NGC Handbook for Flower Shows - Excerpts

Handbook for Flower Shows


NGC Handbook For Flower Shows 2007 pp. 183-186

See Handbook for history, styles and periods.
  1. Characteristics of all NGC Creative Design Style
    1. Designs continue to conform to the Principles of Design
    2. They are eclectic in concept, borrowing from different styles and/or periods to create new concepts and forms
    3. Creative Designs usually show restraint in the amount of plant material and/or number of components used.
    4. They may have more than one focal are and more than one point of emergence, but clarity of design is all important.
    5. They may include non-naturalistic qualities.
    6. Any part of the design may dominate.
    7. Creative Design is the expression of the designer's unique ideas. It is not a copy of a design previously created.
    8. Designer positions components according to plastic organization. Plastic organization is a term used in the art world. It refers to the thoughtful placement of components within a three-dimensional area (height, width and depth) in order to mold space/s within that area.
    9. Additional techniques to enhance depth in Creative Design. See Handbook for more information.
    10. Filler and/or transitional materials arenot needed in Creative Design, as structural clarity is important.
  2. All designs may possess varying degrees of abstraction (non-naturalism).
    1. Categories for Degrees of Abstraction:
      1. Traditional and Creative Designs may have no abstractions. It is a design in which all components are untreated and organized in a naturalistic manner.
      2. Traditional and Creative Designs may have minor abstraction. It is a design in which only one or two components are treated, and/or organized in a non-naturalistic manner.
      3. All Creative Designs may have moderate abstraction. It is a design in which several components are treated and/or organized in a non-naturalistic manner.
      4. All Creative Designs, except Still Live Designs, may have a dominance of abstraction. It is then referred to as an Abstract Creative Design.
    2. All designs fit into one of the above categories depending on the amount of abstraction included in a design


NGC Handbook For Flower Shows 2007 pp. 162-167

2. Related Color Harmonies. Emotionally satisfying.
a. Monochromatic. This harmony consists of one hue only, using its varied values and intensities.
  1. Plant material, container/s and other components must be of the same hue or achromatic colors (white, gray, black). Beige and shades of brown are not neutral colors.
  2. Background panels and/or other staging items incorporated into the design and provided by exhibitor, must be of the same hue or achromatic colors.


NGC Handbook For Flower Shows 2007 pp. 181-183

  1. This design style was the most popular in American flower shows in the mid-Twentieth Century, prior to the introduction and development of Creative Design.
  2. Characteristics of all NGC Traditional Designs of the mid-Twentieth Century.
    1. Designs conform to the Principles of Design.
    2. Each design must be based on a single "set-pattern" of geometic design (sphere, cylinder or pyramid).
    3. Each design is organized according to rules and set patterns of previously executed styles, which include
      1. One center of interest
      2. Overall design is not to exceed 1 1/2 to 2 times the greatest dimensions of the container.
      3. Some material is to cover part of the lip of the container.
      4. No intensional crossed lines for design effect.
      5. Container and background must be subordinate.
      6. There is usually an uneven number of flowers in Line and Mass-Line Designs.
      7. Plant material is used in a naturalistic manner. There is little or no abstraction
      8. No flower is larger than 1/3 the size of the container's greatest dimension.
    4. Traditional Designs are designs in space. Consideration of enclosed space is of little importance.
    5. Depth, necessary for balance and rhythm, achieved by:
      1. Overlapping of forms.
      2. Placing some forms in profile.
      3. Completing the back of the design.
      4. Transitional materials and radation of colors and sizes.
    6. Creativity is acquired through the unusual selection of plant material, and the beauty, unity and harmony created by that selection (Artistic Concept), rather than an unusual organization of components.
  3. NGC Traditional Design Types
    1. Traditional Line Design Adaptation from Japanese Design
      1. Conforms to the characteristics of all American NGC Traditional Design. See II, B above.
      2. Great restraint in the quantity of plant materials used.
      3. Linear set-pattern is dominant with open silhouette.
      4. Line material establishes the pattern which could be vertical, horizontal, crescent, s-curve, or zig-zag.
      5. A round form/s provide the center of interest or focal area, yet never diminish the imapct of the linear material.
    2. Traditional Line-Mass or Massed-Line Design Blending of Japanese and European Designs
      1. Conforms to the characteristics of all NGC American Traditional Design. See II, B above.
      2. Linear set-pattern is strongly apparent, as for Line Design; however, additional material enhances and strengthens the line
      3. Additional plant material also provides graduation and transition for balance and rhythm.
      4. Lightly massed plant material emphasizes the cener of interest, but never obscures the linear pattern.
    3. Traditional Mass Design
      1. Conforms to the characteristics of all NGC American Traditional Design. See II, B above.
      2. Large quantities of plant material in closed silhouette, fully developed focal areas, yet defined linear pattern
      3. Mass Design is primarily symmetrical, in the form of the sphere, oval, or pyramid, and is frequently referred to as a Traditional Geometric Mass Design.
      4. Gradation of sizes, forms and colors are vital to balance.
      5. Rhythm is created through placement of a dominant plant material in a linear pattern, rather than scattered throughout the design as in European Designs.
      6. Distinction largely attributed to harmony of forms and colors.

      Note: The above described geometric designs continue to be the foundation of all present day American garden club floral designing, and are taught in Course I of the Flower Show School Series.

Chriss example
Example from Chrisie Harten
Horizontal: Chrissie Harten