Violetta Delafield - Flower Arranger & Garden Designer

Violetta Delafield

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Flower Arranger & Garden Designer

Violetta White Delafield moved from praiseworthy depictions of plants at the cellular level to prize-winning flower arrangements and attention-getting garden design—steadily larger canvases on which to express her interest in all things botanical.

A resident of East 79th Street in Manhattan, Violetta allied herself with both regional and national organizations such as the Horticultural Society of New York, the Garden Club of America, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the New York Botanical Garden. Because her summers were spent in Dutchess County, New York, from 1922 on, she was an active member of the Millbrook Garden Club.

Organizations such as the Garden Club of America were founded with serious purposes in mind. In the case of GCA, its aims were “to stimulate the knowledge and love of garden among amateurs; to share the advantages of association through conference and correspondence in this country and abroad; to aid in protection of native plants and birds; and to encourage civic planting.”

These organizations provided a social and intellectual network for women like Violetta as well as venues for a little healthy competition among her peers on other Hudson Valley estates. Violetta's talents as a flower arranger garnered her first and second prizes at the 1934 International Flower Show, among many other awards.

Violetta Delafield’s Fenwick Medal-winning flower arrangement. Gelatin silver print, 1938. Bard College, Montgomery Place Collection.

Prize ribbon awarded to Violetta Delafield for flower arranging. Metallic ink on silk, c. 1935. Bard College, Montgomery Place Collection.

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