Garden Club Testimonials

"Why I Joined a Garden Club..."


"I loved reading the Frightened Frog book. I read the book 5 times! The book says the frog's world is becoming polluted, and I think that is very true. But the book also says that we should try to help and I think that is wonderful."

Julia, age 8, Connecticut

The Top 10 Reasons to be a Flower Show Judge

My journey from planting straggly annuals purchased at Stein’s Garden Center, to becoming an accredited Flower Show Judge, has been quite the adventure.

I joined my current NGC garden club, because my friend got tired of me asking her the names of plants when we were together. She kindly “suggested” that if I joined a garden club, I would learn plant names and a whole lot more. And she was so right.

When we were first approached about going to a flower show school, I thought it would be fun to learn details about plants. Little did I know, that there were 4 courses (with exams) which included horticulture and design classes plus writing a Flower Show schedule as well as a final exam. It was a bit intimidating at first. But what I found was that everyone involved in the schools wanted me to be successful in passing the courses, just as much as I did.

They were willing to help me in any way they could. They encouraged me and were never too busy to answer my questions. They were excited every time I passed a course. And with each course I passed, I gained more confidence about knowing the material and applying it. I was amazed that I remembered facts from one course to the next, all the while building on my previous learning. I became an accredited flower show judge in April 2014. I’ve discovered that beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but design and horticulture exhibits can be judged against perfection.

So here are the top ten reasons you should consider going to Flower Show School and becoming a Flower Show Judge. These are the reasons I am so happy to be part of this group of knowledgeable and talented individuals.

You will:

  1. Acquire detailed information about how specific plants grow.
  2. learn the different types of NGC designs.
  3. create designs by applying the Elements and Principles of Design.
  4. Write flower show schedules while experiencing fun in doing so.
  5. Develop an appreciation of different flowers and plants with an eye for details.
  6. learn to how collect and display horticulture exhibits.
  7. Become knowledgeable about the different Scale of Points and how this tool is used in judging.
  8. Make friends with many different people from different areas.
  9. Enjoy the fun, work and satisfaction of putting on a flower shows.
  10. Most of all, you will develop a life-long learning for the beauty and abundance of our natural world.
Kerry Krokos | Western Acres Garden Club, Wisconsin

I have been a member of the Gonzales Garden Club for eight years and have enjoyed all of these opportunities:

  • Building relationships with other women who are interested in gardening.
  • Volunteering in my community with hopes of inspiring others to be good stewards of where we live.
  • Touring gardening venues in my community that inspire and enlighten me.
  • Attending events to hear guests present programs regarding their specialized interests and expertise in gardening.
  • Learning more about the facets of gardening I am interested in from fellow gardeners. The members of Gonzales Garden Club are known for sharing their hands-on experience in home landscaping and floral design.
Jamie Trisler | Gonzales Garden Club, Louisiana

I’ve been a gardener and flower lover - in my own mind - for many years, all across the country, but have never made the commitment to actually join a garden club until last year. My husband and I moved to Hot Springs, Arkansas in 2014 and knew no one in the area. What a great opportunity to make new friends using a common passion around plants! I sent an email to the National Garden Clubs asking for local clubs around my area (which fortunately also includes Little Rock so there are a lot of them to choose from).

One of the first people who answered was the President for the Verna Garvan Design Study Club, inviting me to a meeting that next month. I have to admit that I love fresh flowers at home but would never consider myself a creative flower designer…a little intimidating to meet a group of women who know the “rules” and techniques of designing those exciting, creative arrangements I would see at the State flower shows I love to go to. No worries, through that one contact I have met a wonderful, welcoming group of women who love flowers as much as I do and are always generous with their time and expertise.

It is a learning and growing experience also, as we study the different types of floral design – definitely brain stretching. I actually won my first blue ribbon for creative design in a flower show in July! I’ve already joined another design study club as well as the Hot Springs Iris society and am looking forward to contacting some gardening oriented clubs nearby– it’s so hard to stop!

During a club meeting last year I heard about things like Judges Councils and Flower Show school. Hmmm, I love to learn new things. This Fall I will be attending Flower Show School III and on my way to Student Judging. The design and horticultural information I’ve acquired over the last year have helped me immensely in my home gardening, which includes my passion around designing containers.

When I recently accepted the appointment as State Chairman for the Bee a Wildlife Hero program my husband knew I was in my element of overachieving and stretching my limits. Ahh, normal around our household.

I can’t believe it has taken me so long to take this step, I wish I had done this years ago. I always thought I was too busy with working, taking care of family, etc. but I now realize that the few hours a week was a great investment in myself.

Terri Waterman | Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas