• Karen Luzuriaga

A Flower Show Like No Other!

Updated: Jun 2

25 May 2021


The Chesapeake Bay Garden Club’s 2021 Flower Show, entitled "A Year like No Other", opened to the public on May 15th and was a great success. The theme was based on the difficult pandemic events of the past year. As the guests entered the Tavern Meeting Building in Heathsville, Virginia, they were greeted by a vase wearing a mask. Rebecca Elston created this clever, welcoming design. The main room was arranged with tables full of horticulture, original floral designs, and educational exhibits. On the walls were photographs of our members' gardens, and wreaths created by members.



This National Garden Clubs (NGC) standard flower show coincided with the Heathsville Farmers Market for a beautiful day perusing the vendor stands, and strolling through the Flower Show for inspiration from the many floral exhibits and individual plant specimens. Horticulture alone offered fifty-two different classes that a member could enter. Awards were based on the criteria set up by the NGC System of Awarding for Flower Shows. The award for Horticulture Excellence (best of all Horticulture entries) went to Debbie Gwaltney for her collection of herbs. Working in our gardens over the last year provided a safe activity to minimize COVID-19 exposure.


During the pandemic, people became creative with beautiful floral designs. There were two divisions each containing three classes of designs. The designers used fresh plant material or dried /treated plant material depending on the class into which the arrangement was entered. Rhythm, color, texture, lines, and spatial relation were important to the staging process. The award for Design Excellence (best of all design exhibits) went to Darleen Nelson for her multi-rhythmic design. The pandemic did indeed provide some extra time to be creative.


Division III was the Educational section of the show. Exhibit I: “We Wish We Could Live in this Small World” was based on creating a terrarium. Information was provided on the scientific background, materials needed, assembly, and maintenance of a terrarium. Exhibit 2: “This May Help with Mankind’s Long Term Survival” provided information on types of seeds, growing seeds, and collecting seeds. Seeds are nature’s way of continuing the species. The top award for Educational Exhibits went to Karen Luzuriaga for her exhibit on terrariums.



The final division was Botanical Arts, Division IV.Section A contained three classes.CBGC members created wreaths, flowers in a pot, and a collage design.All entries must have plant material that is either fresh, dried, or both in the design. The top award in Botanical Arts went to Darleen Nelson for her Pet-et-Fleur entry. It is surprising what a person can do when they are confined to home.

It’s difficult to recognize all the people that helped to bring about this Flower Show. Darleen Nelson served as overall chairman; Rebecca Nelson was schedule chairman; and Carol Cole, Debbie Boze, and Vicky Bowen were the staging/properties chairmen. Many hardworking club members performed tasks to make the show a success. And, the show would be nothing without the beautiful exhibits created and grown by our members and the significant time donated by a talented group of NGC certified flower show judges. Our world indeed becomes a better and safer place as we work together.

Article by Karen Luzuriaga. Photos by Debbie Gwaltney.