Gardening can help grow your soul.
It also can raise your frustrations.
The dry spring and summer drought have challenged gardeners who enjoy planting flowers, vegetables and other plants.
But some gardeners have found success through a disciplined approach to watering and picking the right plants.
The fruits of their labor — and their artistic style — are on display throughout this week at the Bartholomew County 4-H Fair.
Open flower shows
What: Flower shows open for public entries
When: Remaining shows are scheduled for Wednesday and Friday. Entries are due between 9 and 11 a.m.
Where: Family Arts Building at the Bartholomew County 4-H Fairgrounds
fair.com, click on “Competitions” in the links on the left side of the page and read the information page by clicking on “2012 Open Class Division Information Page”
Proof that plants can be grown in the scorching temperatures and dry conditions can be found inside the Family Arts Building at the fairgrounds.
Judy Nichols, a member of the Mudlarks Garden Club, entered herbs, flowers and plants into a flower show Monday morning.
One of her displays featured a deep-red daylily and weld, an herb that was once used for medicinal purposes, she said.
“It’s good for the soul,” Nichols said about gardening. “You can always think, ‘Next year it’s going to be better.’”
The heat and dry weather have accelerated the development of some plants — if you can get them to grow.
“Everything was a month early,” Nichols said, citing the early, warm spring as a factor.
Herbs are a good suggestion for gardeners trying to raise something during the drought this summer, gardeners at the fair said.
The herbs like direct sunlight and can grow in hot temperatures.
Jacque Chambers entered herbs including basil and curly spearmint in the flower show on Monday.
“They like heat,” she said. “They need moisture, too, but they don’t like to sit wet.”
Attractive arrangements also can be made from wild flowers, which removes the work of growing the plants but requires effort to find them.
Jill Forster’s display of clover, wild phlox and Queen Anne’s lace in a Mason jar came together after she and her husband found the wild flowers growing along a roadside west of Columbus.
“You have to stomp through the ditches,” Forster said.
Darren Collins, a fair board member in charge of the Family Arts Building, said the heat has played a factor in the number of entries in flower shows this year at the fair. Judges also adjust their standards knowing what the weather conditions have been like, Collins said.
Flower shows at the fair are open to entries from the public. The remaining shows will be on Wednesday and Friday. Entries are due between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. at the Family Arts Building.
“The more people who participate, the bigger the flower show is,” Nichols said.
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