Flower show adapts, overcomes
By: Anna Borowiecki
| Posted: Saturday, Aug 24, 2013 06:00 am
When you consider all the elements a gardener balances while growing a champion bloom – weeds, bugs, rain, hail and sun – it’s a wonder most keep at it.
Yet this weekend, Ken Owens won a trophy for his perfect gladiola at the 31st annual St. Albert and District Annual Flower and Produce Show.
Originally Owens had no plans to enter the competitive show held Saturday and Sunday at St. Albert Place.
“But I heard a few exhibitors had bad luck, so I thought I’d enter to help the show out,” Owens said.
It’s a good thing he did. Owens also scooped the trophy for best dahlia.
The Stony Plain acreage owner’s winning bloom was a Peach Pie pink glad with a yellow centre.
“Gladiolas are quite difficult to grow,” explained show chair Derrick Harrison. “They’re only perfect for a few days. The lower third has to be fully out. The mid third should be showing their colour and the top third should be in bud. There should be no blemishes. That’s what Ken achieved. It terms of judging standards, the judges couldn’t find a single fault with it.”
Visitors who dropped by to get the dirt on winners were treated to a welcome oasis of 619 plant entries, their scent wafting around the tables, the flowers an inspiring sea of colour.
While some categories were close, Ken Crerar’s 14-pound zucchini was a shoe-in for the largest marrow/zucchini. The weight of the zucchini, and the fact that they are prone to rot, is especially singular considering the heavy rains the area has received.
“This is one of the ones that survived the wet weather and started to grow,” Crerar said.
This was Crerar’s second year submitting entries. He also garnered the highest total points in vegetables, herbs, fruits and berries, and the highest total number of points by a novice.
Corine Huising carried home a trophy for the best flower of the year. This year’s theme flower was lavatera.
Ian Harrison, a first-time local exhibitor and computer systems manager, received the best photo award for a lavatera coming into bloom.
And Dianne Taylor with 157 points scored the highest total number of points taking home the Lucy Krisco Trophy.
Traditionally, the show puts a spotlight on the garden club. But after St. Albert rebranded itself as a botanic arts city, the show has taken on a higher stature noted Harrison.
“It helps to endorse the City of St. Albert’s profile as a botanic arts city and helps promote the botanic arts aspects of our city,” said Derrick Harrison.
He also stated that 38 exhibitors received a total of $916 in prize money. Below is a list of the 17 trophy winners.
• Dianne Taylor, Judy and Doug Shedden Trophy for outstanding design
• Derrick Harrison, Ed Sherman Trophy for best tomato
• Ken Owens, Olga Matvichuk Trophy for best dahlia
• Ken Owens, Amyotte Engraving Trophy for best gladiolus
• Richard Plain, St. Albert Garden Club Trophy for best hybrid tea rose
• Corine Huising, Derrick Harrison Trophy for best flower of the year, lavatera
• Olga Matvichuk, City of St. Albert Trophy, best petunia
• Ken Owens, Ron Hodgson Trophy, best champion bloom
• Ken Crerar, Harry Cracknell Trophy, largest zucchini
• Ian Harrison, Pat Curtis Trophy, best photography
• Ken Crerar, Lois Hole Memorial Trophy for highest points in vegetables, herbs, fruits and berries
• Ruby Shanley, Hole’s Greenhouses and Gardens Trophy, highest points in cut flowers
• Pam Riddy, Patricia Bell Trophy for highest points in culinary
• Madeline Huising, Children Junior Trophy, for highest points
• Ken Crerar, John Beedle Trophy for highest points in novice category
• Dianne Taylor, Lucy Krisco Trophy for highest points in show