Every summer, the Newport Flower Show brings hundreds of gardeners, floral designers, and horticulturalists here to Newport, R.I., along with thousands of others who come to admire their work.
For three days, the front lawn of Rosecliff, the former summer home of the Oehlrich family, is transformed into a botanical garden. Garden centers and nurseries bring in unusual, sought-after plants and create whimsical installations.
The ballroom becomes a gallery for modern floral arrangements which blur the lines between art and nature, as well as more traditional urns and centerpieces. This year’s theme, “Journey: Grand Vistas,” meant that several of the judged categories and installations were inspired by the love and romance of travel.
In the Botanical Arts Division, contestants make clothing, shoes, and jewelry with dried plant material. You either love it or you hate it; either way, you have to admit that it takes an incredible amount of skill and patience.
Although I entered the show as a Floral Design Division competitor this year, I have to admit that the Horticulture Division was my favorite. Participants pick just one perfect stem, branch, or leaf from from their gardens, and display it in a simple glass bottle. Individually, their natural beauty is breathtaking; grouped together, they’re stunning.
Photo at top and gallery photos by Meaghan O’Neill. All other photos by Antonia Farzan. Click on any image below to launch the gallery.