How to face a flowery
OVER the years, I have watched a tremendous improvement in the standard of flower shows and competitions. The biggest advantage of such shows is healthy competition and sustained learning. In the race to win a prize, participants introduce new species and different varieties of existing species — indeed a great service to horticulture.
From time to time I have been giving tips to participants. If your blooms have not reached a stage where they can be taken to the competition, you can cut and dip the lower end in luke-warm water a day before the competition. The buds will open faster. This holds true in case of rose buds, gladiolus, dahlia, carnation etc.
Do not use colour
dyes. Judges ignore ‘dyed’ flowers. Also do not try to transplant
annuals from beds to pots. It is easily recognisable and you may be
disqualified. See that the pots you take to the show are clean and
have no green moulds on them. Do not paint them with harsh colours, as
it is distracting. Do not leave any weeds in the pot and also bring up
the level of soil in the pots, if it is too low, with a mixture of
soil, sand and manure.
It is better to keep diseased, insect or pest infested or frost or cold damaged plants out of sight, if it is a potted plant. In case of those planted in the ground, remove the affected parts and apply a disinfectant. This will impress the judges.
Make sure you are at home when the judges visit. It is not that you will be subjected to any questioning but you can use this occasion to seek answer to your gardening problems. In fact, your concern and interest will also impress them.
Garden does not only mean flowering plants, bushes, lawn or other such features. In case you have a well-laid kitchen garden, do not forget to show it to the judges. Even though space is always a constraint with a gardener but make sure that branches of trees or plants, landscaping features, pots, creepers etc do not hinder free movement.
Above all make sure that your dogs or
other pets are chained or locked inside the house.