Sunday, August 17, 2008

Gardening Olympics Late Entry!

If you have been watching the Olympics, you may have seen some sporting events that you didn't even know were considered a sport. And then there are the countries whose names you can't even pronounce--after watching the opening ceremony, I decided it might be time to take a refresher course in geography! Just today I became aware of another category of events--the Gardening Olympics. They are sponsored by Idahogardener and open to everyone--you don't even have to pass a qualifying heat! All entrants are asked to post the best of their garden in whatever category they wish, but they are restricted to just three entries.

We here at the Prairie are in a rural area, so we're a little backward, just a little out of step with world events and the latest fashions. We also have a small population so fielding a large delegation was impossible on such short notice (besides, our leader is rather disorganized). However, in the spirit of international cooperation and harmony, we are sending a few delegates, even though they haven't had time to train.

And so, waving the Prairie flag proudly, please welcome our three competitors:

First, in the category of "Best Yellow Hollyhock," Alcea yellowus:

She gained advantage over other entries from the Prairie after Mr. McGregor's Daughter referred to her as "pristine." We just hope this didn't inflate her ego too much, causing her to stumble in the finals.

Secondly, for "Best use of a Birdhouse other than for birds," we present Callibrachoa "Cherry Pink."

We hope that she stays hydrated during the competition, as she tends to fade quickly otherwise. Hopefully, the weather in Idaho is not too hot or dry.

Finally, our third entry is in the weightlifting category for "Best Shade Tree," Quercus Alba (though the surname is a bit questionable--his birth certificate has yet to be found).

Though we are a small garden, we have high hopes for this competitor. He's been in training for at least 100 years, and his stamina indicates he may be able to compete in many Olympics to come. Perhaps we're too hopeful, but if Croatia can field the best water polo team*, who's to say our tiny duchy can't have a gold medal winner as well!

(*Croatia has not won the medal yet; in fact, they were beaten by the U.S. yesterday, but they are regarded as the #1 team in the world.)

You have just until midnight tonight to send your entries, but that is Mountain Time, so you still have a few hours left. Idaho Gardener will be the sole judge, and she has assured the Olympic Commission that she will be impartial.

My apologies to Carol at May Dreams and Mr. McGregor's Daughter, as I assured them I wouldn't be entering and would cheer them on instead. But I just got caught up in the excitement. Besides, I think we have entered different categories, which is good, because they certainly look like the favorites in their competitions. And I will cheer them from the sidelines anyway during their events.

Let the competition begin!


  1. Always in tune and never 'a bit backward', Rose, I do hope the gold medal hangs around your neck. Good luck ;)

  2. The yellow hollyhock is a beauty, Rose - but how can it be a small garden if that gigantic oak fits into it?

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  3. You've definately got the winner for best tree! I hope you're spending a little time in that Adirondack chair!!

  4. I love the "best use of a birdhouse besides for birds" - that cracked me up.

  5. Go girl......that hollyhock has surely got to do it for you, and that beautiful tree......I will be cheering for your Rose.....

    A great post, so much fun.....

  6. Olympians at their best! Evidently Yellow Hollyhock is a rare talent-sure to win. Birdhouse may be small, but puts on a big show. And of course Tree probably has seen more Olympics than any of us and will know how to compete. I'll be sure to watch their events and will be cheering them wildly!

  7. Love that shade tree and good luck with the medal contest!

  8. Thanks, Joey for your encouragement. I've never entered a competition like this before, so I'm a little nervous.

    Annie, My yard is huge, but the "garden" is small. I'm working on a few small plots at a time, though there will always be lots of lawn:)

    Joyce, Sad to say, the Adirondack chair is just a prop for a planter. But I've often thought it would be a great place to sit and read.

    Gina, I know I can't compete with the "big boys," so I'm hoping the entries will be limited in this category:)

    Cheryl, Thanks for the encouragement! We didn't have much time to prepare, so I had to choose those who seemed in peak form.

    Beckie, Thanks for cheering me on. Yellow hollyhock seems to be a serendipitous find--one of those dark horses. I'll be sure to broadcast the results!

