Garden Center Contests
The 2018 Garden Center
Do you love to garden? Come join us and exhibit your flowers, vegetables and fruits. Both adults and children are encouraged to enter exhibits. There are an abundance of categories to enter; vegetables, cut flowers, flower arrangements, house plants, herbs, bonsai, Christmas trees, canning & preserving and many more. Ribbons and rosettes are awarded at the judges’ discretion.
To rejuvenate our Flower display, we hold a 2nd Flowers Only. If you missed the first flower judging, this is your opportunity to enter those beautiful flowers growing in your garden.
The Expo North building is also the home of the giant sandcastle and giant pumpkins. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. We are confident that once you start exhibiting at the Fair, you will continue for years to come. Come and join the fun!
Pumpkin Carving & Painting Competitions
Sponsored by Whitcomb’s Land of Pumpkins, Williston, Vermont
Division D - Prizes
|Lot 1&2||Youth Painted Pumpkins||$5||$3||$1|
|Lot 3||Adult Painted Pumpkins||$25||$15||$10|
|Lot 4||Adult Carved Pumpkins||$25||$15||$10|
Division D - Pumpkin Art
- Please call the Garden Center Superintendent, Michelle Perry @ 879-0900 by Wednesday , August 22nd to reserve a carving/painting table for Monday, August 27th. At this time, arrangements will be made for you to enter the Fair with your pumpkins.
- D1- Ages 7-10 (painting only)
- D2- Ages 11-15(painting only) Adult painted & carved pumpkins
- D3- Adult painted pumpkin- Ages 16+. Adults need to bring their own paints
- D4- Carved pumpkin. Adults need to bring their own carving tools.
- Pumpkins will be carved/painted on site in Expo North Garden Center between 11:00am-5:00pm, August 27th
- A free pumpkin will be provided to the first twenty competitors for carving or painting, by Whitcomb’s Land of Pumpkins.
- Each exhibitor will bring their own pumpkin to paint/carve. No pumpkins will be available at the fair. Mini pumpkin gourds may not be used for painting or carving.
- Limit- one painted and one carved pumpkin per exhibitor.
- Limit of 10 youth and 20 adult pumpkins.
- Carved pumpkins must be free hand carving, no template tracing & carving.
- Adult pumpkins will be judged on overall appearance, attention to details, workmanship, creativity and “WOW” factor. Each will be scored on a scale of 1-10.
- Youth pumpkins will be judged on overall appearance, creativity, representation of your theme (title of your entry)
- Include the title of your entry on your exhibitor tag.
- Each exhibitor will need to complete an exhibitor sheet when they arrive to register. Each pumpkin will need to have an exhibitor tag attached.
The Expo North Garden Center
Flowers & Plants, Vegetables, Fruits, Christmas Trees, Bonsai, Preserving the Garden, Home Gardeners, Commercial Growers
Flowers & Plants
- Container Plants and Dried Flower Arrangements will be accepted Thursday, August 23rd from 8:00am until 8:00pm.
- Cut Flowers and Arrangements with Cut Flowers will be accepted Thursday, August 23rd from 8:00 am until 8:00pm.
- Cut Flowers, Cut Flower Arrangements and Plants
- Cut Flowers, Arrangements with Cut Flowers and Plants will be accepted Tuesday, Aug. 28th 8:00 am-8:00 pm.
- Cheryl Dorschner – Freelance science, garden and food writter and photographer, Director of Flynn Garden Tour,
- Diane Merrill – 25 years experience as professional designer, co-owner of Holly Hocks Flowers, Vergennes, Vermont
- Patti Padua – Cobble Creek Nursery, Monkton Vermont
- Leonard Perry – Horticulture Professor Emeritus
- Kelly Sweeney – Floriculture Degree, Stockbridge School of Agriculture – UMass Amherst
- Jessica Hyman – Community Garden Consultant
- Charlie Nardozzi – Horticulturist, Garden Consultant, Coach
- Christine Gall – Local school & youth gardening support & education specialist
- Cathie Merrihew – Blue Ribbon Canning Book contributer. 20+ years of home canning experience
- Ethelyn Dubuque – Experienced home canner and gardener.
