Viola Beauty Pageant 2010

May 19, 2009 028 (2)
Please join us in giving the faire Loueez, winner of the 2009 Viola Beauty Pageant, a standing ovation as she sashays down the runway a final time before passing the crown onward to her soon to be determined successor. Thank you for being an outstanding queen Loueez, your mentoring of the younger girls reflects your selfless nature, a very attractive feature for one so naturally gifted in color and form.

If you are unaware of this annual contest held at the end of May in the Fairegarden, links are provided at the end of this post for the two previous blog stories written which include the contestant profiles. The first judging was held in 2007 by daughter Semi and me, before the blog was even a glimmer in the eye of the writer. We walked around selecting what we considered to be the prettiest volunteer violas and chose a winner among them, (no photos were taken for the inaugural event sad to say). It is now considered a tradition. The rules state that the finalists must be self sown seedlings from the gravel area in and around the knot garden. Careful weeding of that gravel is performed regularly for many plants like to germinate in that prime, moisture retentive spot, the small stones helping protect roots from sunburn and devil diggers. Purchased violas are not considered, but their offspring add to the pool of pretties each year. Let us introduce the lovely ladies for your voting, shall we?

First down the khaki colored stone carpet is Simone. Simone sports the colorways most admired by the judges, something unusual in the world of viola breeding that is awash with blues and violets, from which the genus springs. She is a sassy lassy, with a quick wit and sometimes sharp tongue to match. The word feisty might be used to describe this beauty. One never knows what will come out of those lovely lips next, but it will always be interesting!

Next comes the comely Delilah. Her high contrasting dark and light complexion is exotic and compelling. She must be a direct descendent of a mixed marriage, which often results in spectacular good looks. Her pet projects include working to build new flower Beds for Botany, similar to Habitat for Humanity. She is sure stemmed with a shovel.

Showing the watercolor effect sometimes seen at the corner of the shed, Elana is heart rending with her innocent appeal. That area has been included in this contest the last couple of years since the viola seedlings seem to have jumped the boxwood hedge that contains the knot garden in search of fertile ground. The dripping violet from her ears illustrates that painterly genetic link. Elana has a soft spot for wildlife and enjoys nurturing the fledgling house wrens that often drop right at her planting area as they emerge from the nearby birdhouses.

Ah, Miss Penny. This beauty is definitely a result of the introduced reddish tones in last years’ purchased plants that lined the quadrants during the winter months. It was hoped that some new color codes would help diversify the sea of blues and it appears to have worked. Even her form is different, for whatever reason, with more rounded petals. Penny gives back to the community by inviting traveling musical and juggling groups to entertain the denizens of the knot garden in exchange for ice cream donated by The Hop in Asheville, North Carolina. She can really spot a good act as she holds auditions for would be performers.

Ann Marie is another heir apparent from introduced blood lines. Larger flowers and the solid yellow petals with blue edging were brought in from Mouse Creek nursery a few years ago. (Most if not all of the violas have been purchased there). It is satisfying to see an offspring showing these traits. Ann Marie is a strait (thanks Pomona) laced lady, always following the rules, no wild child is she. Strict upbringing may have led to this, not a bad thing really, if unusual in this day and age. But oh how she loves to dance. She wants to wreck her stockings in some juke box dive.

Chloe is a classic viola pattern of the original viola planting of the quads of the knot garden in the year 2000. A mix of medium to light blue with yellow centers with dark whiskers were set out the first fall after we moved here. It was a vibrant display as flats of thirty two plants each were used in each section atop rows of Spring Green viridiflora tulips. An equal number of pink Greenland viridiflora tulips were also planted at that time, evenly interspersed oh so carefully in the rows with the white ones. But only the white came up and continue to do so year after year with some spreading by the gardener to fill in bare spots. The violas shriveled up in the full sun and heat of this part of the garden as spring turned to summer and various plantings followed with the current assortment of creeping thymes now being the resident groundcover. But the viola seedlings from the initial flats continue to sprout in the gravel. Enough about the history of the violas. Back to the pageant. Chloe is a wiz at electronics and can solve any problem with smart use of computer technology. She is the go to girl who can save the day.

Jellybean is the youngest contestant. Her given name is Jill, but she is light hearted, some say light headed, shame on some for jealously is never an attractive trait in the realm of beauty pageants or the real world, and has a wicked sweet tooth for the sugary confections, hence the moniker given by her cohorts. She has a ready laugh and delights in being in on a prankster joke amongst the girls. She may be related to Delilah.

