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Flower Design Committee Reports

2022-2023 — Fran Ackerly, Chair; Barbara Baletti, Vice Chair

It was an exciting year for Flower Design. Inspired by the success of our award-winning flower show, Arts & Flowers: A Design Specialty Flower Show, the committee made some changes to the design schedule for monthly competitions. The format was altered to follow the schedule of an actual flower show, allowing Members more freedom in choosing a design class and type.

New workshops were offered, interesting challenges in Flower Design were introduced, and Botanical Arts made its debut. Members enjoyed the new opportunities, and Club competitions were replete with decorated hats and boxes, dazzling masks, and necklaces.

These new additions were enthusiastically embraced by designers. We exhibited fifty-two Flower Designs and twenty-five Botanical Arts designs in five competitions this year.

To educate new Members and increase participation in Flower Design, we are going "back to basics," returning to our original flower design format. Botanical Arts will become a separate division and have its own committee.


2021-2022 — Fran Ackerly, Chair; Barbara Baletti, Vice Chair

Concerns about COVID-19 had an impact on Flower Design events again this year. Virtual Design Exhibitions were held in October, November, January, and February. Designers took a photo of their flower design, attached the photo to the online entry form, and sent their entry to The Garden Club of Montclair 's website. The judges were able to view the design photos and add their comments. I want to thank our own judges, Florence Leyssène and Debbie Moran, for the countless hours they spent critiquing the designs each month, and Sue Young for putting each Exhibition on the website for Members to enjoy viewing.

To everyone's delight, in March and April there was a return to inperson Design Competitions. March brought us lovely Petite Designs ranging in size from 3 inches to 12 inches. In April, designers rose to the challenge of a Multi-Rhythmic Design. I want to thank all designers for participating and for sharing their creativity and talent. This year, 28 designers entered a total of 72 flower designs.

A thank you also must go to Barbara Baletti, Vice Chair of Flower Design, whose ideas, suggestions, and support were invaluable. Working together this year was great and Flower Design survived and thrived. 


2020-2021 — Fran Ackerly, Chair; Barbara Baletti, Vice Chair

Many things were different this year due to the pandemic and Flower Design was no exception. The monthly Flower Design Competitions became Virtual Design Exhibitions. Each month, designers took photos of their designs and submitted them electronically to the Club’s website. Once submitted, they were critiqued by our own member Judges and each designer was awarded one  point for participation.


No Flower Design awards were given this year. The aim was to keep members connected and involved during the difficult time of COVID-19. In all, 23 designers submitted a total of 95 designs. This success would not have been possible without the support of Vice-Chair Barbara Baletti, Flower Design Committee members, Workshops Chair Floss O'Sullivan, and the Communications Chair Amy South. Thank you to all.  


2019-2020 — Cynthia Corhan-Aitken, Fran Ackerly, Vice Chair 

This will serve as my last report as Chair of Flower Design as I pass the baton to Fran Ackerly and her Vice Chair Barbara Baletti. I have loved every minute of serving as Chair of this committee mainly due to the fact that I have always had an enthusiastic group of volunteers with whom to work. My sincerest thanks go to Fran Ackerly who served as my Vice Chair during my second term and took a huge weight off my shoulders by always being willing to help and advise. Much gratitude and many thanks go to Florence Leyssène and Debbie Moran for always being there to support me, answer my many questions and, in general, encourage me every step of the way.


To my Flower Design Committee members: Barbara Baletti, Brenda Bingham. Joan Crowther, Firth Fabend, Sharla Blanz, Carol Callahan, Tova Narrett, Floss O'Sullivan, Michele Quinn, Sarah Stransky, and Marylin Zaret; you have all always been willing to help and have taken on the many tasks that go along with this Committee with willingness and grace.


Most importantly, thank you to all the designers who have participated in our monthly Flower Design Competitions. Your creativity has never failed to impress and amaze me. Without you all there would be a lot less beauty in the world!


This has been a difficult spring for everyone. Who could have predicted that the world would go into lockdown in March and that life as we know it would change so extremely? Sadly, we missed two competitions for Design and Botanical Arts in March and April and, of course, there was the cancellation of our Design Specialty Flower Show scheduled for September. I look forward to the day, hopefully in the not too distant future, when we will all be back together again doing the things we love and sharing it with all of our Garden Club friends.

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