Here in Coastal Gardens, Class 1, we enter a miniature wonder world. Using a scale of only one inch to one foot, designers create a garden with at least five different naturally miniature rooted plants that have been grown in soil or other mediums, such as soil alternatives including Sphagnum peat moss and coconut coir, or mineral-based alternatives like vermiculite and perlite. Additionally, polymer-based gels are effective as they also deliver water and nutrients to sprouting root systems. And though no cut flowers are allowed in this class, exhibitors may use accessories as long as they remain subordinate to the plant material. Be sure to investigate each exhibit from all sides as well as from above.
Class 2, Discoveries of the Deep, features water gardens containing aquatic plants. Each exhibit is housed in a round glass container one foot in diameter. Walk all the way around each fantastical creation to see all sides then peek in from the top for a bird’s-eye-view.
Class 3 presents Lantern’s Gleam showcasing vertical gardens! Each exhibit supports a minimum of five different rooted plant species in a 7” wide by 7”deep x 11” high container. The plants may be propagated as varieties or cultivars. A variety is a plant growen naturally, usually from seed with no human intervention. While a cultivar, short for “cultivated variety” is a plant propagated not from seed, but instead, grown vegetatively, such as from a cutting of another plant. Cultivars are significant because they dependably retain the characteristics of the parent plant—though only for one generation. With seed propagation new plants develop with naturally unique genetic compositions.
And class 4, Fleur de Mer, stars the union of rooted and cut plant material. Designers in this class fill a large plaster seashell container in the pot-et-fleur style for you to observe from all sides as well as from above. Pot-et-fleur arrangements combine several plants each retaining its own root system—and often housed in individual pots below the surface dressing. And while cut flowers are permitted in this class, the pot-et-fleur design’s emphasis is on the growing plants.
This gallery, 208, is the home of Horticulture Design—where live, rooted plant material must dominate the design. Division co-chair, Susan Lummis, shares her passion for this work, “I am drawn to horticultural design because it combines the artistic and the creative and the gardener all in one exhibit-here imagination nestles within nature's gifts.” Containers are provided to all exhibitors and may not be altered. Additionally, no cut flowers are allowed in Horticulture Design except in the pot-et-fleurs Class 4. As you study each artwork, take note of the plant list and key card that accompanies each exhibit. This list informs you of both the common and botanical names for each plant used.