I just can't believe how fast this year is going! I have to keep reminding myself to sit back and enjoy the sunshine before its Christmas!
The summer brings an abundance of work for a flower farmer. There are an array of flowers to cut and deadhead. Plants are working hard and need regular feeding to perform, and of course the dreaded weeds need curtailing to prevent them outperforming everything else in the cutting patch.
So I've been busily performing the above tasks and planning for next years expansion. When I saw a program advertising a local flower show I couldn't resist giving it a try. There were various categories to choose from and as I'm swimming in dahlias I decided to enter four dahlia categories, one rose category and I also entered a vase of flowers I had grown from seed.
I have never entered a flower show before but I do have experience of showing chickens and I know from this that showing brings with it a lot of rules and standards; you could spend an awful lot of time researching what's expected of a winning entry or you can just dive in head first and learn from your mistakes.
So off I trotted with a boot full of flowers and vases. Preparation is everything but as I didn't really know how to display my flowers for best results I just chucked it all in the car and decided I would watch the old timers and try my best to copy them!
The rose was easy; one stem cut and displayed in a glass bottle. I realised straight away that my stem should have been much longer and later found out my rose should have been cut when it was less open.
Next to the dahlias. I thought my stems had to be clear of leaves (I don't know why I thought this!) therefore my stems again were too short. And my flowers weren't large enough -apparently I should be growing special show bench varieties to do well with dahlias!
The vase of flowers was more in my comfort zone. I enjoyed putting this together and added a stem of this and that so I could display lots of forms and colours while showing as many varieties as possible and capitalise on the fact I have grown lots from seed this year. This obviously paid off as I won first prize in that category!
I will definitely try my hand at showing again and would recommend it to anyone who has considered it but not yet had a go. It's a good excuse for a day out as there are often lots of activities and stalls going on at such shows so it can be an enjoyable trip for the whole family. I couldn't resist getting my toddler involved and he also won first prize in his decorated paper plate category, winning himself £1.50 which he enjoyed spending today! It was a good learning exercise particularly with the dahlias but I think in future I will concentrate on the rose and mixed flower or floral decoration classes.