Green thumbs around the county are twiddling in anticipation of this weekend's flower show.
The Fulton Garden Club's annual Flower Show is Friday at the Callaway Electric Cooperative. Entries will be accepted 2-4 p.m. Thursday or 7:30-9:30 a.m. Friday at the site. Entering is free and open to the public. Public viewing is 1-5 p.m. Friday.
This annual event gives gardeners the chance to strut their stuff in the big leagues, as it's judged by certified experts from out of town. This year, the theme is "Get in the Gardening Game." There are classes for arrangements and individual blooms, and each category has particular requirements.
The garden club's goal is to get four entries in each class, which will allow the club to earn points with the Federated Garden Club of Missouri. As of Sunday, openings remained in each class.
For complete descriptions of each class, call Linda Houston at 573-489-8309 to request a copy of the flower show booklet. Or, pick up a copy 1-4 p.m. Friday at the co-op. Houston can also provide advice about entering.
"I am sure we can settle any concerns you might have if you have never done a design," Diane Neterer, garden club president, said. "I have learned so much by just 'jumping in' and trying it."
She said she's happy to offer advice to first-time entrants, but as a relative newbie herself, she might refer more technical questions to Houston. Neter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One tip for those making arrangements: Check out local dollar stores for affordable, and unexpected, items to use.
Gardeners, plant enthusiasts and those who are curious are welcome to view the exhibits and talk to entrants following judging.
"The whole purpose of the flower show is to educate the public on the different plant materials available at each time of year and how to make beautiful flower arrangements," Houston said during a class on entering the show.
Each entry must be labelled with the species of the plants it includes, which will help local gardeners discover beautiful season species for their own gardens.
Plant lover Cindy Baker said she loves that aspect of the garden show.
"The large variety of plants at the Fulton Garden Club flower show make it easy for me to decide what I want to add to my flower beds," she said. "I can ask club members about the plants. How tall do they get? What kind of maintenance do they require? And, can I come get a start or two?"
She often shares heirloom varieties of her own with fellow garden show attendees and entrants.
Educational exhibits on herbs, native plants and turf will also provide opportunities to learn.