- Tom & Judy Lang – VT/NH Christmas Tree Association
- Arrangements will be judged for the following:
- Design and placement of flowers and foliage.
- Quality of flowers and foliage and color.
- Container choice as a compliment to the arrangement.
- Strong connection to the theme
- Concealment of floral foam or wire
- Specimens of Cut Flowers will be judged for the following:
- Good quality blooms.
- Appropriate length and size of stem.
- Good quality foliage.
- Size, form, and appropriate number of flowers, according to Lot # Guidelines.
- Container Plants will be judged for the following:
- Abundance of blooms and quality of color.
- Good quality foliage and color.
- Health of Plant.
- Best in Division Rosettes and Judges’ Favorite Rosettes may be awarded in Divisions C, D, E, & F at Judges discretion
General Exhibits Information
- Exhibits must be grown by the adult or child entering them.
- A “Home Gardener” is defined as anyone who does not sell the flowers, fruits, vegetables, preserves, etc. grown or processed from his/her garden.
- A “Commercial Grower” is defined as anyone whose profession is to sell the flowers, fruits, vegetables, preserves, etc. grown or processed from her/his fields and gardens.
- A “Market Gardener” is defined as someone who may sell the flowers, fruits, vegetables, from his/her garden, but who does not support themselves full time by this.
- All entries must be labeled including specific variety.
- Entries must be legible and completed on forms provided by the Champlain Valley Fair. Please check entry times for each department.
- All entries must remain on display for the duration of the Fair. Exhibits will be released after 8:00am – 2:00 pm on Labor Day, Sept. 3.
- Premiums (Ribbon cash awards) may be picked up 2-3 days following each judging session. All premiums must be picked up prior to 12:00pm on Sept. 3.
- Plant material and flowers that have gone by and exhibits not picked up by 12:00pm on Monday, Sept. 3, will be disposed of accordingly.
- For the Flower Arrangements Category, a “Professional” is defined as anyone whose profession it is to sell their arrangements to the public. Enter Division P – Professionals, not Division C.
- Perennials must be perennial to our Vermont zones (3-5)
The Expo North Garden Center
Container Grown Plants, Bonsai, Vegetables
Division F- Adult Prizes - Container Grown Plants
Class 3 – Outdoor Plant Grown Primarily for Flowers
|Lot 1||Begonia, Non-Stop||$5||$3||$2|
|Lot 3||Geranium Pelargonium||$5||$3||$2|
|Lot 5||New Guinea Impatiens||$5||$3||$2|
|Lot 6||Other, not listed||$5||$3||$2|
Class 4 – Outdoor Plant Grown for Foliage
|Lot 1||Scented Geranium||$5||$3||$2|
|Lot 3||Others, not listed||$5||$3||$2|
Division G - Adult Bonsai
|Lot 3||Informal Upright||$15||$10||$5|
|Lot 6||Hollowed Trunk||$15||$10||$5|
|Lot 7||Peeled Bark or Driftwood||$15||$10||$5|
|Lot 10||Best Tree by a First Time Exhibitor||$15||$10||$5|
|Lot 11||Double Trunk||$15||$10||$5|
|Lot 12||Twin Tree||$15||$10||$5|
|Lot 13||Sprout Style||$15||$10||$5|
|Lot 14||Raft Style||$15||$10||$5|
|Lot 15||Group or Forest||$15||$10||$5|
|Lot 16||Rock Clinging||$15||$10||$5|
|Lot 17||Exposed Root||$15||$10||$5|
|Lot 20||Best Bonsai – Youth 16 yrs and under||$15||$10||$5|
Judging times for vegetable entries:
- Vegetable entries (age 15 through adults)
NEW - 2nd Vegetable Judging
- Quality: marketable size, characteristic color, typical shape, appropriate stage of development or maturity.
