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Written by KAREN NADLER COTA Sentinel Lifestyles Editor   
Saturday, 03 August 2013 08:16
Cheryl Menard putting together Hybrid T's for the second flower show at the Wood County Fair. (Photos: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Between 8 and 11 a.m. Friday organized chaos leads to magic in the Home and Garden World building on the south side of the Wood County Fairgrounds.
That's how long it takes flower gardeners and amateur designers from all over the county to put together the second of the fair's two flower shows.
Audrey Palumbo of Perrysburg was scrambling a bit to complete her "Alice in Wonderland" tea table for two, just across the aisle from the "Hop on Pop" folding niche she'd completed a half hour earlier. Time was running out before the proverbial glass slipper dropped and all but judges were banned from the floor.
Many exhibitors had spouses or children serving as both "go-fers" and spontaneous critics. Palumbo's husband filled both roles as she decided to change the layout of the entire tea table with only 15 minutes left before deadline.
The focal point of her vintage table was a gorgeous arrangement of Fuji mums and carnations in pale yellow, ivory and green, against an amber-colored tablecloth. She chose delicate cream, yellow and cornflower blue china rimmed in gold for the tea setting.
Several other exhibitors in this class headed in the opposite direction, with plenty of childish whimsy and bright color. Jennifer Schuerman, for example, set a purple teapot atop an old blue-bound copy of "Alice's Adventures." She placed giant tea cups in wildly colored oppossing designs, tipping one on its side. A wide purple netted ribbon swirled around her simple arrangement of two gerbera daisies - one yellow and one fuchsia - with a sheer green ribbon surrounding the stems.
The theme for both of the 2013 fair flower shows is "Let's Read to Children," with the featured classes borrowing popular children's book titles.
Ten-year-old Sheriden Schuerman, a fifth grader at Eastwood this fall, was one of the busiest junior competitors. Her favorite of the several arrangements she'd brought was "Brown Bear, Brown Bear." She used fresh white mums, grasses and arborvitae with a stuffed brown bear borrowed from her brother.
Sheriden's interpretive "Mickey Mouse" arrangement appeared to be growing out of a mouse-ears hat she picked up on a Walt Disney World family vacation last November. It contained pale yellow sunflowers, even paler amber marigolds, and white gladiolus.
Cindy Harper with her daughter, Shea, 8, getting their Rose Knock Outs ready for second flower show at the Wood County Fair.
"I've been doing flowers at the fair since 2008," the precocious designer said.
Of course, she wasn't the only "old pro" in the building.
Charles Hablitzel, Perrysburg, has been gardening for 20 years, at least. It's in his genes.
"My dad did it" too. "He moved to Perrysburg in 1952."
Hablitzel was entering a wide variety - "everything from ageratum to zinnia" - but noted the rainy summer we're having has proven better for some plants than others.
"My dahlias did real well this year. Petunias, too." Hablitzel pointed toward the doubles, or bi-colored, as his favorites.
Long-time exhibitor Gerald Cromley agreed "the dahlias are doing fine; watermelon too," with so much rain. On the other hand, "the glads are a little bit behind, or at least mine are."
Hablitzel only enters specimens in the fair; wife Linda does arrangements. She had a crowd-pleaser in "The Snowy Day" class, an arrangement of small white carnations, blue spruce branches, Million Star Gyp and moss in a pale blue tinted glass vase with a fluted edge that looked like snow on ice.
Judges rewarded Linda Hablitzel's colorful "Alice in Wonderland" tea table with the blue ribbon.
BG's Nick Schroeder and his wife Colleen had claimed a bench in the middle of the room as they tagged a large supply of vases for his specimens.
The couple had brought "dahlias, roses, and lots of daylilies." In fact, by Nick's count, of 29 daylilies entered in the show, "21 of them are ours."
Daylilies are tough to show, he pointed out, because as the name suggests, the flowers only last for one day.
While nearly every class in this show is worth checking out, certain categories stand out:
• Be sure to look for "There Was an Old Woman That Lived in a Shoe." Here, all exhibitors had to design an arrangement in a shoe.
A whopping nine or 10 people entered a shoe arrangement. One is an adorable horizontal crescent arrangement of white football mums, daisies and Boston fern with a big black boot for a vase. Hanging from all parts of the boot, including the shoe strings, are seemingly dozens of little dalmation dog statues.
• Diann Gray, Fostoria, won the John Moore Creative Award for her underwater design, "Rainbow Fish."
• Andrea Cromley, BG, won junior best of show for her arrangement of white and pink carnations depicting "It's Raining, It's Pouring."
• Chairperson Cathy Nelson had the top wall niche, "Secret Garden," and Laura Nelson the top folding niche.
The show, with a total of 665 specimens and 115 arrangements, will remain on public view through Monday evening.

Cindy Harper with her daughter, Shea, 8, getting their Rose Knock Outs ready for second flower show at the Wood County Fair.

Last Updated on Monday, 05 August 2013 15:32

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