Gardeners in the Chester area are anxiously scouting their gardens as the countdown for the annual Flower Show and Tea approaches. The schedule for competing entries has been published for months (click on the Flower Show heading above) but some things cannot be rushed. Mother Nature has the last word as to which plants will be at their best as the date draws near.
The extreme range of temperatures and weather this year has made it difficult to predict which plants will be in bloom on the date of the Flower Show, the 25th of July. Following a long spell of cool rainy days, last week we experienced three days of very high temperatures with high humidity, which was hard on the gardeners let alone their plants.
The rapid growth of shrubbery, vines and ferns on the berm in the photo below is an indication of the effect of this year’s heavy rainfall.
Chester’s climate is kind to many varieties of roses. It is the maurauding deer who wreak havoc on our gardens. As nocturnal visitors, the deer dine on such delicacies as the developing flower buds of roses, phlox, hydrangeas, and even the occasional iris. Many a local gardener has been dismayed to discover, after weeks of anticipation, that the growing tips of a particularly prized specimen have been devoured overnight by deer.
As is the custom in many locales, Chester gardeners welcome the return of hummingbirds and so, in addition to special feeders, we plant honeysuckles to attract the tiny spirited creatures.
To help members prepare for the Flower Show, the Club’s July 15th meeting will focus on tips and advice for creating successful entries in both the horticultural and design classes – Learn the Basics!
Members of the Flower Show Committee have also scheduled a two-hour children’s workshop to encourage participation among the youth in the area. The organizers are delighted that 18 children have signed up for the workshop, which will focus on creating fanciful floral displays in accordance with this year’s theme “Hats Off”. The particular themes for the children’s classes are: “A Hat for a Cat” for children under the age of eight, and “Hockey Night in Canada” for youth between ages eight and sixteen.