DANVILLE — Scott Edwards, owner of Scott’s Floral in Danville and the Bloomsburg Fair’s superintendent of Horticulture, judged the 194th Philadelphia Flower Show on March 8, one of the most prestigious shows in the world.
Edwards said he was thrilled and honored to be invited by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to be a design judge at the show.
“I’ve been doing this for 49 years and this was my first time to ever be invited, so I was definitely thrilled,” he said.
Edwards was nominated by the Federated Garden Club judges who were impressed by his annual entrance pieces at the Bloomsburg Fair, he said.
This year’s flower show theme was “The Garden Electric.” Florists were required to have some form of electricity in their display and effectively maintain a purpose. “What I thought was very interesting was the designers had to depict an intent,” Edwards said. “They had to come up with this idea and follow it through.”
Edwards, along with two other judges, critiqued the outdoor living space designs. The five entries in this class were diverse, according to Edwards. “Some were very peaceful and some were game oriented,” he said. “One was even like ‘The Walking Dead.’”
According to Edwards, contestants are given a budget of $2,000 to be reimbursed by the show, but many of them end up spending more than that out of pocket.
Edwards explained that he considered the entries after an initial round of judging and an opportunity for participants to make changes based on feedback. “The first judging was done on the third, and that’s done by another group of judges. Then they’re given an opportunity from six to eight in the morning on the 8th to make adjustments,” Edwards said. “Then, we go back and rejudge them.”
The same entry was ranked first in both rounds of judging. However, the entries initially ranked second and third were flipped in the final round. “Ironically, the first prize was the same both times, but the second and third place changed,” Edwards said. “The person in third place initially made some corrections that changed the overall look and feel of the display.”
Though Edwards was new to judging the event, the other individuals he worked with had some experience, he said. “The one judge has been there for seven years, but each year, you flip around and judge different categories,” Edwards said. “This was the third year for the other judge.”
The three individuals were in agreement when considering the outdoor living space displays. “The other judges were more experienced, but we were within one point of each other,” Edwards said. “The judge that has been doing it for a while said that he had never had everyone agree like that.”
The piece that was unanimously ranked first place by the judges had a Moroccan theme, according to Edwards.
Judging the Philadelphia Flower Show is an experience Edwards is grateful for. “It’s the most incredible show. It’s second to the Keukenhof in Holland,” he said. “To have something like this in the United States is wonderful.”
Edwards started his business when he was 17 years old in the basement of his parents’ house. Today, Scott’s Floral is operated by Edwards, his wife, Judy, and their two daughters.
Since beginning his career, Edwards has studied and taught floral design across the world, including in Europe, Japan and Hong-Kong, according to a press release.