Month: July 2011

One Week to Get Ready

One Week to Get Ready

The Chester Garden Club’s annual Flower Show and Tea will take place in one week. In anticipation of this event, a recent meeting of the club saw three members whose experience in creating and winning floral arrangements for competition enlivened their joint presentation, during which they shared some of their tips with other members. 

Chatting before the meeting got underway, Sidney Spahr and Joanne Jellett discussed the format of their presentations.  Checking out the audience, Jocelyn Cameron (below) completed setting out her props and then returned to the audience to enjoy the first two speakers. 
Esther Amiro, chair of the Program Committee, began the evening by introducing Sidney, an award-winning exhibitor and a part-time resident of Chester.
Sidney gave a very interesting demonstration in which she first showed the audience a cascading arrangement that she had made earlier in the day, and then proceded to re-create the same arrangement step by step, explaining her choices of material and placement as she went along. 
Below, the twin cascades in identical blue vases stand side by side, with a bucket of extra floral material in the background.
Next up was Joanne, who showed how she would interpret one of the actual sections in this year’s design class – Breakfast in bed at a Chester B & B – a composition on a tray. As she added each component, she explained her choice of plant material and the relation of each to the overall design in terms of size and colour. For the uninitiated, she noted that, because the competition is about designing with flowers, it was not enough to have a pretty tray with grandmother’s china and merely decorate it with a small nosegay as one might do at home. It is the plant material that must be the dominant feature.
And below, the finished product as seen from above (which, as she mentioned, is the way it would be seen by the judge).

Following those two demonstrations, Jocelyn took the floor and, in an animated presentation, provided a host of hints about planning and preparing entries, and tips for transporting them to the show.  Judging by the response of those members who were present, there is a lot of enthusiasm building for the show, which will take place on July 28, from 1:30 to 5:30 pm.  Entries for both the design and the horticultural specimen classes must conform to the regulations set out in the schedule (available by clicking on the side-bar link – Flower Show Schedule). In addition to preparing entries for the show, members have been volunteering to bake and to serve at the tea which is an important part of the afternoon. Details for the entire event are outlined in the Schedule mentioned above.  Members and non-members alike are invited to enter exhibits.

Bloom Day North – July

Bloom Day North – July

In recognition of July’s Bloom Day North, Sandy sent in several photos taken in the Chester area on that day. The first is a delightful composition of Jack in the Pulpits (Arisaema triphyllum) taken by club member Diana.

Next we have Sandy’s yellow ox-eye daisy (Telekia speciosa), as it receives a visit from a bee.

And the delicate blooms of a honeysuckle.

Followed by a shot of a tulip tree blossom ( Liriodendron tulipifera).

And finally, from another garden, a branch of a rambling rose spilling over a wooden retaining wall.  Chester gardens are bursting with new growth this season, and the blooms of many other plants could be added to the gallery above.  Club members will be introduced to many ideas re creating arrangements using their own plants, when they attend a meeting of the club on July 18, in preparation for the annual Flower Show on July 28th. 
Floral Arranging 101

Floral Arranging 101

With just about two weeks remaining before the annual Flower Show and Tea, members of the Chester Garden Club are busy monitoring their gardens in anticipation of creating the masterpieces they will enter as exhibits in the show. 
To help get those creative juices flowing, the club has enticed several experienced arrangers to provide demonstrations of the art and skill that are bound to impress the judges. On Monday, July 18, the focus of the club’s monthly meeting will be on the concepts and special tips that go into producing a winning composition or arrangement. 
Details concerning the various classes that make up the competition are available via the link on the right-hand side of this blog (See Flower Show Schedule, under Events). The schedule includes definitions of the terms used in describing the parameters by which entries will be judged (See page 3 – Notes for Exhibitors). These parameters are important for both the horticultural and the design classes. This may be an opportunity to remind members that horticultural specimens are also an important part of the show. The judges who will critique the entries are qualified to review both the horticultural and the design classes and, in past years, visitors have expressed interest in viewing  the many specimens on display as well as the entries in the design classes. 
All members are encouraged to attend the July 18 meeting, 6:30 for 7:00 pm, at  St. Stephen’s Parish Community Centre.  Whether a newbie or an experienced hand in the art of floral composition, you can always pick up some useful tips to help you create a beautiful or whimsical design. In addition, the organizing committee will be presenting final details concerning the show and confirming the volunteer duty roster. The show is open to members and non-members alike, and the committee hopes that many children will enter the two children’s classes (for under 8 years, and for 8 to 16 years inclusive).
Flower Show Preparations

Flower Show Preparations

A sunny weekend in Chester was reason to celebrate both Canada Day on July 1st and, for our American “summer residents”, their national holiday on July 4th.  Temperatures are finally climbing and seasonal activities are in full swing. The boats are back in the water, the golfers are booking tee times, the tennis crowd are arranging games, and the Chester Playhouse is offering live entertainment. In addition, the gardens are full of blooms. It’s a good time to be in the area.

Despite all those distractions, members of Chester Garden Club are now focusing on the next big event in their calendar – the Annual Flower Show and Tea –  to be held on July 28th.  To encourage members to begin planning the arrangements they hope to enter, the board has invited several experienced exhibitors to conduct an informal workshop at the club’s general meeting scheduled for July 18th.  
The theme for this year’s Flower Show and Tea is Chester Gems, and the organizing committee has created some very imaginative scenarios in their descriptions of the 13 sectors of the Design class. Among the headings used to describe the particulars of compositions and arrangements are:  Go antiquing in Chester; Tee off at the Chester Golf Club; Celebrate the restoration of historic Lordly House; and Take a saltwater dip in Chester’s Lido pool.
Full details concerning the regulations for all entries –  whether as horticultural specimens or in the design classes –   as well as information about trophy competitions, childrens’ classes and more, can be found by clicking on the link at the right side of this column (see the sidebar: Flower Show Schedule).  
The Show will be open from 1:30 to 5:30 PM, at the Chester Legion. Members and non-members alike are invited to participate in the floral competitions and everyone is welcome to enjoy the scrumptious tea that will be served from 2 to 4 PM.  Admission to the event is $7 for adults and $3 for children under 16.