Competition time for gardeners at Maitland Show

NEVER TOO YOUNG: There are a number of horticultural categories for children to enter in Maitland Show.
NEVER TOO YOUNG: There are a number of horticultural categories for children to enter in Maitland Show.

The horticultural pavilion at the upcoming 2017 Maitland Show provides an ideal opportunity for gardeners to observe plants, vegetables and flowers that are growing in local gardens.

Entries and displays in the Pavilion will feature a variety of horticultural pursuits, including; vegetables, flowers, pot plants, fruits and floral art. Flower entries will include; dahlias, roses, native plants and flowers found in the average suburban garden.

The 156th Maitland Show will be held from Friday, February 17 to Sunday, February 19. The Pavilion will be open for public viewing, following the judging, on Friday from 9am.

The theme for the 155th Show is “Paddock to Plate”.

Floral art entries are designed and put together as interpretations of given topics. Note the staging area restrictions for each Grade.

Topics for A Grade this year these include; ‘Paddock to Plate using Grapes’, ‘Holiday in Hawaii’, ‘Peace and Tranquillity’ and ‘Dried Pods – Fruit and Foliage with Copper’. There is also a section for wired flower work – ‘Two sprays for a Wedding Cake (Wired)’. A Grade staging is limited to 43cm deep and 56cm long.

B Grade topics are; ‘Paddock to Plate’using vegetables’, ‘Big. Bright and Beautiful’, ‘A Vision of Beauty’ and ‘Clowning Around’. The wired topic is ‘Groom’s Buttonhole’. B Grade entries are restricted to staging 43cm deep and 50cm long.

For Grade C entrants, the topics are; ‘Paddock to Plate using Salad vegetables’, ‘Simply Beautiful’, ‘Kitchen Kapers’, and ‘Coloured Leaves with Stones’. C-Grade entries have a maximum staging area of 30cm deep and 45cm long.

Children and young adults are also able to compete in the Floral Art sections.

Novice (Under 18 years of age) have the following themes; ‘Paddock to Plate using Fruit’, ‘Foliage with Junk’ and ‘I Like to be Different’.

Children in Infants and Primary classes might like to complete one or more of these topics: ‘Paddock to Plate’ using Sheep, Cattle and Pigs’, ‘Fairy Garden in Wet Sand’, and ‘Space Age Man using Plant Materials’. Large and small vegetables, and a plant growing in a pot may also be entered.

Entrants in the Floral Art section are allowed to use any embellishments except for artificial flowers. Judges will examine entries for creative interpretation of the selected topic. Flowers and greenery used should be of good quality.

In addition to visiting the Show to observe the entries, local gardeners are encouraged to put in entries from their own gardens, green houses and collections.

An entry fee of $0.50 per entry applies in each section, up to a total of $10, has been set. Prize money, cards and Champion ribbons are awarded.

Gardeners who would like to put in entries should start to look around their gardens now in order to find suitable plants and flowers. Remember, however, that all gardeners placing entries will have had their plants and flowers subject to the same weather conditions. These may include extreme temperature ranges, hot, drying winds or extended periods of rain and moisture. Therefore, all flowers will be suffering from similar defects. This should not deter the gardener from entering exhibits.

If entering pot plants, the owner should ensure the outside of the pot is clean and in good condition. Leaves should be cleaned of dust, spray markings and other markings. Dead leaves should be removed and the surface of the soil should be clean and tidy.

Flowers that are selected for the Cut Flower sections should be as free as possible from blemishes and leaves should be clean. Entries are displayed in glass bottles, supplied by the Show Society. Entrants should take particular notice of how the flowers should be displayed, including whether they are to be single or multiple blooms. Flowers should be placed into the bottle, with water, so that they display their best appearance.

Strips of newspaper may be used to support the flowers stems in the bottle. Any foliage used must from the foliage of the displayed flower.

Gardeners who grow vegetables might like to put some of their garden’s produce in to sections such as; Basket of vegetables, Best pumpkin, squash, onions, small vegetables and salad vegetables. Fruits (including nuts, figs and grapes) and melons (including watermelons and rock melons) may also be entered.

Gardeners who wish to enter individual blooms, pot plants or floral art arrangements or fruit and vegetables in the different competitions should take their entries to the Horticultural Pavilion.

It is important to note the closing times for the different sections.

Pot plants entries close on Thursday at 7pm and must be staged between 5.30pm and 8.30pm on that day.

Floral art entries close at 8 am on Friday. Entries may be staged between 5.30pm and 8.30pm on Thursday, and between 7.30am and 9am on Friday.

Cut flower entries close at 9am on Friday. They may be staged between 5.30pm and 8.30pm on Thursday and also between 7.30am and 9.30am on Friday.

Vegetable and fruit entries must be staged between 5.30pm and 8.30pm on Thursday, with entries closing at 8pm. Further details are contained in the Horticulture Schedule, available from the Show Society Office. Entrants should read the schedule carefully to become familiar with requirements.

Maitland and District Garden Club