By Adam Eisenbarth
Many customers had an extra treat as they walked through the Rimbey Farmers’ Market July 24.
The Rimbey and District Horticulture Group held its Rose and Lily Show alongside the many booths at Pas-Ka-Poo Park on the Saturday morning.
It was the first time the event had been held at the farmers’ market, and member Mary Burrows was pleased with the way it turned out.
“We thought there would be more exposure to the general public and a lot of people stopped and wanted to buy them. Of course we couldn’t do that.”
The show has been running for about 10 years at this time of year to coincide with the lilies blooming, although it can be a bit tougher to enter roses into the show.
“This time of the year, the roses are not as plentiful because they come earlier and with the wind and the rain and the hail, we didn’t have many so we were disappointed in that,” Burrows said.”
While the roses weren’t the main attraction, the show did just fine.
“The lilies made up for (the small number of roses,) they were just fantastic,” she said.
This was the first time the show had been held outdoors and the combination of the farmers’ market and the nice weather had a lot of new people exposed to the show.
“Their eyes popped open and they couldn’t believe there were that many colors or kinds. There were four or five different kinds of lilies.”
The steady interest was nice to see for Burrows.
“People that have never really grown lilies before were taking down the names, the varieties and asking all kinds of questions. It was a learning experience for us and for the public.”
Burrows, who judged the event, says there’s more to winning than just growing a healthy plant. “Showmanship is also part of it.”
It may not be something the casual flower caretaker would consider, but there are several factors that go into showmanship.
“How they cut the lily and how they condition it for the show, how they display it in the container. It should be a container suitable for the height of the plant,” Burrows said.
An accredited judge, she also considers the colour and kind of plant when judging.
The best lily in show was entered by Ted and Sandy Turnbull of Bentley, while the best rose in show was entered by Pas-Ka-Poo Park.
The Rimbey and District Horticulture Group promotes horticulture to amateur gardeners and is a member of the Alberta Horticulture Association.
August will be a big month for the group, with their horticulture show scheduled for Aug. 20 and 21. Entries will be judged on Friday and the show will be open to the public on Saturday. The group will also meet Aug. 11.