22 September 2023

Time to take stalk of your garden and plan ahead for flower show glory

| Vanessa Hayden
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Burrumbuttock Flower Show organisers and volunteers Pascal Proteau, Janice Whitty, Marion Vile and Bec Lindner

Burrumbuttock Flower Show organisers and volunteers Pascal Proteau, Janice Whitty, Marion Vile and Bec Lindner are warming up for the upcoming spring event. Photo: Vanessa Hayden.

There’s no blooming reason why you shouldn’t enter the Burrumbuttock Flower Show, say organisers.

The show is on again and it’s going to take some keen competitors to knock the reigning champion Min Hamdorf off her leafy perch.

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Show secretary Janice Whitty reckons the only way to beat her is to prevent her from entering.

“No, I’m joking,” she laughs.

“Seriously, Min has an amazing garden and she’s always supported the show. She enters a lot of the categories and deserves the most successful exhibitor title,” she said.

“But I don’t think enough people know how easy it is to enter and how wonderful it is to see your flowers, or other crafts, on display, hopefully with a winning certificate by its side.”

Pascal Proteau shows off some stunning yellow wattle.

Pascal Proteau shows off some stunning yellow wattle. The flower show has various native species categories including a callistemon, grevillea and banksia class as well as others for flowering Australian flora, and most unusual Australian flora foliage. Photo: Vanessa Hayden.

The local public hall comes alive on Sunday 29 October between 9:30 am and 4 pm with market stalls, crafting demonstrations and a good old-fashioned photography, cooking and craft competition.

However, it’s the kaleidoscope of flower entries, all beautifully curated into their categories and propped up proudly in their green presentation bottles, that steal the show.

“There’s a lovely atmosphere here and when you step into the hall after the judging has been done, the wonderful scent of roses is quite overwhelming. The whole experience feels like stepping back in time to the country shows of the old days,” said Janice.

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The event has been running – on and off – for decades and while no-one can pinpoint exactly when it started the last known one before a nearly 40-year hiatus was in 1956.

“The show resumed in 1995 and was running fairly consistently in the 2000s until COVID stopped us for three years,” said Marion Vile, another long-term supporter of the event and previous secretary.

It might have been the break the small group of dedicated volunteers needed as the 2022 event came back better than ever with new additions and ideas to attract people to the tiny Riverina town 30 km north of Albury.

At least 700 people paid their $5 and took in the show and some 250 of them also visited a special open garden which is part of the event.

Get your green fingers going

Get your green fingers going! There are more than 50 flower categories you can enter at the show, with trophies for champion rose and most successful rose exhibitor. Photo: Vanessa Hayden.

This year they are hoping that more people will get involved with bringing their beloved blooms to Burrumbuttock.

There are plenty of categories to consider and novice competitors and children are catered for.

Roses and irises are the feature flowers with around 33 categories to choose from and then there’s prize cards for cut flowers, Australian flora, floral design, hanging containers, container plants, fresh produce and eggs.

Marion says you don’t need to be a professional flower grower to enter.

“If you like the idea of entering but don’t have a big garden then involve your family or friends or check out your neighbour’s place – they might have something in their garden you can pinch!

“The best way to approach it, and I really don’t mean to go out and raid people’s gardens without them knowing, is to get a hold of the schedule and look around your garden about a week before the event.

“Circle the classes that you think you might have, monitor your plants and then a day or two before work out which ones have produced what you need.”

So, what will it take to take home a coveted trophy or the prestigious title of show guru?

Enter as many classes as you can for a start.

According to some insider information from Min herself, you need to make sure there are no damaged petals or insects in the flowers. You also need to understand the lingo. One cut means one stem in the water, but you can have multiple flowers on the stem. One flower means one flower only!

Organisers advise to cut your flowers as close as possible to the time of entering. You can take your flourishing flora to the Burrumbuttock Hall on Saturday 28 October between 4 and 6 pm or between 7 and 8:15 am on Sunday 29 October.

There’s more info on Facebook.

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