Nakusp resident, Darlene Dreidiger, earned a first place award for her professional peony arrangement in the first ever juried peony show hosted in Castlegar on June 26-28. Dreidiger’s arrangement was judged in the Best Artistic Floral Design category and was among 287 other entries for the show. Both amateur and professional growers were invited to participate in the competition and entries were submitted from across western Canada and the Pacific Northwest.
“I didn’t know anything about peonies before I was invited to attend by a member of the peony club,“ Dreidiger explained, “but now I am hooked. I have one peony growing now, and I plan on getting more. Peonies are one of the few flowers that are deer resistant and that is what sold me, that and there are so many different types. So people can look forward to me having more peonies in the future.”
Dreidiger has been running her business, Green Acers Ventures, out of her home in Nakusp for the past three years and has had pictures of one of her arrangements printed in the bridal magazine Wedding Bells based in Calgary.
The peony show was hosted by the B.C./Yukon chapter of the Canadian Peony Society and was sponsored by Castlegar Garden Club and Castlegar Communities in Bloom.
Carol Adelman, the director of the American Peony Society, spoke as the keynote during the opening luncheon and together with her husband, Jim Adelman, judged entries in a number of categories including the prestigious Best in Show group. The Adelman’s have won numerous awards for their peonies, including Grand Champion in eight of the past twelve years at the American Peony Society’s annual competition. Together, they own Adelman Peony Gardens in Brooks, Oregon. Judges of the artistic floral design categories were Janice Ferraro of Castelgar and Doug Bradford, president of the Prairie Peony Society.
The event was also attended by MP Alex Atamenenko, MLA Katrine Conroy, Castelgar mayor Lawrence Chernoff, Nelson mayor Deb Kozak and was listed as one of the stops on the Castelgar Garden Tour.
Originally billed as a “one time event” by the Canadian Peony Society, the tremendous community support and generous sponsorship have encouraged organizers to consider hosting the even again in the future.
“It was a lot of fun” Dreidiger shared, “it was a blast and now I am hooked on peonies.”