Jackson County Master Gardeners are once again sponsoring the Basket of Blooms contest at the Jackson County Fair.
New this year will be a class for youth to showcase their creativity with plants during this annual event.
Everyone is invited to enter: 4-H clubs, FFA chapters, civic clubs, church groups, families and individuals. This includes garden club members and Master Gardeners. However, commercial entries are not accepted.
Basket of Bloom entries are due July 22 between 9 a.m. and noon at the east side of Pearson Memorial Center in the storage room under the overhead door. Look for the sign with the Master Gardener logo.
The classes for the Basket of Blooms contest this year are as follows:
Class A: Baskets of any type. The exhibitor can choose any plants, but they must be displayed in a basket. The basket can be any size, plain or decorated, and must be lightweight enough to be moved by one person. Flowers, grasses or other plants must be real but may be homegrown or purchased. Additional accessories such as flags or figurines are acceptable.
Class B: Any container featuring the 2019 fair flower — the daisy. Any kind of container may be used, not only baskets. A shorter variety of daisy should be used (no daisies over 24 inches tall). Other filler plants may be used to complete the arrangement. The daisy variety should be named if possible.
Class C: Unique container. Any type of container may be used as long as it is easily moved by one person Suggestions are old purses, shells, shoes, etc. Plants must be real and are the choice of the exhibitor.
Class D: Miniature garden. This can be grown in a bowl or box, size not to exceed 24x24 inches. All plants and accessories must be miniatures.
Class E: Succulent Garden. Any type of container featuring one or more succulents will be accepted. Only succulents (hen and chicks, aloe, small sedum, small cacti, for example) may be used. Size of container should not exceed 24x24 inches.
Class F: Junior class. The exhibitor must be 15 years old and younger. The entry can be from any of the classes listed above.
Exhibitors can enter an unlimited number of entries in any of the classes. Judges will consider the best use of texture, color, originality, creativity and condition of materials.
Prize money will be awarded in each class. The money is given compliments of the Jackson County Fair Board Association.
Entries will be used to decorate the Pearson stage during the fair. Entries must stay on the fairgrounds until 7 a.m. July 29.
Complete rules for the 2019 Basket of Blooms contest are available at the Iowa State University Extension Office in the Jackson County Courthouse, at the fair office, and at area banks.
Direct questions to the Basket of Blooms Committee: Alice Mans of Maquoketa, 563-652-5064; Kathy Koch of Maquoketa, 563-212-5452; Brenda Carlson of Maquoketa, 563-672-3533; Julie Streets of Maquoketa, 563-652-4546; Dianne Henry of Maquoketa, 563-590-8259; Doris Currier of Maquoketa, 563-652-4403; Daphne Ritchie of Bellevue, 630-945-6400; or Judy Tonderum of Maquoketa, 563-652-2667.