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story.lead_photo.caption SubmittedThe Fulton Garden Club’s 2019 flower show featured several creative designs in many different formats, and this year’s “2021 Visions of Beauty” show will be no different. The doors for Thursday’s show open to the public at 1 p.m. at the Callaway Electric Cooperative.

"I spy with my little eye" this year's National Garden Club Flower Show, which is themed "2021 Visions of Beauty."

The show is sponsored by Fulton Garden Club and will be 1-5 p.m. Thursday at the Callaway Electric Cooperative.

The club's "2021 Visions of Beauty" was scheduled to take place last year as "2020 Visions of Beauty," but as with many other events, COVID-19 prevented that from happening. So the Fulton Garden Club pushed on with its theme for this year along with numerous fun subcategories: "The Eye of the Beholder," "Double Vision," "Beauty at First Sight" and the aforementioned "I Spy With My Little Eye."

The idea of the show is to stimulate an interest between the club's members and the public, provide an outlet for creative expression and communicate the NCG's goals and objectives, while potentially gaining some added memberships to the club if the interest is strong enough.

"We support the NGC goals and just want everyone to see and understand and learn about our environment," Fulton Garden Club third vice president Diane Neterer said. "We want the public to know the importance that we do, and that there's things they can do to help our environment."

As of right now, the club has about 44 members, and for the most part, they are all participating in Thursday's show, whether by providing food, making phone calls, doing statistics or bringing in designs. Horticulture and floral designs do have to be signed up prior to the show — there has to be four entries in each class for them to be judged.

This year, there are 12 classes that will include 48 designs. When the show first started out, it was mostly individuals taking a vase and arranging flowers in it, but now, there's so many different ways to express one's creativity, such as botanical arts, collages, petites, combination of beauty and, for the first time, photography.

The show is broken down into four divisions — horticulture, design, botanical arts and educational. For horticulture, everything has to be grown by the exhibitor, and they must have had all specimens for a certain length of time. As for designs this year, they are allowing individuals to use store-bought flowers.

For the last division, educational, there will be an informational display on pollen and the Iris Society from Columbia will be doing one called "Iris of my Eye." There will be two panels of NGC judges from all over the state of Missouri, and they will follow the guidelines within the NGC manual and the show's schedule.

To be judged, all designs have to be in by 9:30 a.m. Thursday to give judges time to do a walk-through at 10 a.m. And to keep things fair, the exhibitor's name will be hidden during judging.

By the time the public is able to walk through the show, exhibitors will be awarded their ribbons. As visitors walk in, someone will be there to greet them and a guest book will be available for them to sign, and fliers about the Fulton Garden Club will be available. As individuals walk around, they will be able to educate themselves on the different types of plants and flowers used within the exhibitors' designs.

"No matter how long you've been gardening," Neterer said. "You can always learn something new."

Fulton Garden Club welcomes those who are interested to join. The club holds meetings with good food, as well as informational meeting with guest speakers. The club also does a lot for the community. It provides scholarships for graduating seniors, maintains community gardens and educates children on the relationship of plants and the human existence.

For more information about the show or joining the garden club, call Neterer at 573-310-6062 or email her at [email protected]

This article was edited at 7:19 a.m. May 26, 2021, to correct the time of the flower show.

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