SEASIDE - If the Sou'Wester Garden Club had its way, we'd all be "At Home By the Sea."

That's the theme for the busy group's annual flower show, held Aug. 14 and 15 at the Bob Chisholm Community Center, 1225 A. St. The hours are 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.

The show features a design and horticulture competition, gardener's boutique, plant sale and raffle. Committee member Nancy Berry says the club is especially excited about the raffle items - two handmade Adirondack chairs built and donated by Astoria gardener Ernie Atkinson and painted with beach and floral themes. Proceeds from the raffle go to sponsor horticulture scholarships for students.

The Seaside event is just one of two coastal garden shows this weekend. The 22nd annual Lincoln City Flower Show, "On a Floral Note," takes place 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Lincoln City Community Center, 2150 N.E. Oar Place. Admission is free. Horticulture classes feature cut flowers, garden produce and potted plants. Club members will stage educational exhibits, such as a horticultural take on the Lewis and Clark expedition and Monet's garden.

Brilliant rows of cut flowers line the tables at the Sou'Wester Garden Club's annual flower show. Submitted photo.The Sou'Wester show has become a summer institution, a time for local gardeners to show off their best plants and to see what their neighbors are growing. The Sou'Wester Garden Club belongs to the Oregon State Federation of Garden Clubs. Its judges are certified by the state organization and travel from Portland for the weekend. Winners take home ribbons and certificates, including the popular People's Choice Award.

Co-organizer Nancy Berry says this year's seaside theme in-cludes design classes such as "The Front Door," a floral decoration appropriate for the front door that's made predominately of fresh or dried plants. "Back from the Beach" features foliage designs made from items found on the beach, and may include shells, driftwood and glass balls. Perhaps one design you don't see too often, "The Bookcase," will inspire you - for that class, you create a miniature arrangement not to exceed five inches in any direction, including the bookcase themed container.

Entries for the show will be accepted between 7:30 and 10 a.m. Saturday only at the center. There is no charge to enter.

Berry notes "The Grandchild's Room" and "The Dining Room" should inspire interesting arrangements. If showgoers work up a real appetite, they might want to wander over to the club's tea table, an arrangement set with silver service and lots of baked goods for nibbling. Club member Doris Snodgrass will play the piano.

Meanwhile, over at the plant sale and gardener's boutique, flower and fruit decorated plates and teacups, stationery, linens, lamps and garden books are available for purchase, as are plants raised by Sou'Wester Club members. Show returnees will recognize the club's mascots, Gertie and Clementine, two wooden gardeners dressed for the occasion to welcome the show guests.

To learn more about the Seaside event, call (503) 738-6297. For more information about the Lincoln City show, call (541) 994-2953.

Cathy Peterson belongs to the Clatsop County Master Gardener Association. "In the Garden" runs weekly in Coast Weekend. Please send comments and gardening news to "In the Garden," The Daily Astorian, P.O. Box 949, Astoria, OR 97103 or online at peterson@pacifier.com

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