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 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 . 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, 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, . 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
, 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.
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: