Yesterday, The DEB and I rushed home from a fantastic holiday in Snowdonia/North Wales, so that I could meet the submission deadline for the Village Show Flower, Fruit and Veg Competition.
When we arrived home, I held my breath as I opened the patio doors hoping that my roses had flourished.
Sadly, my favourite, cherished cream coloured, David Austin antique rose had a really rough season, and failed to blossom in time. I was crestfallen as I had placed all my hopes that this rose would be as prolific and beautiful this year, as it had been last year.
However, to my great surprise, my pink, David Austin antique rose -- the shrub that has been my greatest gardening challenge, the one that seemed always, always to struggle to survive, and quite frankly, very nearly got the chop last season (!) beamed proudly with a staggering array of beautiful blooms in shades of apricoty, soft pink. Amazing.
(There's a lesson in there, somewhere!)
I was quite literally spoilt for choice with enough blooms to enter into three separate Flower Competition categories:
a.) Single specimen in water b.) garden flower display in vase, and, c.) Three scented flowers, of any variety in water.
I'm most proud of my "garden flower display" which was a lovely (if I may say so myself) arrangement of lilac gladioli, surrounded by hot pink shrub roses (Rosa Complicata) -- another plant in the garden I'd nearly given up on! -- pink wildflowers, pink and red fuschisas, pink antique rose, lavender and sprigs of baby-blue forget-me-nots.
I'm a little worried now that I may have done myself a disservice by placing this arrangement in the "garden flowers in a vase" category and not the "Floral arrangement" category. Well, the competition will be stiff in either so, it probably doesn't matter which one I entered!
At the very least, I think I deserve a ribbon for my dedication. The DEB (bless him!) and I trudged across the village, through the allotments, in the rain, gingerly carrying the arrangements to the Scout Hut, where the competition is being held.
I think we've made a strong showing as a family with my three floral displays, and a display of herbs the DEB has been faithfully growing this summer. I entered a display of his sage, oregano, parsley, mint, rosemary and thyme on his behalf. (What a good little Wifey I am!)
So -- today is the day. The Show just opened at 11:00 AM, and the results are out.
You'd've thought I'd be there, beating down the door. But, alas, no. I'm feeling rather shy...
I'd prefer to sneak in when no one's around to see. Quite unlikely, I think.
Of course, I'd love to place, but really, I'm just proud that I found the courage to actually have a go this year. The phenomenon of the "Village Show" has to be experienced to be fully appreciated.
I'm a real "Jilly Come Lately" to all of this, and there are some very keen gardeners who dedicate themselves to this competition every year.
There's a scene in ITV's wonderful, wonderful drama Downton Abbey -- which thankfully will be returning to our television screens this Autumn!!! And, not a moment too soon!! -- where Maggie Smith's formidable Duchess without question expects to win the annual village rose competition, as she has done every year for as long as anyone could recall! Thankfully, our Village Show is not as fierce as that!