I've always liked flowers and gardens. I remember my grandmother's garden in South Ozone Park on Long Island. My grandparents were lucky enough to have the end unit of the brownstone which meant they got the rectangular space next to the garage out back. The entrance was a climbing rose you had to sneak by so it didn't 'get' you. Other images are hazy but I always thought that place magical.
Fast forward to the turn of the century - (Jeez that sounds old!) My friend invited me to see her garden club's flower show. It was the horticulture that drew me in - "I can grow hydrangeas like this," I thought - my competitive nature sneaking in. I joined the club when my youngest started school. I found myself entering flower shows and then going to National Garden Club (NGC) Flower Show school so I could figure out what the heck the judges were talking about. "What do you mean those three callas which so perfectly represent the sails of the ship aren't connected to the rest of the design?" Now an Accredited NGC Judge, Master Level, I know what they were saying!
My flower journey continued into the retail world - my love of design blossomed into something I didn't want to limit to the occasional flower show. I was exposed to the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) when their symposium in Boston in 2010 featured Gregor Lersch as the speaker. What an introduction! The Northeast Floral Expo (NEFE) put on by the Connecticut Florists Association provided a regional avenue for my continued growth. After many brides and proms, I decided I wanted to see if I had what it takes to become a member of AIFD. I studied hard, practiced tons and went off to AIFD Symposium in Denver to take the Professional Floral Designer Evaluation. Success! My scores were high enough that I was invited to join this highly talented group of floral artists. On July 5, I will be inducted into AIFD - and so I begin.....(again!)