Kayleen shows an artistic splash of accents on her sky colored petals. If there was a talent portion to this competition, and there is not for this is strictly about surface beauty, not inner qualities, Kayleen would wow the judges with her low, raspy blues singing voice. Her rendition of Turtle Blues brings goosebumps to the listeners, so eerily similar to the late great Janis Joplin. Kayleen has lived a hard knock life and bears a little tear in her petals. We do not deduct for that as long as it is not too unsightly a scar. Hers adds character in our opinion.

Beatrix, named for the famous English author of beloved children’s stories, is the final offering of the year. Beatrix is reknown for her way in the kitchen, being a creative and sensual chef, preparing a dish by taste and smell. She likes to use the freshest of ingredients, often straight from the nearby veggie bed for her fixin’s, seldom using a recipe but simply starting with a little good quality olive oil, sea salt and Modena basalmic vinegar as a base and leaving the rest to the vagaries of the day.

Now it is up to you, dear readers, to make your votes known in comments. Difficult as it is, you must pick but one clear winner, your favorite beauty that features the color and style that most appeals to your sensibilities. It is true that they are all winners to have come this far in the competition, and they all are treasured by the gardener. Narrowing it down to these nine was especially hard as the contestants were more numerous this year due to welcome rains during the cold months.

The winner of the Miss Congenialtiy award, not to be considered for your votes is Geraldine. Her triangular lower petal shows a trait that has been passed on each year in the viola colony by the shed. While she did not make the final cut, the other girls all wanted to honor her with this title. She is truly a friend to all, willing to zip a zipper, touch up the makeup or lend a sympathic shoulder when there are boyfriend troubles. When she grows up, she plans on becoming a therapist to continue helping others.

The introduced violas that were planted in the fall of 2009, a flat of Antique Shades holds the promise of infusing freshness for more and interesting future pageant hopefuls in years to come.

We do hope you enjoyed meeting this year’s nominees and will have fun selecting your choice to wear the crown as Fairest Of The Faire 2010. Having the vote as a poll on the sidebar was considered, briefly, but it is your comments that are held in the highest esteem on this blog. Feel free to elaborate on the reasons for your selections. The votes will be tallied after one week and the winner will be posted here at that time. Let the voting begin! ADDED: The voting has been extended and will end on Friday, June 25, 2010.

Added: The winner for 2010 was Ann-Marie.

To view the previous pageant contestants and read the voters comments click on the links below:

Viola Beauty Pageant 2009

Viola Beauty Pageant 2008


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41 Responses to Viola Beauty Pageant 2010

  1. Edith Hope says:

    Dear Frances, What a fun posting. All those very, very pretty Violas to choose from. However, I shall cast my vote unreservedly for Beatrix, not least for those lovely hints of grey and lemon. A sure fire winner [I hope!].

  2. Darla says:

    I cast my vote for Ms. Penny, the dusting of blush around her face just says “Southern Lady” to me.

  3. Ann Marie for the purple edge adding fire to her sparkling yellow petals.

  4. Valerie says:

    I chose Delilah. I loved the high contrast of dark against white with the yellow and blue throat.

  5. Les says:

    I am voting for Miss Penny since that is the name of our new dog, plus I was torn between the others, most of them anyway. I know for sure I could not vote for Simone, not after that debacle at opening day of baseball season in the dugout at Yankee Stadium with cameras blazing and all sense of propriety thrown out the window.

  6. gardeningasylum says:

    Oh Anne Marie, if you please! Those solid yellow petals just make her pop!

  7. Liisa says:

    They are all lovely, though the Antique Shades viola is just beautiful. If I can’t vote for that one, my vote must go to Chloe. She is lovely. Though, Ann Marie holds a close second. Hmmm… ok, yes, my vote is for Chloe. Wait, no, Ann Marie. No, no… definitely Chloe.

  8. gail says:

    Elana, ears down is the winner! Lover of wildlife…when she spoke of living in harmony with all creatures great and small she won my vote! gailxx

  9. Rose says:

    It is certainly hard to pick a winner among all these beauties, Frances! At first glance, I might vote for Ann Marie because of her sunny disposition, but I’m going to cast my vote for Kayleen, just because I always like the underdog. Besides, my Idol favorite this year, Crystal Bowersox, who could summon up Janis’ spirit with her voice, didn’t win, so I’m hoping Kayleen has better luck.

  10. fairegarden says:

    Many thanks to all voters and their interesting comments. There will be no other posts for the week so the maximum number of votes can be added for these fine contestants. It is good to see that no clear favorites have emerged just yet. And a special thanks to Les for adding to the atmosphere by bringing up that little tidbit! 🙂

  11. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Jellybean is my favorite. I love the rich purple that is almost like velvet and then a drop of it is on the lower petal. Beautiful.

