Has anyone else out there entered the Concours De Maison at Fermes Fleuris?

Hi Ever entered the Concours De Maison at Fermes Fleuris? If so what were your experiences? primarily of the judging process 2 years in I’m still baffled… for anyone thinking of entering I have just posted a blog on the main page which will cover my experiences in the competition. :slight_smile:

I’m expecting to hear about the date of the awards ceremony for the Maisons Fleuris contest. I just finished planting the Marigolds again and am splitting and transplanting the Chrysanthemums. The Hortensia are doing well. I give all the plants plent of water when there are many days without rain which is the case in our area. I’ve tried a new experiment this year of planting Dalhia seeds taken from the flowers of last year. I read that Dalhia will grow from seed as well as their tubers but I never tried it until now. I’ll let you know if anything comes up. I had a lot of seeds so I’m hoping for a lot of Dalhia. I had two large boxes of Marigold seed so I’m giving bags of it away to the neighbors and our village school for the students to plant in their school garden. We’re having beautiful weather so it’s very enjoyable to work outdoors. I dream all winter of when I can get out in the garden.

Although this says I’m Peter Simpson I am in fact Julia, his wife - not sure why I’m coming up as him.

I think it varies a bit from commune to commune but this is how we do it here. We (8 of us from the village) visit each garden in the first week of July. It has to be done by car and we don’t get out to walk round the gardens. There are 8 categories and it’s the judges who decide which category each garden is in. They are House and Garden (the house should have baskets etc) Garden on the public highway. Balcony or Terrace. Windows or Walls. Large garden or park. Farm. Collective housing. Commerces.

Each judge gives a mark out of 20, the marks are added up and the winner in each category is the one with the highest score. The criteria are as follows. Qualité du fleurissement, variété, quantité, entretien des fleurs, propreté des abords. Qualité esthétique des supports (jardinières, suspensions, vasques, contenants etc) Harmonie des couleurs. Mise en valeur du bâti, respect des materiaux locaux. Qualité des arbres, arbustes et des differents végétaux. Le fleurissement doit être impérativement très visible de la rue, le but du concours étant de récompenser les particuliers qui participent à l’embellisement de l’environement.

The winner in each category goes on to the next round of judging which takes place a couple of weeks later and is judged by a group from the Departement. The winners of that are then judged by the National judges.

I am very pleased to say I got a first in the Haute Vienne last year.

That rose was the prize for being one of the three top gardens. It is an Old Fashion Rose with a divine fragrance. I tried to cut some growths coming from the roots and potted them but they didn’t take. I’d love to clone that rose but don’t know how. Can I just cut a branch and plant it?
I’m now in the process of getting all the weeds out of those fence line garden strips to spread the Marigold seeds and cover them with compost. I want to have them in full bloom when the judges come back in early July.

I’m not sure what criteria the judges use. I’m told they come from the Regional government, not our village but our local village councilman, who is in charge of our village public gardens, is always with them. He is also our Postman so I see him frequently. Most other neighbors plant a variety of flowers but as I’ve said, I love mass color and plant to have something blooming in all three seasons of Spring (tulips), summer (Hortensia, Begonia, Marigold, etc.) and Autumn (Chrysanthemums). The judges come only in July which is a shame because the mums are not in full bloom then. However, my neighbors give me a lot of complements as they stroll by which makes it all worth the work.

Here are some more phots. I have many more on my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1277707777

I did post some photos but now can’t find where I put them. I’ll add the files again.

I win one of the top three prizes in the Maison Fleurie contest for our village of Combleux every year and before that when we lived in St. Jean de Braye I got a secondary prizes. I guess the competition is not so strong in this village but we do have bigger gardens here as well.