For those who may be hesitant to create a large garden, or who just don't have the space, put your gardening skills to the test by participating in the container garden contest at this year's Lewiston GardenFest on June 22 and 23. The event is sponsored by the Lewiston Garden Club.
Container gardening can be whimsical or traditional depending on the containers and plants chosen. Any container will do - from terra cotta pots to a watering can or a favorite cookie jar that got chipped. Be creative as found objects can sometimes make the most interesting containers.
Once you've found the perfect container, make sure you have proper drainage holes in the bottom to avoid drowning the garden. If the soil is dry one inch or more below the surface, it's time to water.
Don't wait until the week of the contest to plant. Start planting early so the roots of the flowers and plants have time to become established. If growing the plants outdoors, the nights need to be around 50 degrees for seedlings.
To help lighten the weight in large planters for easier transport, try adding Styrofoam or empty soda bottles to the bottom before adding potting mix. Think about mixing in fun accessories to add interest to your garden.
"Go ahead and experiment. Container gardens are great for those who say they aren't gardeners and can be a fun project to involve the kids, too," said Kay Kalick, Lewiston Garden Club member and chair of the container garden contest. "Everyone is a winner because you can enjoy the wonderful garden you designed throughout the spring and summer months!"
For examples of past contest entries and to download an entry form for this year's Lewiston GardenFest container garden contest, visit http://www.lewistongardenfest.com. Once registered, bring your special garden, along with a stand for display, to the hospitality booth at Fourth and Center Streets by 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 22. The winner will be chosen by GardenFest visitors who will cast their votes throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday.
The 8th annual Lewiston GardenFest is Saturday, June 22, and Sunday, June 23 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days). Located along Center Street, the festival includes a free garden walk featuring the gardens of local residents, as well as vendors selling flowers, plants, garden art and more to beautify one's outdoor space.
In addition, master gardeners and representatives from floral societies will offer presentations and opportunities to answer gardening questions throughout the weekend. For more information, visit http://www.lewistongardenfest.com.