May Baskets!

by katie

Every year on May 1, the Annapolis Garden Club holds a May Basket competition in the historic district.  It’s pretty much the cutest thing.  Lots of people put out baskets, and little ladies come around during the morning hours and hand out ribbons.  Blue ribbon winners are invited to a Garden Club Tea that is held later in the month.  In addition to the normal residential category, there are also children and business categories.

Last year I put an inordinate amount of thought into mine.  I wanted to go to that doggone Tea (not sure why, probably because I like winning things).  I liked how it turned out, particularly since it was my first attempt at arranging flowers, but in the end, it looked more like a flower arrangement that happened to be in a basket.  I also deeply regret not putting a bow on it.

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My first attempt.  The card next to it has my name so they know whose basket it is when they’re judging.

After failing to win a ribbon last year, I immediately started planning my basket for this year.  Alas, as with many things, my plans were overcome by events (mostly work-related).  That left me scrambling to come up with something last night!  I spent about 45 minutes in Michael’s getting the basket and ribbon, and in Whole Foods getting the flowers.  I could definitely tell I was behind the curve because the flowers at Whole Foods were totally picked over.  Luckily, they had several bunches of white snap dragons.  I knew I wanted white flowers, so it worked out.  The problem, though, was that there weren’t quite enough.  There was no suitable filler left at all, so I ended up in the produce department piling my cart full of watercress.  That is why the result looks like a big salad!

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A few snap dragons with a lot of salad!

The best part, to me, is the bow.  I bought five colors of pastel ribbon, cut three long pieces of each color, and then tied them in a series of bows.  I had to wrap them around the basket handle to secure it, which I was worried about, but it ended up adding to the colorful aspect of the basket.  I won’t know if I won a ribbon until I get home later, but my hopes aren’t that high.  I debated not doing a basket at all, but then Tom said I should just do one for the fun of it.  That’s what I did, and I’m really glad.  I so enjoy everyone else’s baskets, and it adds such a festive spring touch to the neighborhood.

Here are some of the other entries I spotted this morning on my post-run cool down:


My pal Stacey did this one.  The best part is, she has had a terrible cold and forgot all about the competition.  She didn’t bag it, though.  She went over to house next door, which is under renovation (and therefore vacant), clipped some flowers from the landscaping over there, and got her basket out just in time.  I LOVE that she did that!  The basket turned out so cute, too.

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This person has a GORGEOUS house.  The interiors are so beautiful.  We don’t know the owner(s), but always sneak a peek in the windows when we walk by.  The basket itself is a repeat performer.  The flowers inside are such a great array of spring colors.  Something like this could look really busy, but this basket just nails it. 

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A wee holdover from Easter, but still really cute.

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This one is hung on the fence for a unique presentation.

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This one belongs to someone kind of famous (in nerd world), so I didn’t want to be a creeper taking pictures of the front of the house (hence the weird side view).  The “basket” is a tin bucket with blue and white crabs on it.  Apropos!  

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Love all the pink in this one!  I think not attaching it to the house is kind of cheating, though. 

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This is a terrible picture, but I couldn’t get a better one without going all the way up on the porch.  This basket belongs to our neighbor, who, as I’ve previously explained, is hyper-vigilant about property lines.  Anyway, she wins a ribbon nearly every year.  It’s hard to tell from the photo, but the basket has blue/purple flowers and a pink ribbon.  Last year, she wasn’t going to to a basket at all, but decided to at the last minute.  She put some gorgeous pink peonies from her yard in the same basket and won a blue ribbon.  I almost barfed.