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Bobbie Tripp, Baylee Rooksberry and Cody Tripp hustle to fill wheelbarrows delivered to the mulch pile by other volunteers at our Detroit Zoo Adopt-A-Garden. Our own version of a relay race.
Late-winter daydreams of horticultural hoopla
Back when Janet and Margaret Thele hosted their Saturday morning
radio show (greetings to all our listeners; you made those mornings
fun), you helped us when we started kicking around ideas for events
which would showcase the special skills gardeners develop. We
didn't then find a sponsor to host the competitions... We wonder if
the idea might be viable now, in these days of oddball reality
From our notes from those shows, here are events we thought
should be included in the Gardeners' Games. We'd love to talk
about ideas for other events, or hear nominations of people who may
already qualify as a champion in one or more of these categories.
So we've begun a Forum topic to carry on this fun. If the
notion catches on perhaps those of us who posted here, might be
awarded some credit, or be invited to compete!
- Hose wrestling. Both speed and style
would count in pulling a stored hose to its full length and then
returning it to original, coiled position. Special skills
competition could develop in such events as blind extension --
pulling the hose to full length around a corner -- and
- Speed weeding: Free a flat of seedlings from
weedy sprouts. Points deducted for any collateral damage to
- Precision wheelbarrowing. The gardener shovels
a measured amount of mulch into a barrow. Then the gardener runs a
course with the piled-high wheelbarrow, executing turns, weaves, a
crossing of a rough surfaces, and negotiating a ramp. Total amount
of mulch delivered to the finish line counts in determining the
Right: Who says wheelbarrowing can't be
a competitive team sport? Baylee Rooksberry and Bobbie Tripp were
out to beat all comers, this day!
- Watering can relay. First member of the team
fills a bucket from a distance, displaying accuracy in aim with a
hose-en d water gun. Team member #2 carries that bucket to #3 and
fills a watering can. #3 carries the can to the finish line,
pouring into a measuring bucket. Speed counts but time's deducted
for water lost along the way.
- Power pruning. Despite the name, we envisioned
it as work with plain old shears and/or hand clippers to reduce a
boxwood or privet to fit into and rotate within a template. Penalty
time to be added to elapsed time if the finished shrub is cut too
small or does not fit precisely.
- Pot put. Presented with a scattering of
emptied pots of various sizes, the gardener matches and nests them
and then creates a balanced stack.
Perhaps judges should announce results from lounge chairs or
while leaning over a fence... but that might be too much like real