Celebrations 18 Project Showcases Hawai’i Flowers and Foliage

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Eric Tanouye, president of HFNA. PC: Friends of Liliiu’okalani Gardens.

The Hawai’i Floriculture and Nursery Association (HFNA) held its Celebrations 18 project in late October to educate the community about the benefits of using Hawai’i-grown flowers and foliage for decorating needs and gifts. Held Oct. 26 to 29, the multi-faceted event was a partnership effort between HFNA and Friends of Lili’uokalani Gardens.

During the project renowned floral designer Hitomi Gilliam of Canada hosted a class at Nani Mau Gardens on the structures used in floral design and held a demonstration using Hawai’i-grown flowers and foliage on Friday, Oct. 26. The half-day class provided one-on-one consultations with Gilliam, and was a popular request in post-event surveys following the 2017 floral design workshop.

HFNA also held the second annual Celebrations 18 Floral Design Competition on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26 and 27. Open to amateurs, novice and professional floral designers, the competition resulted in an installation of completed floral designs at pre-arranged sites within  Lili’uokalani Gardens.


The competition’s theme tied into the Sesquicentennial Anniversary of Japanese Emigration into Hawai’i in June 1868. Product packages were provided for each team to work with followed by specialty floral items as they began their designs.

Friends of Lili’uokalani Gardens provided docents for an open garden tour of the floral displays on Sunday, Oct. 28. Guests voted on their favorite displays for the People’s Choice Award. Judges toured the sites and scored each design according to specific criteria.

PC: Friends of Liliiu’okalani Gardens.

In conjunction with the park tour, Gilliam and her team installed a major floral art sculpture at the Hawai’i County Building in Hilo. The piece was presented to the County on Monday, Oct. 29, during the awards ceremony for the design competition.


The final event of the Competitions 18 project was a nursery bus tour to floral and foliage nurseries. Visitors learned about locally grown floriculture products and the many varieties and colors available for decorations and gifts.

The workshop was professionally filmed and will be broadcast on public access television across the state and uploaded to the HFNA website.

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