    Tina, Yes I have high hopes for Mr. Quercus. I need to do some investigating like you (or was it Skeeter) to find out just what kind of oak he is.

  9. Rose,

    All three of your entries are Gold Medal worthy! But I am leaning toward the Oak as the top contender..It is a beautiful tree and he posed very nicely for his pre-competition photo! Surely the Arbor Day group will sign him on as a spokes-tree!

  10. I love old trees. They do give a sense of history to a home. Yours is a winner!

  11. Lovely, lovely hollyhock. We're all winners if we enjoy the garden we have.

  12. I wish I'd found out about this earlier. It's been such fun coming across those of you who've enetered. Guess I've been a bit distracted lately.

    I'll cheer you on instead!

  13. Now that is a shade tree! You are so lucky to have a mature, healthy White Oak. It is magnificent. You already know I like the Hollyhock. Best Use of a Birdhouse is a great category & I like how you've done it.

  14. What a majestic tree! How can that not win the gold medal.

  15. You deserve a gold for all three!

  16. Is it too late to enter? In the 'Cover a lawn with Poo' competition I have high hopes for George.

  17. Congratulations! You took Gold for your tree! Well done.

  18. Gail, Thanks! It's difficult to get all of him in the photo, though.

    Nancy, Yes, he's one of the few old trees remaining on the property. Several other large trees were struck by lightning some years ago.

    Kathy, You're absolutely right--as long as we enjoy our gardens, awards really don't matter.

    VP, Oh, you would have been a strong contender! But I think you have been very busy lately--you win my award for most industrious and philanthropic gardener:)

    MMD, Thanks. I do love old trees! I just need to verify his parentage, though.

    Weed whacking, Thanks, and thanks for stopping by.

    Suburbia, Thanks, but there's some stiff competition.

    Liz, I didn't find out about the competition till the last minute or I would have told you. George would have won a medal, I'm sure:)

  19. Thanks to everyone for your encouragement and cheering! I just found out the Mighty Oak has won a gold medal! Pardon me while I bask in the glory on the podium for a few moments.

  20. I love your photos, especially the birdhouse filled with pink flowers. Hope you win!! Or is it too late??

  21. Dear Rose,
    Your Shade Tree is a Gold Medal winner in my book! Wow, a fantastic tree.

  22. What a remarkable tree it makes me want to find a good book a good chair and just ponder the day away. Congratulations on your gold medal. Your entries were beautiful

  23. I had a feelin' and I'm singin' the 'The Star-Bangled Banner' with you Rose, ... Congratulations!

  24. Hey Rose, your tree is huge. I didn't realize how large it was until I compared the chair which looks like doll house furniture beside the tree.

    How do you grow such beautiful hollyhocks in Japanese beetle country?

  25. Wow, I love the way you've planted your birdhouse. What a sweet idea. Your tree is absolutely spectacular!

  26. I'm cheering for the centenarian, but then I've always been a bit "quercky." Good luck with your entrants, Rose.

  27. Your tree should get a gold medal for sure. He is not only strong and long lived he is handsome.

  28. Wendy, Glad you liked the birdhouse; it's no longer in any shape for birds to use, but I couldn't bear to throw it away.

    Q, Thanks; he is a fantastic tree. He's aged well.

    Krissi, Thanks, and congratulations on your medal!

    Joey, Glad you're singing, too; my voice isn't very good anymore:)

    Marnie, I'm glad I used the picture with the chair; it does help to give a sense of its size. The beetles were on my hollyhocks, but they've left them alone recently.

    Amy, Thanks. This is the first year I've managed to keep a flower alive in there this long. It needs constant watering.

    W2W, "Querky," indeed! Thanks for the chuckle:)

    Lisa, Thanks from Mr. Oak! Hope you get your computer fixed soon; we miss your posts!

  29. That tree is a winner Rose. It reminds me of our friendship oak here on the Coast.

  30. All your entries are gold medal worthy! Good Luck to you !

  31. Prairie, I put your tree photo up on Idahogardeningexaminer. Thanks for entering. Now, you have won a $25 gift certificate...what company? Starbucks, Barnes and Noble? Something else? Congrats!


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