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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Northwest Flower and Garden Show; Putting It Together - The Floral Competition

The  amount of work that goes into creating the multifaceted Northwest Flower and Garden Show seems overwhelming to a simpleton like myself.  How do they do it all?  As Stephen Sondheim says, "Bit by bit."  Here, along with the lyrics to the Sondheim song, is a glimpse the floral competition being put together.


Bit by bit, putting it together
Piece by piece, only way to make a work of art
Every moment makes a contribution
Every little detail plays a part
Having just a vision's no solution
Everything depends on execution
Putting it together (That's what counts)





Ounce by ounce, putting it together
Small amounts, adding up to make a work of art
First of all you need a good foundation 
Otherwise it's risky from the start



Takes a lot of earnest conversation 
But without the proper preparation
Having just a vision's no solution
Everything depends on execution
The art of making art, is putting it together
Bit by bit

 Art isn't easy 
Every minor detail 
Is a major decision
Have to keep things in scale
Have to hold to your vision


Even though you're feeling apprehensive
That you're looking bland and inoffensive
And you wish your wardrobe was extensive
Don't forget that Spangles are expensive

The light, Love
A little to the right, Love
It isn't very bright, Love
And must it be so tight, Love
Thank you, he does that every night 

 Art isn't easy
Every word, every line
Every glance, every movement
You improve and refine
And refine each improvement




Bit by bit, putting it together
Piece by piece, working out the vision night and day
What it takes is time and perseverance
Dealing with details along the way
Dealing with producer's interference
Waiting for the author's disappearance


Filling up the holes with animation
Covering the flaws in the construdtion
wiping all the scenic ostentation
Knowing it's a "Macintosh" production
Working for a tiny compensation

The art of making art 
is putting it together
Bit by bit
Part by part
Fit by fit
Start by start, Stride by stride
Kick by kick, Glide by glide
Schtick by schtick, Side by side by side by side by side by side.
And that is the state of the art.

Hats off to the floral artists who inspire, entertain, and amuse us year after year!

19 comments:

  1. The winner for me is the guy with the flowers and veg that you took four pictures of. I'm gussing that means you like his as well. Great mix of things and just stuffed with materials. Makes me want to give it a go.

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    1. His (Riz Reyes) ideas are always cool. He did a display garden a few years ago that was amazing in both it's design and use of great and unusual plants. Love his work! After revisiting today and seeing the arrangements all finished, I saw details of other arrangements as well that really won my admiration. Took lots of pictures for inspiration.

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  2. Apologies to Ms.Wis, the winner for me is the talented guy who wrote the post matching lyrics to arrangements.

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    1. Aw golly, you're too kind. I steal from the best.

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  3. I enjoyed this post so much. When I visit the show tomorrow, I'l be humming a Sondheim tune... It never occurs to me to incorporate purchases from the farmers market to a flower arrangement, but I love how it turned out.

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    1. One of my friends at work shares my love of asparagus and each year she gives me an artfully arranged "boquet" of them to bring home and eat. Expanding the palate to include vegetables in the arrangements really opens up some great possibilities.

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  4. The arrangements are fascinating, amusing, and fanciful by turns. The musical accompaniment you added was inspired. Now, I need to see if I can steal some of the asparagus in the fridge before my husband steams it...

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    1. Warning: using the asparagus in an arrangement may lead to a steamed husband.

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  5. Those are some mighty intricate arrangements. The colors are almost neon.

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    1. Very colorful this year. The arrangers always put together amazing designs for this competition. Boggles the mind to think of what something like this might cost retail.

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  6. Wow! To me it is amazing how everything stays fresh looking. It's all so beautiful and I love the veggie arrangements.

    The video was great and oh so true.

    Thanks for sharing ~ FlowerLady

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    1. The arrangers spend time misting their arrangements frequently. Still, by Sunday night some may look a bit tired.

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  7. So inspiring! I really like the use of edibles--asparagus, mushrooms, kale. I really need to use more kale in my growing pots this year, too. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. It's a pleasure to share these fab creations. Seeing vegetables in arrangements always reminds me of the eccentric floral works of Letitia Cropley from The Vicar of Dibley.

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  8. well damn, I'm always up for a little Sondheim , and George Hearn no less ! The floral competition at the SF Garden Show has been shrunk significantly over the last several years.Looks like Seattle still has a decent representation.

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    1. Seems like there have been more arrangements in past years in Seattle as well but these were great! I don't know how they keep coming up with such beautiful ideas!

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  9. How fun that you got so see some of the creating. I enjoyed the finished products, especially all the tucked in vegetables.

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    1. I went back today and enjoyed seeing the end products too. They really did up the taste part of the Taste of Spring theme in the floral competition.

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  10. It was fun today checking out the finished arrangements with you. I loved Riz's use of the artichoke as a vase/container.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.