Fair flower show roams the world over

Where else can you travel from Spain to South Africa and on to India, all within an hour’s time?
Drop into the Home and Garden World building at the Wood County Fair today through Thursday for true
"International Flair" while touring the first of two flower shows for the 2009 fair. It opened
to the public Tuesday evening even as judges scrambled to award the last ribbons in a bulging-full show
with a whopping 989 entries.
Surprisingly, that impressive tally is "not a record, I don’t believe," says show chairperson
Cathy Nelson, but it’s still a great number and edges past last year’s first-show total of 981.
The grand total included 848 specimens, with 648 entered by the public and 200 from garden club members.
There were 77 arrangements – 31 from the public and 46 from club members. Juniors contributed 47
specimens and 17 arrangements.
"I think it’s gone extremely well. There were lots of specimens this year," Nelson said
emphatically, with the general public really coming through. "And we had a lot of houseplants. We
almost didn’t have room for all of them."
With a not very hot summer, floral growing conditions have been good, if not optimal.
"It was definitely necessary to water, this year," Nelson explained.
"Oh yes; I watered a lot. There was a long period without rain," agreed committee member
Phyllis Hahn from the Fostoria Ladies’ Garden Club.
The most colorful of the invitational categories was the luncheon tables set for six, with the theme
"Mexico – Country of Colors."
Jennifer Schuerman displayed "excellent color choice" in the judges’ opinion, with twin
arrangements of deep red rimmed yellow zinnias, sunflowers, mums, carnations and daisies with accent
shades of lavender, deep fuchsia and white. Those colors were echoed in a striped, woven table runner of
pink, yellow, turquoise and white.
Plastic plates and tumblers were a different color for each setting – yellow, green, orange, red or blue.
Schuerman, the blue-ribbon winner, placed a pair of blue, yellow and reddish-orange maracas, or rattles,
in the center of the table and small yellow sombreros on either side of the flower pots.
Another table exhibitor, Linda Hablitzel of Perrysburg, added blooming cacti as table accents on each
side of her imposing blue, yellow, red and orange arrangement of Mexican sunflowers, red and yellow
zinnias and salvia. She added fun, multi-colored ceramic plates and bowls, plus ribbon-accented
margarita glasses.
Carol Kurfis, Bowling Green, had the winning wall niche, "Diamonds of South Africa." Judges
praised her "beautiful Hogarth curve" arrangement of rose colored zinnias, Queen Anne’s lace,
coral bells and euonymous in a gorgeously tall square pink glass vase.
Nelson took the blue in the folding niches, titled "Spain" and designated as religious designs.
Her exquisite calla lilies, hybrid lilies and hosta leaves in hues of pale pink, ivory and green against
a deep blue backcloth set off a stone cross with the carved legend "As for me and my house, we
shall serve the Lord."
Audrey Palumbo, well known for her gorgeous roses, included several Canadian white roses and one white
bloom significantly edged with rose red, twining around rugged, double wooden crosses in her niche with
a sea green leafy brocade backcloth.
Andrea Cromley won junior best of show for "Myanmar (Burma) Elephants." Her cute grey stuffed
baby elephant appeared to be roaming in a field of delicate statice, sage and fever few.
Angie Williams took the adult best of show award for her "Germany’s Beer Fest" modern design
incorporating red Gerbera daises, fern leaves, an iron structure and a beer stein seemingly caught in
Another of Williams’ modern arrangements earned the John Moore Award.
Nelson, show chairperson, urged visitors to be sure and check out the fun decorated and painted gourd
competition, part of the "great variety."
Crowd favorites are the "French chef" with curling moustache, who holds a bottle of wine; and
the "cracked eggs" in egg cups. Also note the Zulu warrior, Japanese tea pot, and a
blue-ribbon winning kokopelli rattle by Tracy
Swartz from Walbridge.
This first show of the fair will remain on view until Thursday night, with the second show to open to the
public at 5 p.m. Friday.