  12. Catherine says:

    It’s hard to choose a favorite with so many pretty contestants. I will have to choose Elana though as my number one choice.

  13. I love your annual viola judging, Frances. I am very fond of that family myself. I hadn’t realized until this year that all these selections are your very own seedlings.

    I was in suspense between your bi-colored beauties, Delilah and Jellybean. But then there’s Beatrix, with her stunning fine-line patterns and unique coloring… they’re all great, even the “nonvotables”. And I like how you include contestants with flaws that show character, like Kayleen.

  14. Barbara H. says:

    Oh, what a cruel thing to do to us! Such exquisite portraits, both in words and photos. How can one choose? It’s like listening to lawyers during a trial – each one has you convinced until you hear the next one’s questions and arguments. Since I have to choose, it’s Beatrix, only because I used to work in the Children’s Library before retirement. But oh, Miss Penny…and Simone…and all the others. Love them all.

  15. Nell Jean says:

    Ann Marie. My preference is for yellow or bicolors with pure yellow.

  16. Gotta be Ann Marie, though it was hard choosing between Ann Marie, Miss Penny and Elana.

  17. Teresa O says:

    My first inclination was to vote for Miss Penny and her lovely pinkish blush, but then the vintage pale colors of Beatrix captured my eye and I found myself whisked away to by gone years of Peter Rabbit and Mrs Tiggy- Winkle. One vote for Beatrix and a cup of tea, please. 🙂

  18. Christine B. says:

    Chloe is the obvious choice, however I will withhold my judgement until the question and answer portion of the pageant. I hope you’ll think of suitably controversial questions to pose.

    Christine in Alaska

  19. I like the rusty antique shades (last pic).

    Aside, did you see this

    Oh Rob, thank you so much for that link. I will view it over and over. We do not have gardening programs on our television here, and certainly nothing like that. More links would be greatly appreciated!

    The Antique Shades violas are not contestants, but rather genetic material for future pageants. 🙂


  20. Sylvia (England) says:

    Frances, another delightful post. I love violas but I don’t get seedlings – I must find a place for them where they can seed. I usually grow violas and pansies for winter colour in containers. This year they didn’t flower all winter as it was so cold, so they have been left for the summer. I vote for Simone because of her unusual colouring.
    Best wishes Sylvia (England)

  21. Frances, Aren’t violas the best? And I’m ever so impressed (truly) that you know each of their cultivars. I just bought some black ones which tickle my fancy.

  22. I’ve got to vote for Anne Marie. I finally got my paws on some ‘Ultimo Morpho’ pansies, and she reminds me of them. I love the blue & yellow combo on this bloom, perfectly balanced hues and full shape do it for me.

  23. Can’t decide between Simone and Delilah. I thought both might be knocked off the podium by the ones which come last but if you bought them in, that rules them out and doesn’t solve my dilemma. I think, I think, I think . . . I’ll go for Simone because, although I like Delilah on her own, I think I’d like quite a big crowd of Simone’s. What a challenging challenge!

    P.S. But the antique shades really are very lovely.

  24. I waffled between Simone and Beatrix, but I finally decided the sultry Simone gets my vote.

    They are all beauties and worthy of their nominations!

    What a fun post. I thoroughly enjoyed the personality descriptions.

  25. Town Mouse says:

    My vote goes to Simone. So clearly of mixed origin, so charming with her subtle colors. Who could resist?

  26. Jen says:

    How fun – love that you’ve assigned them careers. I wonder if I have any electronics technicians or therapists among my beauties! I think I’m partial to Simone, too. Her coloring is so unusual!

  27. easygardener says:

    They are all beautiful – but my vote has to go to Elena – who can resist purple ears and those well defined laughter lines. No Botox for that girl!!

  28. mattisalomaki says:

    Geezz, there are a ton o variety in colors. My fave is Ann Marie. Matti

  29. fairegarden says:

    LTB votes for Ann Marie.

  30. Semi says:

    O so hard to decide,, but I vote for Miss Penny! Love Semi

  31. brokenbeat says:

    my vote goes to Elana. while tempted to remain a pefect white, it appears she just could not help dunking her ears in the purple pallet.

  32. Aunt Lynn says:

    Chloe – we computer geeks must stand together. Love this post.

  33. chickenpoet says:

    Beatrix, because she is the prettiest….

  34. Lovely… I love growing those violas!

  35. I have to go with Miss Penny, Frances, because she’s a little different, a little chubbier, and her watercolour blushes are just great. I think I missed the competition last year due to that job-from-hell I was working on.

  36. Financier says:

    I chose Ann Marie because of her obvious singing talents.

  37. They are surely beautiful flowers. Thanks for sharing!

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