I judged a beauty pageant at Beck Grove today!
I couldn't believe my good luck. I was actually taking my lunch break. I had just eaten a handful of kumquats, first carefully biting off the tender and delicious skin, then eating the tart fruit inside (if you haven't done this, yet, it's a must have to be on everyone's bucket list). The last kumquat was tiny enough that I just ate it whole, yes, seeds and all (heaven!). One hasn't lived until they've experienced this and yes, we do ship small, single (3-lb. box) orders!
My bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich came next. I heard a tractor coming in the distance. And as I was eating my plump and delicious blood orange, that was fresh from the tree, the planting crew pulled up in front of me with Helene.
And the beauty pageant started. Oh, the contestants?
A gorgeous trailer full of flowers in gallon-sized pots!
Helene had chosen a selection of 16 different annuals to plant somewhere in the grove and I was lucky to be there for the crew's first planting. She's been planting since Spring but these additional flowers were some I hadn't seen yet.
The judges were me, a lizard and a bumblebee, respectively in the order of the most focused because the lizard skee-daddled when I turned to him to express my excitement and the bumblebee was pretty pre-occupied with the yellow and purple pansies behind my head but alas, I was a devoted judge and soon I made my final decision without objection.
"And," said I to the now focusing bumblebee, as the crew obliged my wishes and planted my decided winner right in the spot in front of me, "the gorgeous flower winner is . . . Penstemon Peptalk or "TM Red."
What a beauty! I've included a photo. (Now I wish I would have taken a group picture with all of them).
Coming in second place, I had a five-way tie which includes Agastache hybrid "Blue Boa", Tamari Verbena, "Patio Hot Pink", is a Salviagreggii or "Azure Skies," Salvia Hybrid, "Wendy's Wish" and Mimulus Aurantiacus, "Trish."
I'll be having another beauty pageant 'roun here soon, just to see the progress of each of these flowers and then I'll take more photos. I'll keep you posted.