This past week I was lucky enough to attend two very different and very fun flower shows. Flower shows give arrangers the opportunity to play with ideas and try new and different techniques. What excites me about the process is seeing how each person takes a theme and interprets it in a different way, so often in ways that surprise me.


Bucks County Community College sponsored “Art that Blooms” and showcased floral design students as well as some of its talented AIFD instructors.

The floral entrance welcomed visitors with a room size bamboo structure covered with glorious orchid plants. A vase of purple flowers displayed the theme “Mystic Blooms.”

Renee Tucci AIFD interpreted a painting of black lines over dyed newsprint with this stunning rainbow of flowers and foliage. A close up reveals imaginative details of dyed paper folds and woven leaf forms—a wonderful welcome to the world of Art that Blooms.

A cutting- edge interpretation of this somber man’s head was done by Ron Mulray AIFD with a structure of copper circles and tubes holding a dramatic array of flowers. An inverted head form painted black and gold served as a vase for burgundy celosia. This piece was beyond imagination.

A whimsical miniature world of fashion was created with pods and petals in “It’s a Barbie World.”

And on a more serious side, there was a student competition with students being given a bucket of flowers and an hour to create a design with the flowers. The designs were judged and the winning design is shown on the right. Do you agree with the judges? Congratulations to Grace Harbison, now the 2023 Designer of the Year.

Karen Kuyper smiles as she holds her blue ribbon for her fabulous hat. Notice the exquisite detail on the folded aspidistra leaves.

As in all great adventures, it takes a village.  Congratulations to Ron Mulray AIFD and Renee Tucci AIFD and their talented group of students.


Just a few days later, my Four Counties Garden Club had their fall flower show. It’s quite a contrast with a much smaller group and an eco-friendly theme, but still fun to share with you.

“Upcycled” A design in a repurposed dish or container, must be created in sand. The design on the left used the sand in a visible way while the others covered the sand while making the lovely mass arrangements.

“Out of the Bin” required items from the recycle bin to be used with plant material. This was a fun one and left over bottles, cans, and plastic cartons were used as containers in a variety of ways to show off beautiful flowers.

“Photography Revisited” A pedestal class design inspired by a picture from a past photography show. Here Roseann Christian smiles next to her beautiful Best of Show design with twining vines and an array of greens. Two other beautiful pedestal designs filled the class.

Whew! Now it’s time to think of Thanksgiving and the food and flowers for our family table. Lots of good new ideas for flowers and even a new recipe from a flower friend.

Happy Thanksgiving.