In early September, I volunteered to be a clerk for the Howard County G.C.’s flower show, held at the Ellicott City 50+ Center. It’s an interesting experience because you get to meet new people, begin to recognize the flower show judges in FGCMD and be helpful. Basically, a clerk walks around with a basket of ribbons, cards, pens and a hole punch. If something needs to be lifted for closer examination (judges cannot touch an exhibit themselves), the clerks do it.
The judges confer over Horticulture and design while the clerks stand back respectfully out of the way. For horticulture, cards are marked and afterwards the clerks make a hole punch where “X marks the spot” conferring 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th placements and put ribbons in place. The judges will place a special award ribbons, perhaps with a remark on the back. Or indicate that there is something incorrect about the horticulture placement with a card.
For Designs, judges will write remarks on a card as to why they felt the design received the ribbon placement, both praise and critical assessments.
As a clerk, I enjoyed conversations with other volunteers over coffee and luncheon. In fact, this one clerking episode led to a volunteer stint at the Ellicott City Design house and to discussion of and attendance at the September Environmental School. The only other wish I had was for the judges to wear tiny microphones so that we could listen in to their discussions since clerks cannot hear their remarks.
This flower show was called “Mums the Word”.
Miniatures, First Place Miniature and “Highlight Mums”
You will note some areas are quite sparse. In some cases the category had already bloomed and passed prime. In other cases, members talked themselves out of entering anything which is a crying shame.