This post is my personal opinion only. It in no way reflects the views of Rutgers Gardens or any of its staff. I am not a spokesperson for Rutgers Gardens.
I like to work the first shift at the Rutgers Gardens booth at the flower show so that I see immediately how my pictures did in the photo competition. I’m like a little kid. I can’t wait. I have to know literally as soon as the judging is finished, usually by the time the show opens or within 30 minutes thereafter.
This year, the judges kept me waiting for over an hour. I ran back and forth, back and forth, between the booth and the roped off area with the flower arrangements, constantly checking the progress of the judging. What was taking so long? There didn’t appear to be more flower arrangements than usual.
As soon as the rope came down, I made a dash for the photography competition. I didn’t do as well as I had hoped unfortunately
. When I returned much later after my shift was over, it was obvious why the judges had such a tough time arriving at their decisions: the competitors had finally realized that the judges prefer flower arrangements that use strange materials twisted into bizarre shapes and as few flowers as possible.
Take a look for yourself:
Okay, compared to the First Place winner, these were just too conventional.
But wait . . .
But wait . . .
Shouldn’t this have placed higher? Were the judges so undecided that they flipped a coin for first and gave the loser Honorable Mention?
Let’s have a look at another contest.
Definitely a winner. There is so much going on here, that I don’t even know where to begin. Best element? The vacuum cleaner hose, of course!
Very conventional. But how did it place higher than …
You’ve got Tinker Toys and an evergreen something that resembles a cheap Christmas garland that is defying gravity. But wait . . .
OMG. It looks like something you would see in a pre-school classroom. You’re not quite sure what it is, but it is definitely colorful.
The next contest had me scratching my head. See if you agree . . .
Definitely a winner. Is there any plant material here at all? Or is it all feathers, leftovers from a fan dance perhaps?
Both of these entries are so conventional, so cliché, so … you get the idea. But why did the judges hate . . .
The comment card says that it is too stark. I guess compared to the burlesque dancer’s entry, it is a little bare. Like the dancer without her feathers.
Here’s another puzzler.
Every time I see this, I look for the dominoes. You know, the ball rolls down and knocks down dominoes that are artfully arranged all over the convention center?
How this one earned second place is beyond me. It looks like the logo for a bad TV sitcom.
Why didn’t this earn a better standing? It seems perfect. A couple of flowers artfully placed on an abstract . . . something. Usually the judges love this sort of thing.
Two words: moss shoes. I’m surprised that the judges didn’t quietly ask the exhibitor to remove herself and her atrocity from the hall and not return until she had mastered the art of arranging flowers without raiding her shoe closet.
I think the following is the reason the judging took so long.
Other than the Honorable Mention, I can’t imagine how they arrived at a decision. How can you even compare copper tubing, an armillary and bamboo garden stakes? Talk about apples and oranges.
And that honorable mention? If I were to enter an arrangement, that’s what it would look like. Like a kid did it. A not very talented kid.
Here’s a contest which I could have predicted how the judges would call it:
I kinda like the Honorable Mention winner but the Second Place winner is more like something I would design: BORING.
I saved the best for last. Look closely.
Looks like this exhibitor finally found a use for her old CD rack now that she has an iPod.
Is Lucky Bamboo unlucky if it’s hung upside down? Oh wait, that’s horse shoes. Sorry.
Did you notice the chicken wire? Look again. Chicken wire! I have never seen chicken wire used before. It should have earned Best in Show for originality, creativity and daring.
Or maybe it was awarded the lowest ranking because it was so in-your-face. A sarcastic commentary on the sad state of flower show judging which penalizes the use of flowers.