Design Study

Studying floral design art is one of the three basic pillars of a well-balanced garden club. We focus on plant material — how to grow it, use it and display it. Our design studies aim to help members creatively use fresh and/or dried plant material in an artistic manner. 

Whether purchased or grown in the home garden, all fresh plant material must first be properly conditioned once it is cut for floral arrangements. Considerations must be given to the choice of container, degree of formality and placement of the design in terms of proportion and scale. Design studies include a comprehensive study of the six principles of design and the eight basic elements of design as outlined in NGC’s Handbook for Flower Shows current edition. 

As a federated club, The Bartram Garden Club, Inc. has access to many design courses offered through our state (FFGC) and national organizations (NGC). Basic and Advanced Design classes are offered periodically throughout the State of Florida, as are courses for those who wish to become NGC accredited flower show judges. Whether one’s interest is strictly designing for the home or for competition, there is an opportunity for everyone to learn to artistically use fresh and dried plant material.

Come learn with us and discover your inner artistic ability while you grow what feeds your soul!


Principles of Design

  • BALANCE – Visual stability

  • DOMINANCE – Greater force of one or more elements of design

  • CONTRAST – Opposites used together

  • RHYTHM – Visual path through the design

  • PROPORTION –Ratio between areas and amounts

  • SCALE – Size relationships


Elements of Design

  • LINE – One dimensional path through the design

  • COLOR – How the eye sees and interprets wave length of light reflected from a surface, as in a rainbow

  • LIGHT – Illumination necessary for vision

  • TEXTURE – Surface quality of a material

  • PATTERN – Design formed by solids and spaces

  • FORM – An object having three dimensions

  • SIZE – Apparent or visual size of component

  • SPACE – Open area in and around design


Flower Shows

One of the major activities of a federated garden club is promoting the art of floral design and horticultural excellence through the participation in flower shows. Club members who enter designs or support the show in other ways gain experience and grow their expertise in the nuances of floral design. Flower shows also provide a social environment and a chance to network with gardeners from other areas of the state. The Bartram Garden Club supports flower show activity.


The NGC Flower Show

An NGC Flower Show is a flower show which conforms to standards established by National Garden Clubs, Inc. (NGC) and are always judged by panels of accredited NGC flower show judges according to the NGC Standard System of Awarding. They must be planned and staged by NGC member organizations. NGC flower shows may encompass the Standard Flower Show, Small-Standard Flower Show, Horticulture Speciality Flower Show or Design Speciality Flower Show. The five divisions possible within an NGC Flower Show are Horticulture, Design, Education, Youth & Sponsored Groups and Botanical Arts.

Flower shows are among National Garden Clubs' most popular educational and social activities. These colorful, enjoyable events continue to draw crowds across the U.S., while giving club members an opportunity to exhibit plants, floral arrangements and informative displays on horticulture, gardening and projects by local and state garden clubs. Flower shows help spread the word about the joys of gardening and serve as forums for learning and discussing the latest horticultural and design trends.

Floral Designs

The Design Division of an NGC Flower Show is divided into sections, which are subdivided into three or more classes comprised of 4 or more exhibits each. Sections are usually determined by design type, plant material requirements and/or award offered. This information is found in the written show Schedule, which is a document that contains all the vital information necessary to enter an NGC Flower Show. It is the “Law of the Show” and always conforms to the current edition of Handbook for Flower Shows, the show’s ultimate authority.


Horticulture Display

The Horticulture Division highlights well-grown, well-groomed and correctly named fresh plant material grown by the exhibitor. Sections may be composed of cut specimens, fruits/vegetables/nuts, container-grown plants, combination plantings, and collections and displays. Sections are divided into classes and sometimes subclasses.


Education Exhibits

The purpose of the education division is to inform members and the public about goals and objectives of NGC. The protection and conservation of natural resources, the promotion of civic beautification projects, and the advancement of gardening, landscape design, floral design and environmental issues are a few examples.

Youth & Sponsored Groups

This division is for young people through age 18 and other groups sponsored by an NGC member garden club which provides leadership, programs and financial assistance to such groups. These adults and/or children may include those housed in facilities for treatment, disabilities and aging. 

Botanical Arts

Botanical Arts is a division that allows for additional types of horticulture, design and other art-like exhibits, such as photography.