Show Off Your Horticulture Skills at the 94th South Mountain Fair

Connie Holland
Adams County Master Gardener

(6/14) The South Mountain Fair opens this year on Tuesday, August 2, at 4 pm and runs through Saturday, August 6. These dates are much earlier than previous fairs, so please take careful note of these changes. Registration will be Sunday, July 31, from 2-4 pm and Monday, August 1, from 4 Ė 8 pm.

Floral and Horticulture Department 17 is made up of sections for both youth and adults. Sections are specimen (cut) flowers, arboreal (leafy stems of shrubs and trees), houseplants, herbs, and artistic arrangements. The artistic division provides a place for you to share your talent arranging floral designs with dried or fresh plant material.

Sections for the popular Fairy Gardens and Terrariums were added last year for adults and youth (under 10 and 10-17). Fairy Gardens generally are low-sided containers of tiny plants and accessories. Fairy Garden container size is limited to a maximum of 12"x18" or 18" in diameter with any plant or decorative accessory height limited to 6" maximum. No artificial plants are allowed in either Fairy Gardens or Terrariums.

Terrariums are miniature landscapes in a transparent container such as a fish bowl or glass jar. Container size for terrariums is limited to 14" maximum. Plants should be of compatible growth conditions. Terrariums may include one or more accessories to complete the landscape. A cover is optional.

Your gardening efforts will be judged and on display for all Fair attendees to see. As such, your plants and flowers should be in good condition and well groomed. This means that all dead leaves and spent flowers should be removed. There should be no sign of insect damage or disease present. It isnít always the largest flower that wins the ribbon but the most perfect. Condition and form mean more than size to the judges. Everyone can enter and compete for the top horticultural and monetary prize, the prestigious Thomas Piper Award.

Refer to the Premium Book for specific entry details of each class. The Premium Book is available online at southmountainfair.com, in paper form at many farm markets and at the Ag Extension Office. It lists various classes and requirements for entering. Carefully read the directions which specify entry number and size and type.

There are two other departments where you can enter some outstanding examples of your gardening talents: the Vegetable Department 12 and Hay & Grain Department 13.

In addition to entering specimen cut flowers, potted plants and floral arrangements, you also can enter home grown vegetables, baked goods, jellies, jams, canned fruits, canned vegetables, and even samples of needlework, clothing, quilts, crafts and photography.

Plan now to enter the Fair. Have a fun summer creating some prize-winning entries. Be sure to attend to see all the exhibits and experience the fun of the 94th South Mountain Fair.

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