Growing winners at the annual summer fair

Some winning, pink-themed flower arrangements on display at the Prince Albert Exhibition Hall. (Peter Lozinski/Dialy Herald)

A lot goes into creating a winning floral arrangement, or a prize-winning plate of vegetables.

The best flowers, arrangements and vegetables are on display inside the exhibition hall at the Prince Albert Summer Fair, alongside the photo contest, needlework exhibition, model train demonstration and baked good contest.

This year’s horticultural display features something for everyone, whether an avid grower yourself or someone who doesn’t garden, but does like to arrange, flowers.

‘With just about everything, whether it’s vegetables or cut flowers, it’s about uniformity and perfection,” said Rick Andrusek, one of the volunteers on site Wednesday.

“Say you have a basket of flowers blooming. Deadheading and getting rid of the ugly bits and pieces is important because perfection is a major deal.”

To win a prize, entries also have to be visually pleasing.

For fellow volunteer and contest entrant Elaine McMillan, that could mean adding something different to spruce up the arrangement.

“Design, balance, adding something different, using a different container — this year I used a piston off of a car,” she said.

“Think outside of the box. Don’t just look at that vase you bought in the store.”

Andrusek explained that there’s something for flower fans of all types, with a variety of cut flower categories, and even a category in the arrangements competition that uses flowers bought from the Safeway floral department.

“Not everybody grows their own flowers,” Andrusek said. “We wanted to offer the opportunity for people to make an arrangement even if they don’t have their own flowers to use.”

The field of entrants this year is strong, and more tables had to be added to accommodate all the plants, flowers, arrangements and vegetables. McMillan stressed the ease of entry for people who might have an artistic eye.

“Antoerh class is our wildflower class,” she said.

“Go out and pick anything wild, so long as it’s not a noxious weed, and make an arrangement. It doesn’t cost any money to enter that class if you want to.”

Despite the ease, there are some rules. Andrusek encourages anyone considering entering next year to check out the prize book and take a look at the rules to ensure their entry is valid and won’t be disqualified.

The exhibit hall is open from noon to 9 p.m. Friday and from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Summer Fair. Admission to the fairgrounds is $13 for adults, $7 for children aged 6-12 and free for kids under the age of 6.