- Condition: cleanliness, proper trimming, freshness, attractiveness of entry.
- Freedom from injury: free of mechanical injury, pest injury, blemishes, cracks, disease.
- Uniformity: consistent shape, size, color, stage of maturity, true to type or variety.
The Expo North Garden Center
Suggestions for Preparing Vegetables for Display
- Beans – Harvest beans at tender stage with no noticeable bulges due to enclosed seeds. Use scissors to cut beans from plant; do not wash; wipe with soft cloth; trim stems to ¼ inch.
- Broccoli – Over three inch head diameter, remove all leaves. Head and stock six to eight inches long.
- Cabbage – Do not peel excessively, leave layers of sound green outer leaves, but loose leaves should be removed. Trim root smooth with base of leaves.
- Cauliflower – Trim outer leaves even with outer edge of head, remove outer leaves, cut stem 1” below base of head.
- Celery – Trim leaves uniformly, cut roots even with stock.
- Celeriac – trim back roots to bulb.
- Cucumbers – Wipe clean with soft cloth, leave one quarter to one half inch stem.
- Eggplant – One inch of stem attached.
- Garlic – One inch stem, trim root to one inch of bulb.
- Kale – Five leaves w/stems in water
- Kohlrabi – Cut root off at base. Cut leaves to within 1-1/2” of bulb.
- Leeks – wash dirt off. Trim roots to 1/2”. Cut tops to 6”.
- Onions – Pull onions at least one week before the Fair to allow for curing time; trim tops to 1 inch, trim roots to ¼” of bulb; remove outer covering on bulb but only enough to make onion look clean and attractive; do not peel.
- Peppers – Leave about 1/2” stem.
- Potatoes – Brush or wipe off with soft cloth, a paint brush works well. Be careful to avoid fork marks while digging.
- Rhubarb – Trim leaves two inches of leaf blade attached to stalk.
- Roots – Leave tops approximately one inch long on carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips. Wash carefully but do not scrub. Leave one tail on root.
- Squash and Pumpkin – Normal harvest size. Leave stem on.
- Summer Squash – Leave stem on. Scallop, Crookneck, Zucchini. Shell should be penetrable by thumb nail.
- Sweet Corn – Peel back husk to a width of one inch. Kernels should be visible for width of 3-5 rows along length of ear. Trim nub to 1 inch from base of ear.
- Tomatoes – Leave stems (cut with scissors).
- Watermelon – Leave about one inch stem.
Veggie Snack Demonstration and Taste Testing
Hosted by Vermont Community Garden Network
The Expo North Garden Center
Youth Vegetable Art, Community Gardens, Fruits, Canning & Preserving
Division D - Vegetable Art
D1 - Ages 7-10
D2 - Ages 11-14
|1.||Vegetable Character or Sculpture- Using only fresh vegetables grown by the exhibitor in a home, school, or community garden, create a vegetable character or sculpture. Toothpicks or pins may be used to connect vegetables if desired. Include the title of your entry on the exhibit tag. Ground rules: cutting and carving are allowed as long as vegetables resemble their original form; other materials and paint are not allowed. One entry per exhibitor.|
Division E - Fruits
- Quality (color, ripeness, blemish and disease free)
- Uniformity (size, shape, color)
- Display Attractiveness
|1.||Five apples of any named cultivar||$5||$3||$1|
|2.||Best display of mixed fruits (3 kinds)||$5||$3||$1|
|3.||Five pears (one named cultivar)||$5||$3||$1|
|4.||Five peaches (one named cultivar)||$5||$3||$1|
|5.||Plate of 15 crabapples||$5||$3||$1|
|6.||Basket of everbearing strawberries||$5||$3||$1|
|7.||Basket of everbearing raspberries||$5||$3||$1|
|8.||Basket of blueberries||$5||$3||$1|
|10.||Other not listed||$5||$3||$1|
Division F - Community Gardens