Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, which has won awards for its own container designs, gives you a chance to show off your talent and possibly win a great prize in its new Container Design Competition to be held Saturday, Aug. 2 at Mischler’s, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville.
It’s free to enter. The first, second and third place awards are gift certificates from Mischler’s for $100, $50 and $25, respectively.
The first place winner gets an additional honor: the opportunity to have his or her container included among Mischler’s entries in this year’s Cornell Horticultural Field Days Competion to be held Aug. 5 in Cornell.
Your entry must be a container you put together yourself, not one that was designed professionally.
You can drop off your entry between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1, or from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 2. Judging will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2. You don’t have to be present to win. You must pick up your container garden by 5 p.m. Saturday.
You can stop in to Mischler’s to pick up an entry form or get the entry form online.
If you don’t have a competition-worthy container planted up yet, get started now.
Creativity will be just one criterion used for judging. Other criteria include color scheme, foliage texture, effective use of structural elements, balance, plant health, compatibility of plants and the coordination of the container and plants. You also get points for having a complete list of the plants used in your container. It’s explained in more detail here.
You must using living plant material. Beyond that, there are no restrictions. You could use annuals, perennials or even herbs.
“If you’ve got a small pine tree you want to stick in there, that’s okay,” said Dan Meyer, greenhouse associate at Mischler’s.
Mischler’s has many attractive plants in stock now to choose from.
There is no limit on the size or shape of the container, but keep portability in mind. You have to transport your container to Mishler’s, and if you win first place, they have to transport it to Cornell.
You can use a traditional ceramic pot, but you can get creative with the container, too. You could use an old washtub or even a shoe, Meyer said.
Tip: Drainage is important, he noted. You need to put holes into any container that doesn’t have holes.
There’s still time to plant up an award-winning container.
Another event: Plein Air Day
If your artistic talents lean toward painting and drawing, you are invited to get inspiration from the gardens and plants at Mischler’s during a plein air day Saturday, July 12.
You may set up at Mischler’s anytime between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is no fee.
You’re also invited to just come and watch.
“En plein air” is a French expression that means “in the open air” and is used to describe the act of painting outdoors.