Flower show blooms despite dire season
GREEN thumbs have had their fingers crossed for a cool change to usher in the Warwick Autumn Flower Show after heat threatened to dry up entry numbers.
But judges and organisers were thrilled yesterday with the quality and volume of flowers, plants and fresh produce on display.
The flower show at St Mary's Hall has attracted more than 300 entrants in a range of categories including vegetables, floral art, plants and a children's section.
Judge Heather Prior, from Brisbane, said she had attended the event for many years and competitors had prepared well for the dire growing season.
"Gardeners have entered a lot of pot plants and flowers that can be grown inside such as orchids so there is a magnificent range that we haven't seen in the past," Mrs Prior said.
"It's a great flower show for people to see what can thrive in the heat we have just had and I think the crowds will love the orchids on display.''
Winning flowers featured unblemished blooms, reasonable size stalks and colour consistency.
Fellow judge Noel Prior, from Brisbane, said the variety on display had impressed judges.
"The show is on par with previous years," he said.
Warwick Horticultural Society president Graham Gillam said there were many rose and dahlia entries.
"It's only the cut flower entries that are a bit lower in numbers than we have had previously but there are many other plants to wow the crowds," Mr Gillam said.
"We are really happy with the calibre of entries and gardeners should be proud of what they have on show here today."
Malcolm Hook, who is considered one of the top rose growers in Warwick, said he had been hoping for cool weather this month to ensure his entries wouldn't wilt ahead of the flower carnival and the Warwick Show later this month.
"I have been entering the flower shows for 15 years and this has been one of the toughest years for weather," Mr Hook said. "Roses can generally tolerate some dry heat but not the type of searing conditions we had."
Mr Hook has been tending to 100 rose bushes in his garden and entered flowers in several categories.
Mr Gillam said entrants had come from across the region and as far afiels as Tenterfield.
"The dahlias from here and across the border are always a crowd pleaser and then there are the vegetables and floral art that are always exciting to see."
"Roses too are always a wonderful feature of our horticultural shows given that we are the rose capital."
Mr Gillam said 25 trophies wpould be presented at 4pm today.
Where: St Mary's Hall, Wood St, Warwick.
When: Today 9am-4pm