Friday, March 27, 2009

To the Daffodil Show

The Garden Club of Gloucester's 59th Annual Daffodil Show takes place this weekend at Page Middle School. It has been a cool, wet spring, and the daffodils are running a little behind schedule. Gardeners from all over Virginia, and especially from up and down the Tidewater area, will be exhibiting their prettiest daffodils. We are exhibitor #63, and we have 19 entries, each carefully snugged into its test tube with sprigs of boxwood, and tagged. The show schedule, with the rules and entry classifications, is 17 pages long. Improperly identified daffodils win no ribbons.

The school cafeteria resembled a sea of daffodils, and four generations of enthusiasts huddled over the tables, filling out tags and primping their blooms for the show. Brent and Becky Heath, whose well-known mail-order bulb operation is based in Gloucester County, helped many of the exhibitors with their entries.

We spent about an hour and a half preparing our exhibits, most of them single stems, entered in the section for small growers. The small growers section is limited to gardeners who grow 50 different cultivars or fewer; my paperwork is not in perfect order, but I believe I still qualify. We also had a few entries in the historic section, for daffodils introduced to the market before 1940.

There are some very nice flowers on the show benches, which are set up on the folding bleachers in the school's gymnasium, but many of our own entries look quite competitive. Judging begins at noon tomorrow. May the best daffodils win.