If I'm at the Wrong Forum, Just Tell Me

hostarasta(z9)August 10, 2004

Hello! I am a comedian and I love gardening. I am also an Illegal Secretary and a Master Gardener-to-be (only a few thousand more volunteer hours to go). This is my first time at the Garden Writers Forum, so cut me some slack. I'm a Zone 5 (some say 6) flower gardener.

If anyone's reading this, I actually do have a matter I'd like some feedback on. (Never end a sentence with a preposition.) One of the ways I will be earning some credit hours is by being a Judge at a neighborhood landscaping contest! I'm very excited about this.

Having no experience except in judging my own gardens, how would you make your decision? This is what I'm thinking. My criteria would include (not necessarily in this order) the overall upkeep of the property, the health of plants, shrubs and trees, use of color and color combinations, design and creativity, and how the landscaping relates to the architecture of the house. What else should I be looking for?

Thanks for listening. I'd be honored if you'd read My Page.

Marlene in Michigan

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Just be sure the neighbors you borrow stuff from place highly. Also, take bribes. It isn't fair, but it's profitable! In all seriousness, sounds to me like your criteria is fine, have at it. Fifty different folks are gonna have fifty different opinions on what works, so go with your gut.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2004 at 12:27AM
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poppa(z5 MA)

Hostarata, do you realize what you're stepping into? Who's going to take a comedian's opinion seriously? You're only going to make a lot of people angry, who think you picked THAT awful garden because you were trying to be funny.

I'd almost get rid of the color and form categories. Can you imagine the problems you're going to have with the Americans with Disabilities Act if you use those criteria on a garden designed by a color-blind gardener? We're talking lawsuits here, possibly jail time. Comedians are not viewed well in jail, except for a fun time.

Here's a test for you:
There's a thread somewhere on this site that is some 12,000 entries long that discusses all the 'proper' color schemes, which colors belong next to one another and all those details that I am sure studpossum takes to heart. If you can post there with your opinion on what constitutes award winning color combinations, and have the rest of the posters congratulate you on your astuteness, then you may be safe including that category.

Stud is right. Go with your gut. I view a garden as an artwork. Does it strike me? When I walk through it, am I constantly wondering what is around the next corner or do I feel as if I have seen it all in the first 30 seconds?
When I view a painting, or read a piece, I donÂt judge its effectiveness based on brushstrokes or grammar. My first reaction, of being pulled into the piece or not, is what I use to determine if it worked.

Lastly, when you get to announcing the winner just imagine them all gardening in their underwear.


    Bookmark   August 11, 2004 at 8:35AM
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I garden in my underwear all the time. Damn these bug bites.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2004 at 11:49AM
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Thanks for your input. Even though I may be funny (that's debatable), I would take a gardening contest seriously. I would never make fun of anyone's garden. I just tend to joke a lot with people and occasionally do standup comedy. Just 'cuz you have a sense of humor doesn't mean you can't judge a landscape. Besides, I'm not the only judge - there are several others. Garden with the most votes wins!


    Bookmark   August 11, 2004 at 7:37PM
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I gotta agree. On the other end of the spectrum, there are anal retentive folks with zero sense of humor who judge stuff all the time. They're just more boring about it.

"More boring?" Learn to write Studpossum! (I stand self-corrected, but don't let that stop you Cher baby!)

    Bookmark   August 12, 2004 at 5:27AM
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poppa(z5 MA)

Sorry Marlene, i certainly didn't mean to imply that you would not make a fine judge. It has become clear to me in these forums, that people with a sense of humor are not taken seriously as gardeners. I suppose it has something to do with wearing huge red shoes while planting tiny annuals. People see it as a negative, crushing the transplants like that. Me, i look at it that i just have to work twice as hard to achieve the same results.

Now, as an official garden judge, i'd like to hear your opinion on garden paths...


    Bookmark   August 12, 2004 at 8:02AM
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No problem, Poppa. Garden paths... hmmm... let's see. Like you said, it must lead to something. It should have points of interest along the way, at the twists and turns. There are natural-looking paths and more formal-looking paths. I tend to like the natural look myself. I have a short pathway (10') leading to my backyard garden. It starts off in a cottage-style garden, then leads into my shade 'jungle' area in the back.

Gotta' get back to work before I get fired!

Keep writing, I love it.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2004 at 2:11PM
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