Dahlia and Cut Flower Show

These dahlias were holding their heads high(ish) not long ago at the Tenterfield Show.
These dahlias were holding their heads high(ish) not long ago at the Tenterfield Show.

Tenterfield’s Dahlia and Cut Flower Show is on again at Memorial Hall on Saturday, February 25 – courtesy of the Tenterfield Horticultural Society. Whether you’re a grower or a flower fan the hall will be a feast for the senses.

It’s been a hard growing season so if there’s even a half-decent bloom in your garden, snip it and get it to the hall on Saturday between 7-9am. (Snips from the neighbour’s garden are ineligble.) Novice growers are encouraged to participate, for a bit of fun and the learning exercise. There will be plenty of help on hand, and a special category for junior exhibitors aged up to 14.

Judging by Lismore’s Dorothy Cox and Port Macquarie’s  Ron Chapman will then continue all morning until the doors are thrown open to the unofficial judges from noon. Mrs Cox is a regular visitor to local gardening circles, as was one of the judges at the society’s Spring Flower Show. Mr Chapman is a renown dahlia grower, shower and judge, and is travelling quite a distance to cast his expert eye over the offerings at Memorial Hall.

A light lunch and afternoon will be on offer to showgoers (cost is $7 and $3 respectively), and it’s $5 to get in the door although children are free. A trading table will be operating to allow visitors to grab a horticultural bargain, along with demonstrations, raffles and a lucky door prize.

Those that dawdle until closing time at 4pm (taking time to stop and smell...) can even take home an armful of blooms for a gold coin donation.

Local flower lovers will have lots of company at the hall, rubbing elbows with a busload of garden club members from Lismore heading up the range to visit Tenterfield for the day. While the Lismorites are only coming to look and enjoy, ‘show-ers’ from Stanthorpe, Wallangarra and even Byron Bay will be throwing their stems in with locally-grown efforts.

Of course dahlias are the star attraction on the day, and may have held up a bit better than their more-delicate cousins in the hot weather. It’s not too late to start coddling any potential show winners.

Schedules are available at Loganlea Nursery, Country Cutains and Tenterfield Hardware and Garden Centre. There are categories for all makes and sizes of dahlia – either single stems or multiples if your talents stretch that far. Other sections cover roses, mixed flowers, natives, ferns, succulents and even pots with any flowering or foliage plant.

The open and novice decorative sections don’t restrict you to plant material you’ve grown yourself, so the sky’s the limit, and there’s also a section here just for novices to ‘have a go’. Junior sections will keep the brain and fingers active, and are always fun to see.