B'ville Peony Fest Winners

Popular ballot determined the winners of the peony flower show held at Peony Fest 2009 in June.

Taking first place in the Cut Stems Division were Lita Rodman of Manlius with "Best Pink" and Karen Whalen of Central Square with "Best Red." B'villians also taking first place honors were David Gursky with "Best White," Tim Hourihan with "Best Miscellaneous Color" and Sarah Baker with "Best Fragrance." "Best of Show" went to Karen Whalen for the red peony that also came in first in its class.

Of special note was one mixed color peony, white with pink and splashes of red, that came in as a close second in both its class "Miscellaneous Color" and in the voting for "Best of Show." The entry belonged to Abigail Stewart who selected the bloom from the well-established gardens at her home, the former residence of Bill and Ruth Crego.

The Artistic Presentation Division was won this year by Leonard Farrell of Baldwinsville.

All entries were identified only by number during judging. Owners' names were not revealed until voting was closed at 4 p.m.

There were 67 entries in the show this year, an increase of 50 percent over 2008. Organizers hope to experience an additional 50 percent growth rate for 2010. Participation is open to everyone and judging is by popular ballot.

This year's Peony Raffle winner is Mary Corack of Syracuse.

Peony Fest is held each June at the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse. The event features the museum's heritage peony collection and documents Baldwinsville's once nationally prominent flower grower, Indian Spring Farms, Inc.. An article in the Syracuse Herald in June 1931 called the Baldwinsville farm "the largest flower farm in America."

More information about the flower farm may be found on the museum's web site at shacksboromuseum.com.

Located at 46 Canton St. in a restored 19th century schoolhouse, the facility presents changing exhibitions and includes a museum shop. The museum is open from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is free.

Peony Flower Show winners (from left) Karen Whalen, David Gursky and Sarah Baker pose with several of the award winning peonies from this year's Peony Fest.

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