The Wisconsin Judges Council of Nationally Accredited Flower Show Judges (WJC) meets each year at the Wisconsin Garden Club Federation Annual Convention. Membership is open to all National Garden Club (NGC) Accredited Judges, including Emeritus, Master, Life, Accredited and Student Judges.
The purpose of the organization is four-fold:
- To provided current information for judging flower shows as apprised by NGC.
- To promote sound ethics in judging.
- To promote advanced study in horticulture, the art of floral design and flower show procedure.
- To assist and inform garden clubs in the promotion of Standard, Advanced and Small Flower Shows upon request.
An additional goal is becoming acquainted with and networking with other judges. Meeting annually provides an opportunity to share changes, successes and topics of general interest.
Marion Books, President
Area Judges Councils
The Northeast Judges Council is open to flower show judges accredited by National Garden Clubs, Inc., who live in northeastern Wisconsin – Menasha, Oshkosh, Wisconsin Rapids, New London, & Hortonville, to name a few. The members meet twice a year – in May and August – to bring, study and judge creative designs and horticultural specimens. The Council sponsors a flower show in area communities annually. This year’s show will be held on September 12th at the Ellington Fire Department Fireman’s Picnic – a Small Standard Flower Show, “Fire Fest”. There are currently six members in this Council.
Pat Ritchie, President
The Northwest Judges Council was organized in 1983 to provide educational opportunities for a group of newly accredited flower show judges in the northwestern corner of Wisconsin – mainly Indianhead and St. Croix Districts. The Council promotes the advanced study of horticulture, flower arranging, & flower show procedure, and sound ethics in judging among its members. It is also available to help garden clubs with the planning of Standard Flower Shows, if requested.
Programs have featured plant society specialists, design workshops led by talented NGC & WGCF designers, pottery workshops, Flower Show Symposiums, and many study days with members bringing advanced designs and horticultural specimens to evaluate. Recently, the Council toured the vast Winter Greenhouses and demonstration gardens, north of Winter, WI, to become familiar with some of the newest cultivars on the market. Emphasis was on new perennials and miniature garden plants, with experts from the greenhouse pointing out and discussing the merits of many.
The Northwest Judges Council meets twice a year, with meeting dates arranged to accommodate the members’ schedules. There are seven members, four of whom are now Emeritus.
Carolyn Craig, President
The Southern Wisconsin Judges Council serves the greater Milwaukee area and extends south to Kenosha, and west to Madison. Meetings are held three to four times a year, with the location alternating among areas served. A top priority is to find dates when the majority of the members can attend. Programs often feature the study and critique of horticultural specimens and advanced designs, which members have brought, plus business & social time.
The Southern Wisconsin Judges Council currently has thirteen active members and three Emeritus judges. Many serve WGCF, NGC & Central Region in leadership positions.
Helen Surridge- Vice President
Lynne Ehnert- Secretary
The Top Ten Reasons To Be a Flower Show Judge
By Kerry Krokos
My journey from planting straggly annuals purchased at Stein’s Garden Center, to becoming an accredited Flower Show Judge, has been quite the adventure.
I joined my current NGC garden club, because my friend got tired of me asking her the names of plants when we were together. She kindly “suggested” that if I joined a garden club, I would learn plant names and a whole lot more. And she was so right.
When we were first approached about going to a flower show school, I thought it would be fun to learn details about plants. Little did I know, that there were 4 courses (with exams) which included horticulture and design classes plus writing a Flower Show schedule as well as a final exam. It was a bit intimidating at first. But what I found was that everyone involved in the schools wanted me to be successful in passing the courses, just as much as I did. They were willing to help me in any way they could. They encouraged me and were never too busy to answer my questions. They were excited every time I passed a course. And with each course I passed, I gained more confidence about knowing the material and applying it. I was amazed that I remembered facts from one course to the next, all the while building on my previous learning. I became an accredited flower show judge in April 2014. I’ve discovered that beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but design and horticulture exhibits can be judged against perfection.
So here are the top ten reasons you should consider going to Flower Show School and becoming a Flower Show Judge. These are the reasons I am so happy to be part of this group of knowledgeable and talented individuals.
1. Acquire detailed information about how specific plants grow,
2. Learn the different types of NGC designs,
3. Create designs by applying the Elements and Principles of Design,
4. Write flower show schedules while experiencing fun in doing so,
5. Develop an appreciation of different flowers and plants with an eye for details,
6. Learn how to collect and display horticulture exhibits,
7. Become knowledgeable about the different Scale of Points and how this tool is used in judging,
8. Make friends with many different people from different areas,
9. Enjoy the fun, work and satisfaction of putting on a flower shows, and
10. Most of all, you will develop a life-long learning for the beauty and abundance of our natural world.
Nationally Accredited Flower Show Judges
Wisconsin Garden Club Federation
- Karen Allen, Emeritus
- Alka Bhargava
- Marion Books, Life
- Carol Catlin, Life
- Carolyn Craig, Master
- Lynne Ehnert
- Nancy Gotham, Emeritus
- Gerianne Holzman, Master
- Carole Hopp
- Sandy Ingram, Master
- Doug Jaeger
- Wendy Kramer
- Kerry Krokos
- Kitty Larkin, Master
- Carol Larson, Master
- Lynn Laufenberg
- Liz Murken, Master & Flower Show School Instructor, Design
- Dawn Mozgawa, Master
- Judy Newman, Master & Flower Show School Instructor, Horticulture
- Diane Olsen
- Marion Pacetti, Emeritus
- Judy Pitcher
- Pat Ritchie
- Julie Schoenike, Master
- Muriel Shervey, Emeritus
- Ruth Smith, Emeritus
- Helen Surridge, Master & Flower Show School Instructor, Design
- Instructor in the Ichiyo School of Ikebana, Japanese flower arranging. – Available for programs & willing to travel outside of the Milwaukee area. Fees negotiable.
- Ilone Underheim, Emeritus
- Sharon Warner, Emeritus
- Colleen Weiler, Emeritus
Note: many flower show judges enjoy sharing their talents, and will give programs for garden clubs if asked. Contact information is in the Directory.