Monday, June 1, 2015

Coming this Weekend, Peony Festival, June 5-7, 2015

A look back at.......Peony Festival 2014

The Festival first began in 1932, the first week end of June. During World War II they were discontinued, then  after the war they were resumed.

The Wassenbergs', a notable family in the community, had a 50 acre farm that they grew iris, poppies and mostly peonies. The Beckmans' had 20 acres of peonies that they sold commercially and privately. We now have to purchase them from our local nurseries and the internet. The Vera Wassenberg and Bu Te  have Van Wert roots. People probably have them and may not know it. Peonies are scattered over the city. I would love to be able to get starts of each of these. Every home in Van Wert needs at least one peony on their property, being we are "The Peony Capitol Of The World".

The Men's Garden Club have established a display garden of peonies in Smiley Park next to the Children's Garden. They are all labeled as to each variety. This is a good way to see what you might like for your own garden. I have  about 20 different ones in my gardens. I can always find room for one more.

Peony Committee

There is a Festival Committee that brings this altogether the first weekend in June. Many of our peonies are through their bloom by then, but this year there was a nice representation of them at the Jubilee Flower Show. The flower show was held at the new Wassenberg Art Center. The Wassenbergs' would be so proud that this is still on going.

Artistic Design Judge and Horticulture Judges

Best of Show

"Pink Pots"

Queen Jubilee XXXIX and Court
In the early spring, young women from the area are interviewed, and then compete in talent, evening gown, and questions and answer. Queen Jubilee XXXIX was chosen. Scholarships are given to the top three finalist. They are required to make appearances at certain functions. The day of the parade they have a luncheon at The Willow Bend Country Club and make appearances at many other special events held around the area. It is much like the Miss America Pageant, on a smaller scale, At 5 o'clock is the big parade. They get to ride the beautiful Queens float.

Queen's Float

On Friday evening the public was entertained with a free concert in the lovely Fountain Park. This year it was Papa Doo Run Run. Good lively music. There was a huge crowd. One of the largest.

Papa Doo Run Run

Vendors are set up in the park selling their arts and crafts. "ArtRageous" is now combined with the Festival. Good quality merchandise.


There are a lot of food venders. It is a time to load up on junk food. Great sausage sandwiches, barbeque, brauts, cotton candy, and of course icy slush.

Junk Food

On the grounds I ran into my co-blogger and Park Director, Sue. This is an extremely busy time for her. I am amazed how she seems to manage it all, and brings it all together.

Park Director Sue

The weather was picture perfect.. It was well attended.  Thanks to all of you that made this another well planned event. Now next year begins. Back to the drawing board.

It was A great festival.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring Flower Show

There is one way to jump start spring, find a Flower Show. Chicago is not far for us so we made a trip to the 2015 Chicago Flower Garden Show at Navy Pier last week. It was a great weekend weather wise, not like now. We have three inches of snow on the ground as I speak. It usually is a good show, but this year I thought it was special. The display gardens were amazing. You could walk into the gardens and feel like you were in someones home garden. The theme focus this year was roses. It was refreshing to see tulips, flowering shrubs and trees in full bloom along with roses. pansies and lilies. Of course these flowers are not blooming in our gardens at the same time. Through trickery and magic they are able to do this transformation.

We did a little of Chicago. We had pizza, Willis (Sears ) Tower and Ed Debevic.We also had our Garden Writers meeting. It is always informative and a time to renew friendships. I attended a couple symposiums. They are always the best.

Chicago Evening Skyline

Water Fall
Something to do with your beer bottles
Rainy Days and Sundays
From Willis (Sears) Tower
Navy Pier
Drainage Tile
Water Feature
Children's Garden
Room Settings
Re-purposed Tires
Water Feature
Touch of Ireland
Long Stem Roses


Mixed Bouquet
I am posting a little of the show for you to get a little garden fix. You should put this on your calendar for next year.

End of The Day

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Celebration

It’s a new year and it is February already. Today “Two Girls With a Purpose” celebrate their one year anniversary. It is hard to believe that Louise and I have been on this exciting adventure for a year.

I must admit it hasn't been easy at times, well for me that is! Now as for Louise, she seemed to come up with creative ideas and information to share. What a creative lady she is!

To reminisce the past year:

Our blog began with two ladies that wanted to share their home town, adventures and much more, hence “Two Girls With a Purpose” was born. We introduced ourselves. Shared how we met and became friends. Then it was off on our own escapades and there were a few that we joined forces.

Louise became a frequent traveler; check out her “A year in review….2014” as she reminisced on last year.

Louise in Seattle at The Northwest Flower and Garden Show
Louise in Fort Wayne at The Home and Garden Show
Louise in Columbus at The Orchid Show, Franklin Park Conservatory
As I look back on our blogs first year, it looks like I need to contribute a little more then I did. Louise was a little more active. The first couple months, March and April, we collaborated on majority of the posts. Wordless Wednesdays, I prepared the majority in order to post. However, we shared the work load of taking pictures. I guess I’m considered the tech person between the two of us. Here are just a few of my favorite Wordless Wednesdays.

Our inaugural year of blogging brought many facets of our little home town to our followers and readers. We introduced you to the beauty of Van Wert.

Central Mutual Insurance Bridge
Lovely Landscaped Home
Children's Garden Smiley Park
We had the opportunity to inform you of the holidays or special events that we celebrate in Van Wert; from Peony Festival, to Independence Day, Halloween and the transformation of our Children’s Garden to the Christmas Garden.

Peony Festival
Concerts in Fountain Park
"Holiday at Home" Fourth of July Parade
Halloween in Van Wert
Christmas Garden
We even had a couple guest bloggers.

Heather Gottke-OSU Extension 4H Coordinator
Deb Knapke-OSU Extension Administrative Assistant

Of course there was some gardening along the way too!

We both hope you enjoyed our first year. We had fun! We celebrate our anniversary with a toast, for there’s nothing better then a cup of hot chocolate on a cold February Day!


Please come back to see what we will be up to in 2015.