Ray and I recently enjoyed the 105th Annual Stilesboro Chrysanthemum Show. The setting for the show is Stilesboro Academy, built in 1859.
The Stilesboro Improvement Club has been hosting the show in teeny Stilesboro since 1912. Several of the volunteers I saw working at the chrysanthemum show were in their 80s or older. These ladies volunteer to keep alive a tradition their grandmothers began and their mothers continued.
Stilesboro Academy was a three-room school with a classroom for girls on one side and boys on the other. The large area with steps leading up to it, seen in the center of the photo above, was an assembly room. We entered into the classroom at right which is now a museum. Here a volunteer collected admission, a mere $2.00 for adults. Children were free.
Each year the Stilesboro Improvement Club choses a different theme. This year’s theme was “Beautiful Garden.” Across the stage in the assembly room were individual chrysanthemum arrangements in keeping with the theme. Here are two of the arrangements.
An American flag stood beside the steps that led down from the stage.
Volunteers of the Stilesboro Improvement Club had transformed the rest of the assembly room into a chrysanthemum showplace in keeping with this year’s theme. It was a beautiful garden, complete with a garden wall fashioned from cardboard, “trees” made from 7- to 8-foot-tall pine branches, . . .
. . . a real wooden picket fence, . . .
. . . and a pretty arch and bench and water fountain nestled in mulch, along with beautiful vases of a wide variety of chrysanthemums.
We were touched by the commitment, creativity, and hard work these ladies had put into this one-day event, realizing that all those things would have to be cleaned out, cleared away, and moved out of the building after this nine-hour event.
On easels here and there around the room were expressions of faith in the Creator of beautiful gardens.
And God said,
Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed,
which is upon the face of the earth,
and every tree, in which
is the fruit of a tree yielding seed;
to you it shall be for meat.
And the Lord shall guide thee continually,
And satisfy thy soul in drought,
And make fat thy bones;
And thou shalt be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
I pray that you feel like a watered garden today.