Garden of Virginia Symposium in Beautiful Colonial Williamsburg

February 11, 2015 in Michael's Blog

I was honored to be invited by the Garden of Virginia to their symposium held in beautiful Colonial Williamsburg.  I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting into…and was I surprised.  These southern ladies sure know how to party! More on that later. I challenged myself to make things that I wouldn’t normally do at the shop, things that those wonderful Garden Club ladies would enjoy watching me create.

Garden Virginia symposium

The Event’s Sponsors, Potomac Floral and Flower Magazine were wonderful to work with. Margaret Shaw is the Editor and Founder of Flower Magazine which I highly recommend your subscribing to. It is a beautiful publication all about flowers. I’d recommend it even if we didn’t think Margaret was an angel! Jim and I truly adore her.

Garden Virginia symposium

Let me explain the set-up. Our part of the Symposium was called “Snipped”. There were three floral designers. We had our choice of containers that were brought in by the Garden Club Members. We had a wall of flowers to choose from to create 3 arrangements each, all inspired by songs. The first were songs about the Sun. The second, movement. And the third tropical beach vacations.

Garden Virginia symposium

I’d never met my fellow designers before, but I’ve got a feeling we’ll be friends for life. James T. Farmer is author of 8 books all of which are in print. And Sybil Brooke Sylvester is as beautiful as her work.

Garden Virginia symposium

The lovely lady in coral (which James, a true southerner pronounced “Carl”) is Cathy Lee. She was the Event Organizer extraordinaire and made the whole event seem effortless. She’s beautiful and I thank you Cathy for all that you did.

Garden Club Virginia Symposium

Here I am with Catherine Madden, my “Vanna White”, who did so much to make my segment such a success. I can’t thank Catherine enough for all her help.

Garden Club Virginia Symposium

Here I am working on one of the arrangements that were so well received by our wonderful audience.

Garden Club Virginia Symposium

My Winning Arrangement was inspired by a Jimmy Buffet song. “Cheeseburger in Paradise” is a reference to a dive bar and restaurant on the island of St. Barth’s in the French West Indies, a place Jim and I love to go. I added the Rooster to this tropical arrangement because there are Roosters all over the island who act as natural alarm clocks! Our audience of Southern Belles went wild when an actual cheeseburger arrived. I’d arranged with the Executive Chef of The Colonial Williamsburg Inn to deliver the cheeseburger just as I finished the arrangement. The amazing Smith-Wade band played “Cheeseburger in Paradise” in the background and the crowd went crazy!

Garden Club Virginia Symposium

The beautiful Margot Shaw of Flower Magazine is seen here with the winners! Can you believe my fellow winner, Sybil, travels with Tidy Bowl? (She insists it is Windex!)