Carman Garden Club puts on a blooming flower show

Carman resident Mary McCutcheon took home the top prize for the third year in a row at the Garden Club of Carman’s Flower Show last week. (EMILY DISTEFANO)

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The Carman Active Living Centre was in bloom last week as the Garden Club of Carman filled the space with flowers, fruit and vegetables for the annual Flower Show.

The show was held on August 2 in Carman and Garden Club president Paula Learmond said it went very well this year.

There were around 380 entries from close to 40 exhibitors. The junior garden club got involved, as well as the adults in the community.

Around 75 people came out throughout the day to see the flora.

Learmond said the year was a little weird for gardening, with some plants blooming early and others taking longer than normal to show up.

“I think it’s the dryness of the soil,” she said.

But she noted that the conditions vary across the region, and lots of gardeners are having success with beautiful flowers, fruit and vegetables – many of which were on display during the show.

Carman gardener Mary McCutcheon was crowned the grand aggregate winner for the third year in a row.

She also earned first place in for the best collection of vegetables, most points in cut flowers, best basket of mixed annuals as well as a People’s Choice Award for the flower arrangement shown above.

She said that winning the top prize never gets old. And this year, the win was even sweeter since her garden gave her some trouble.

Both weather and pests kept her guessing in the garden this year. The roses bloomed early, and beetles decimated her lilies.

“The heat made it really hard to keep the flowers growing,” she said. “But I’m happy considering what my garden looked like. Considering the tough things, it’s been a good year.”

And it was her first time entering the People’s Choice category.

“I’ve never entered it, I’ve always been afraid to,” she said. “I thought, I was doing all the other arrangements so I might as well try and see.”

McCutcheon’s advice to people considering entering the flower show in future is to just do it.

“It never hurts to try, and a person never knows from one year to the next what people will bring,” she said. “I have a lot of flowers. I have a huge flower garden, so when it comes to arrangements I have a fairly good selection. But still, everybody should enter. If lilies are your forte, enter your lilies. If glads are what you like to grow, at least enter the glad classes.”

She also advises other gardeners wanting to enter shows is to check out the Manitoba Agriculture office’s Horticultural Judging Standards booklet for tips.

“It’s an amazing book,” she said, adding that is is available at the local Mantoba Ag office and online.

The Garden Club of Carman will continue to meet monthly until the end of their season in November. Their next meeting will focus on orchid propagation and maintenance, with a presentation by Manitoba Orchid Society President Dave Moran to be held on September 25 at Grace St. John’s Church.

And in January, the group will be hosting the 2019 Manitoba Horticultural Association Convention in Carman.