With the help of my eleven-year-old grandson, Jon, I took 12 first place ribbons at the West End Fair this year. In fact I was awarded a ribbon for every one of my 28 entries. On the day we took the specimens to the fair, it rained and rained. Nevertheless, we were out in the garden early with Jon holding the umbrella over me while we debated the best blooms, vegetables, and herbs to pick. What would I have done without him? The process took several hours and we were MISERABLY wet. Like last year, Jon arrived the day before to help me prepare. Click here to see how he prepped the jars.
The West End Fair committee issues a 'premium' book each year with specific instructions. For example, under the general instructions for HERBS it states:
- Specimen and container shall be clean, with insect damaged, dead or faded blooms/leaves removed.
- Judging shall be on the basis of quality. Judges shall consider condition and presentation.
- Fragrance and/or flavor characteristics of herb shall be important factors.
- All entries must be grown by the exhibitor.
- Three stems uniform in size and conformation.
- Submitted in a clear container suited to the size of specimen. Remove leaves below water level.
- Herbs may be shown with leaves and flowers and/or fresh seeds.
|Lemon Balm with blue ribbon.|
I grew borage for the first time this year and it did quite well with a second place. My reliable yarrow 'The Pearl' was included in the herb category and, like last year, earned a blue ribbon. My nasturtium also won a first place.
|Achillea The Pearl (Achillea ptarmica).|
|Nasturtium beginning to droop by the time I took the picture.|
In the perennial section my clematis, hydrangea, Russian sage, and shasta daisy each pulled a blue ribbon.
|Amazing that I still had a clematis in bloom.|
|Hydrangea 'Pinky Winky"|
|Leucanthemum x superbum, commonly called Shasta daisy.|
I used the marigolds and some orange zinnias in a shelf display 'School Days'. Jon enjoys the shelf and floor displays the most. He arranged the items to their best advantage and we got a first, third, and fourth.
|Shelf Display theme 'School Days'|
|Floor display theme 'Tea Time' -- the Mad Hatter's Tea Party|
|"Look, it's a dormouse."|
And the first place went to ...
|Shelf display 'Nursery Rhymes'.|
|Blue mist flower, shasta daisies, yarrow 'the pearl,' and geranium, 'Rozanne'|
There is so much more to see at the fair. We watched chicks hatch in the 4H building, and patted baby animals. We admired cattle and horses including some delightful minis. (I told Dude, my mini, all about them on our return.)
|Welcome to the World.|
We sampled delicious fair food, listened to a country and western band on the main stage, and Jon was rewarded with a wrist band giving him unlimited rides! He deserved it.
The West End Fair marks the unofficial end of summer here. Schools opened today. I am linking with Donna at Gardens Eye View for her 'Seasonal Celebrations' meme, as I did last year. Although this is a repeat, Donna, I can't think of a better way to celebrate the changes!
Enjoy your gardens, dear friends, as we celebrate this new season.
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