Plan now for Retro Flower Show

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 20, 2011

By Carole Massey
Master Gardener Volunteer
SALISBURY — Attention all gardeners: If you haven’t already planted a variety of beautiful summer blooming flowers, please head out to the nearest garden center or nursery or shake out a few seeds and plant, plant, plant.
The Rowan Master Gardener Volunteer Association is planning its second annual Retro Flower Show and needs your help.
We had a marvelous first show last year. But we’d like to increase participation and variety of entries. The show date is Saturday, July 9, prime time for many summer flowers to be reaching their peak.
There are two divisions in the show: Division I — Artistic Arrangements; Division II — Horticulture.
Basically, the artistic division has three sections with themes for adults:
• From the Mountains to the Coast (five classes)
1. Shifting Sands
2. High Rock Lake
3. Pines of the Tar Heel State
4. Dunn’s Mountain
5. Flowers of the Piedmont
• Celebrations
• Miniatures
There is also a youth artistic division with Dan Nicholas Park as the theme.
The basic rules governing these entries state that all backgrounds and coverings will be furnished by the exhibitor, with a maximum background size to be 40 inches high, 30 inches wide and 18 inches deep.
Sara Hill of Salisbury was the 2010 Award of Excellence Prize winner with her entry in the Dunn’s Mountain class. Her outstanding arrangement of Leyland cypress, red maple, Nellie R. Stevens holly, black-eyed susan and Sally Holmes climbing rose was presented in a draped niche.
Entries in the horticulture division must have been grown by the exhibitor and must have been in the exhibitor’s possession since the beginning of the growing season. For example, an exhibitor cannot go to a garden center the week of the show and buy a specimen plant to be entered.
The following sections are offered for specimen stems: dahlias, roses, zinnias, marigolds, flowering branches and vines, African violet, begonia, geranium, terrarium, dish garden, cacti and succulents, tubers and bulbs.
Miscellaneous section: snapdragons, phlox, daisy, dianthus, petunias, celosia, coral bells, saliva, aster, impatiens, houseplant, any other annual, any other perennial.
The youth horticulture section has classes for: terrarium (with cover), dish garden; any annual.
A specimen is one bloom, one spike, one stem, one spray, etc. Specimens, collections must be presented in an appropriate glass container furnished by the exhibitor. Containers are not judged. Glass soft drink bottles are acceptable. Many of us use Cheerwine bottles as they compliment the specimens. Pots and containers should not be covered and must meet the size stated in the class requirements. Only one entry is permitted by an exhibitor in a class. Additional specimens may be presented for display only, and would be appreciated.
All entries will need to be labeled with an official entry tag. The tag will have a space for the variety name, common name and botanical name if known. Some of our best plants are hand-me- downs and pass-alongs whose proper names have faded with time, if they were known at all.
The doors to the Agricultural Center will open at 8 a.m. on Saturday, July 9. Entries will be accepted until 10 a.m. Judging will occur between 10 a.m. and noon.
The show will open to the public at 1 p.m. and close at 4:30 p.m. Entries cannot be removed from the show until then. The public is also invited to a tea and reception at 3 p.m. At that time a drawing will be held for the Mantis tiller that is being raffled as a fundraiser for the Master Gardener Pocket Garden Project. Tickets are available for a two-cycle Mantis tiller with a kickstand and edger attachment from any Master Gardener Volunteer for $2 each up until the drawing or as long as tickets are available.
Complete rules and regulations will be posted on the Master Gardener website and will also be available at the Extension office on Old Concord Road closer to show time. Now is the time to do a little planning, a little dreaming and a lot of planting for those beautiful, show-stopping blooms. Challenge yourself. It really is fun and a wonderful way to learn a little more about horticulture in Rowan County.