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Royal flower arranger among judges for 2013 Tournament of Roses

November 13, 2012 |  8:34 am
Rose Parade 2012

The power to determine which floats rise to the top at the 2013 Tournament of Roses rests with a Descanso Gardens floral expert, the flower arranger for the British royal family and the woman behind the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.

The Tournament of Roses on Monday unveiled the names of three judges who will assess the 40 floats and hand out awards for design, beauty and other features.

One judge is Brian Sullivan, director of horticulture at Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge.

Sullivan joined the Descanso staff as a gardener in 1995, and now supervises horticulture and garden operations. His responsibilities are varied, including landscape design, collection management and equipment and facilities repairs. He has taught or served as a guest lecturer at the Los Angeles Arboretum, Beverly Hills Garden and Flower Show, Los Angeles Garden Show and Huntington Botanical Garden.

Joining Sullivan is Amy Kule, executive producer of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. She oversees all aspects of planning and production of the famed parade and Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks show, including design, logistics and marketing.

Shane Connolly, a flower arranger whose clients include London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and the Royal Academy of Arts, will also serve as a judge. Born in Northern Ireland, Connolly launched his own flower business in 1989 and has written three books on flower arrangements, with a fourth due in December. Connolly handled flower arrangements in 2007 for the British royal family’s 10th anniversary commemoration of the death of Princess Diana and created the floral displays for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.


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-- Bill Kisliuk, Times Community News

Photo: The 2012 Tournament of Roses Parade  Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times