Flowers Like It Cold; People? Not So Much
My supplies were lined up in the front hall last night. The fresh-cut flowers were in water in the cool basement, and the ‘prop’ chair was sitting right next to the flowers. I figured it would be a cinch to load it all into my car by 8:30 am and head down the Garden State to Pat’s house then on to the Expo Center.
Not so easy.
It took me 40 minutes to load all the supplies c a r e f u l l y into my car so the flowers wouldn’t get crushed, the water they were sitting in wouldn’t slosh all over the place, the 4’ x 4’ underlay for the platform wouldn’t get bent, blah, blah, blah.
Ready to go.
Hopped on the Garden State and put pedal to metal.
Got to my good friend Pat’s exit. A car was broken down where I needed to make my right turn. Smack dab in the intersection. Jersey driver mayhem ensued. Horns, fingers, broad gestures. You know the drill even if you’ve only passed through New Jersey on your way somewhere else. It can get real ugly, real fast.
My cell phone rang as I sat there. It was Pat, one of the Magnificent Seven. Maybe she was worried I got in an accident. After all, a little over a year ago a young woman did 360s across the Garden State in front of me and sent me flying into the curbing, abruptly ending my trip to Pat’s after she’d had surgery. My whole posse helped me that day, thank God.
We made it to the Expo Center with only one wrong turn. When we walked into the building where the designs were being set up we turned to stare at each other, shocked. The place was freezing cold. I mean freezing cold. And the air was thick with mulch dust and who knows what else. Figuring I’d be sweaty, I wore short sleeves and a wooly vest. Hah. Thank goodness I had a fleece in the car. And Pat? Remember, she’s from Ohio. She was properly dressed, right down to the gloves on her hands. Bless her. After I started to warm up I thanked my lucky stars that I took my allergy meds and wore my glasses instead of contacts.
After we located my assigned spot, we fit the underlay to the 4” high platform. It looked good. My daughter Tory had sponge swiped the entire surface, and this morning while drinking a cup of tea, I drew a castle-worthy block floor on it. Pat and I worked like a well-oiled machine. She spruced up the potted ivy, fitted the ‘purses’ around the floral containers, helped me decide the best angle at which to show the chair, helped me artfully arrange the cape I made for the back of the chair and much more. By the time she had to leave, I was well on my way to finishing.
The design started to attract attention from passers-by, perhaps because of the four entries in the category I was the only person setting up at that time. Or it could be because the flowers were glowing with health and beauty. I did what any sensible designer should do: I got my flowers at Bartlett’s Greenhouse in Clifton, NJ. Marietta and Nancy sell the highest quality fresh-cut flowers and plants and they have a depth of knowledge that I think is unmatched. . .and they are willing to share their knowledge, generously.
I was getting ready to pack up when another woman arrived with her ‘prop’ chair. She had decorated it at home and transported it safely to the Expo Center. She used all dried plant materials and her chair was heavily decorated. It is beautiful and I think our designs complement each other. I’m glad hers is placed on the platform to the right of mine. She was nice and we chatted for a while, wishing each other the best of luck. I took a photo of her chair (below) and one of mine (above) as well. Take a look a and see what you think. Keep your fingers crossed. The judging is tomorrow morning at 9:30 am.
P.S. The other two entries didn’t appear by the time I had left. Okay, I was anxious to see how my design compared. Sheesh. I don’t know when I’m going to get down to the show to see who won ribbons since my schedule is packed for the next couple of days. Maybe they call folks. Maybe you have to show up to find out. Stay tuned!