While the large exhibits fascinate show-goers with their grandeur, it’s the relatively diminutive displays of the artistic classes that give us pause and require closer examination. The artistic classes include arrangements (pedestals, small and medium niches, miniature arrangements, galleria, and the festival of flowers), jewelry (made from dried plant material), pressed plants, and more.
Judged by a panel of distinguished gardeners and horticultural experts, these creations are submitted by individuals, families, garden clubs, and even elementary schoolchildren. Let’s look at a few of the entries.
Delicate dried orchids and leaves were combined to create this simple yet incredible necklace. All submissions in the jewelry category must be (or appear to be) wearable, and can be created from dried flowers, foliage, seeds, pods, peas, beans, corn, nuts (in or out of shells), grapevine twigs, basket reeds, and the like.
What is just as important as what is included is what’s not permitted, such as carved wood, manufactured materials (pasta, couscous, craft wood, toothpicks), clay, seashells, real or simulated gems, glitter, and byproducts of plants (pine sap, pine resin, pollen, and extracted components such as juice).
The Malu No (Reserved For…) entries are actually tablescapes in which fresh plant material must predominate and may include fruits or vegetables, dried treated plant material, or treated dried plant material.
About this entry, entitled “Tiny Bubbles,” the judges said, “The use of plant material to represent sea life is terrific. Theme development is totally complete, from the footprints to the pillows to the flowers.” You can almost hear Don Ho, can’t you?
The Moon Over the Pacific category features evening bags inspired by the ocean, the construction requirements for which are the same as for the jewelry. This crowd favorite that suggests waves, a deep blue ocean, and a colorful urchin was created with white peppercorns, basket reed, an air plant, and Ram’s head pod. One viewer was heard to exclaim, “I have the perfect outfit for that bag! Can I buy it after the Show?”
In the Youth Class–Hala-Hakiki (Pineapple) category of the pressed materials entries, the judges simply noted, “Perky people make us smile.” We couldn’t agree more and encourage you to wander through the aisles of the artistic classes.