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shows, competitive gardening

In a message dated 1/27/03 11:20:48 PM Eastern Standard Time, cathyc@rnet.com 

> I hope not to offend. Hoping to learn. My impression of horticulture 
> classes in shows is that the exhibitors strive to produce the 'perfect 
> specimen' of a particular flower (not certain if plants grown for 
> foliage are included). Again, my impression of what is required to get 
> to that 'perfect specimen' is that the gardener must create artificial 
> conditions to get that result. 

I am going to agree with your impressions, Cathy.  I was an AIS (irises) 
member for a while and before the yearly show a session was held to teach 
entrants how to win.  The individual bloom was brushed free of pollen and 
debris.  The stalk was braced the night before to insure that it was erect 
and the blossom was wrapped in a netting to keep it perfect in transport.  If 
you think the winner plucked a good looking flower from his garden and stuck 
it in a tall glass (regulation) container and had a good run of luck - not 

There were some who loved this competition, most skipped it.  It would be a 
matter of choice that you would want to compete and then it is as any 
competition, the special joy of being a gardener is enveloped by this 
contest.  Competitive gardening is not new.  Pinching plants and 
one-ups-manship has been around forever as has the showbench.  If it can 
remain friendly and if you want to do it, it remains your choice.

Claire Peplowski
NYS z4 

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