Thursday, July 30, 2015
By Carol Walker
It had the appearance of a garden party when Evergreen Garden Club took over the main floor of the Boys and Girls Club last Saturday for its annual flower show. Plants in front of barnwood panels set the atmosphere as visitors entered the building and blossoms enveloped those who took time to walk through the big room.
Small Town, Big Flowers, was the focus of the day and it followed the theme with 180 entries, the garden club’s best year yet. Included in that number were 28 entries by 14 children and 152 adult entries.
Judges Cheryl Rudel of Rapid City and Linda Markegard of Custer had their work cut out for them as they carefully examined many displays before them.
Best of Show winners in the children’s division were Gavin Nonnast for his train tablescape, Annalise Winter for her fairy garden and Lydia Moore for her floral arrangement.
In the adult division, Best of Show awards went to Tammy Glover in the flower category for her perfectly-formed rose, to Patsy Grossenburg for her container garden, a fairy garden, and to Kathryn Cleveland for her elegant tablescape.
In the Fix it, Repair it, Create it category, Gail Crane won Best of Show for her “Gone Fishing” arrangement. Those who attended the show cast their votes for People’s Choice, and Jim Norskov came out on top with one of his enormous hanging baskets full of blooms.
“This was our best year ever. It tops our show in 2010 when we had 129 entries. I am so grateful to the community for getting involved and coming to the show. I am guessing we had about 150 to 200 people who visited the show,” said Merlene Broer, co-chairman for the event, along with Kathy Rost.
Broer credits Rost and Winston Barclay for beefing up the advertising this year. According to Broer, when people were asked how they knew about the show, they said either word-of-mouth or the newspapers.
“We tried to get the word out this year that we wanted community participation. This was not just for garden club members. It was sponsored by the club, but it was for the whole community to participate in. All through the year, I talked to club members too, maybe even using a little guilt, to get them all to put in entries,” said Rost.
Broer said they got calls from Sturgis, Hot Springs, Custer and Rapid City, people inquiring about the show. Some people from out of town even had entries in the flower show.
Lori Nonnast brought in barnwood panels and Rudel brought greenery to make the entrance to the show inviting. They also suggested that the displays be put on a variety of table shapes in random order instead of lining up long tables which could make it look like a grocery store aisle. In the back of the room was a gazebo out of which guests were served lemonade and cookies.
“It was so nice to have Cathy Draine (Master Gardener who writes a column for the Rapid City Journal) on hand to give gardening advice to people. She is a huge advocate for our garden club,” said Rost.
With all the rain in the area this year, the wildflowers have been in splendid array and that was reflected in an uptick in the number of wildflower displays at the show. But there were also many potted plants, cultured floral displays, container gardens and a first this year — a mannequin decked out with clothing and flowers from new Hill City store, Doc and Alice.
“When we first started coming to Hill City from Iowa back in 1993, there really wasn’t much here, but then over time we started seeing gardens springing up all over,” said Rost. She said Evergreen Garden Club has been part of the equation in making this small town into an amazing place. Last weekend it was “Small Town, Big Flowers.”