stones were randomly glued to the structure and then placed beneath the design on the bench when it was staged.

Design challenge: I thought I was being very clever by making this design well ahead of staging time as I had a number of other designs to stage for the same competition. The challenge presented itself when I went to actually stage this design on the bench – I had not thought through the physical display of the design having worked on it flat during its construction. Placing it flat on the show bench would not have shown the design in its best light so I had to quickly devise a stand with some spare twigs and rocks.


Judges feedback: A very innovative presentation of the Class title. It could have been improved with better staging to show the design to its full extent. Be careful to ensure that nothing leads your eye out of the design when using a circular form. In this design the large twig holding the design in place is too dominant and takes your eye out of the design with nothing to bring it back in again. This was a regular issue for me in this competition – I now make sure I stand back from every design and follow the lines of movement before completing the staging.

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