Welcome To Spring

As part of an horticultural society’s annual spring show, this design needed to incorporate fruit and vegetables as well as “spring” flowers. As it is located in a different climatic/geographic zone to my area, I did need to do some research on what plant material could reasonably be incorporated, given that the judge was going to be a local resident.

When a schedule uses the word “incorporating” it means that the plant material specified should be “included but not necessarily featured” in the design. According to the judging rules used for this competition it holds the same meaning as “included”. This may not be the case for your competition, so once again, always check the judging rules/show schedule.

My thinking behind this design was to have the plant material bursting out from the base as this is how I often feel about spring – plant life bursting into bloom everywhere you look.

The first base is a timber round with holes drilled through it – large enough for stems to pass through to vials underneath. The vials actually work as “feet” for the base, so long as you have drilled them in weight related balance points! This base has a combination of roses, banksia foliage, passionfruit, tomato and tall stems of thin foliage.

The second base is a timber bowl containing a mango, passionfruit, tomatoes, roses, asparagus spears and strelitzia flowers for the “burst” placed higher in the design. The two parts of the design are brought together by the placement of the fabric, in sympathetic colours, at the base.

Judges Comments: The design is bottom heavy visually and does not engender a feeling of spring “bursting” from it. Although contemporary techniques are used, the placements are traditional, both radial and interest equated. The fabric, whilst bringing the two designs together, does not enhance the design – the colours are not quite right.

My review comments: Yes, these comments are blunt. It is a characteristic of this judge so we, as competitors, have to abide by the judges decisions as well as their comments if we ask for feedback. As an aside, some judges now choose not to give feedback, having been the target of less than pleasant repercussions.

As I look at the design now, I don’t like it and can’t imagine what I envisaged it was going to look like. The best I could do with this is change the placements from side by side to having the bowl part in front and the base behind and slightly to one side with the fabric taken up through the design rather than just at the base (a different fabric of course!).

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