By Carole Massey
Rowan Master Gardener Volunteer
SALISBURY — No excuses. The growing season has been outstanding: warm days, cooler nights, ample rainfall. This is a perfect opportunity to share what you get to enjoy and admire every day in your own gardens.
The Third Annual Retro Flower Show is scheduled for Saturday, July 14. The Extension Master Gardener Volunteers are sponsoring this show as incentive for those who enjoy horticulture and would like to share their love and appreciation with others. There are very few, if any, flower shows in our area that offer the public a chance to view such a variety of single stem flowers, flowering branches, terrariums and dish gardens and to appreciate the efforts of amateur floral designers. It is a great way to learn about the tremendous diversity of plant material that is being grown in this area.
There are two Divisions in the show: Division I — Artistic Arrangements; Division II — Horticulture. The Artistic Division has three sections with themes for adults:
• From the Mountains to the Coast (five classes): Shifting Sands, High Rock Lake, Pines of the Tar Heel State, Dunn’s Mountain, Flowers of the Piedmont
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.
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, salvia, aster, impatiens, houseplant, any other annual, any other perennial.
The Youth Horticulture Section has classes for: terrarium (with cover), dish garden, any annual.
As an extra incentive for youth entries, cash awards are being offered. A Sweepstakes Award of a $25 gift card will be given to the youth winning the most blue ribbons in the Horticultural Division. The Youth Artistic Excellence Award of a $15 gift card will be given for the most outstanding exhibit in the Youth Division. Awards in the amount of $5 will be given for the best terrarium and dish garden.
A specimen is a one bloom, one spike, one stem, one spray, etc.
Specimens, collections must be presented in an appropriate glass container furnished by the exhibitor. Containers should be marked with the exhibitor’s name underneath the container. 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.
The doors to the Agricultural Center will open at 8 a.m. on Saturday, July 14. 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 p.m. Entries cannot be removed from the show until then. The public is also invited to a tea and reception at 2:30 p.m.
Complete rules and regulations will be posted on the Extension Master Gardener website and will also be available at the Extension office on Old Concord Road closer to show time. On Tuesday, July 10, 1 p.m. at the Agricultural Center Seth Murdock Auditorium, 2727 Old Concord Road, Salisbury, Retro Flower Show judges Robert Myers and Pat Wayne will offer guidelines and helpful hints to exhibitors during the Extension Master Gardener monthly meeting. The public is invited to attend. Please call 704-216-8970 if there are any questions.
Carole Massey is an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer with Cooperative Extension in Rowan County.