100th Coronado Flower Show Draws from ‘Bridge and Beyond,’ Judge, 90

Coronado Flower Show at 100

Miriam Yoder tends to 40 to 50 rose bushes at her Spring Valley home, but still had time to help judge roses of all colors and scents at the 100th annual Coronado Flower Show on Saturday.

The 90-year-old judge is a two-decade veteran of the Coronado show in Spreckels Park, which reopened this weekend after a two-year hiatus due to COVID.

Yoder – a former master rosarian who has judged shows in New Orleans, San Francisco and Santa Barbara, as well as many in Arizona and the San Diego County Fair – looked over a sea of ​​roses, checking for freshness, color, foliage and fragrance.

The rose display is just one of the features of the annual show, which includes landscape displays, horticulture and design exhibits and a variety of floral competitions, including miniature florals, bonsai, and succulents.

The show also includes bandstand entertainment, a photography competition, food, a beer and wine garden, and activities for children.

Amid all of the color and fragrance, a tent carried a warning: “This tent contains humor related to the inner workings of the male mind. Do not enter if you find political satire or male quirkiness offensive. ” (Flowers were mixed with humorous displays.)

The show continues from 10 am to 4 pm Sunday. Admission is $ 5 for people over 12, and free for children under 12 and seniors 100 and older. Tickets are available only at the entry gate.

“What a great time to come together. This is a breathtaking day in Southern California, ”said Diana Drummey, president of the Coronado Floral Association, chair of the show, which is a co-production of the Coronado Floral Association and City of Coronado.

More than 300 volunteers geared up for the show and about 150 have been searching the island for the prettiest home fronts and business landscaping. Residents from throughout the country are competing in the floral contests.

Jessica Mushovic, 2023 vice president-elect and co-chair of next year’s 101st flower show, said: “It’s not just Coronado. It’s the bridge and beyond. And we really want to create a space for everyone to come.

“Sometimes there’s that opinion that it’s just the Coronado show, but we have people entering from all over the place. It’s for everyone. A lot of people have been competing for quite some time here. ”

A design section for middle and high school teens is an idea for next year’s show, she said. This year there is a rose competition for children and a craft of fashioning animals out of fruits and vegetables.

Founded in 1922 by Harold and Maude Taylor, the Coronado Flower Show started out as just an idea to bring a divided community together.

A political battle between business factions, and the Taylors brought the community back together through the shared love and pride of their city, according to the Coronado Floral Association. More than 4,000 visitors are expected at the show ending Sunday.

One of those visitors, Peggy Price, is almost as old as the show itself. Turning 100 in December, Price said she has attended the floral festivities since 1964, when she moved there with her husband, Adm. Arthur Price.

“I’ve been here pretty much every year,” Price said. “I used to come in and bring my children’s entries. And one year I entered; they used to have a military exhibit. I used to bring my Girl Scouts’ entries. And Jobs Daughters used to have a hot-dog stand.

“It’s gotten more sophisticated with time,” Price continued. Her son, along with his Boy Scout Troop, slept overnight in the park to watch over the displays in 1968.

Over at the rose display, veteran judge Yoder said her favorite varieties include “Black Magic.” Her husband’s was “George Burns,” and she was recently given one called “Big Momma,” with large, deep pink petals.

When asked the biggest mistake rose growers make, Yoder said using too much chemical spray. And if you are entering a rose contest, don’t remove the leaves; they are part of the judging.

How long will she picking winners?

“As long as I’m physically and mentally able,” she said with a laugh.

What does she like most about judging flowers? “The people. The friendship of the people and seeing the different varieties and the newer varieties of roses. “

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