Joyce's Diary - July 2007
On Thursday last I judged the Cacti and Succulents at the National Amateur Gardening Show. It was an interesting afternoon because once I had finished my section of the judging I joined the judges doing the Flower and Pot Plant section and saw what criteria they use in their judging. We then had to find a winner in the overall Floral Section, so Cacti and Succulents had to compete with Roses, Dahlia, Ferns etc. etc. One entry in the succulent classes came very close but the eventual winner was a collection of Dahlia. Finally all the judges got together to compare the Floral winner with the Fruit and Vegetable winner. The grand prize eventually went to a set of three leeks. I am told they were perfect examples and perfectly presented, I wouldnít know!!!
I visited the show the following morning and was pleased to see the names Edward Ody and Alan Phipps amongst the prize winners. It is a pity there were not more members exhibiting, in fact there was a section for a club display where I am sure we could have won a prize. We talk about our show being our window to the general public, but a show like this draws in thousands of people who are interested in gardening and could be a very good place to attract new members.
Plants in the greenhouse seem to be progressing very slowly this year. There is at least one of the Aloes in flower at any time of the year, but generally flowering has been a little disappointing. The weather in the spring was so hot that the big flush of flowers was over very quickly. Summer was cold and some flowers didnít even open. The autumn flowers, particularly the Mesembs are very late indeed. Instead of seeing hundreds of Lithops in flower when I go in the greenhouse in the afternoon all I see is about twenty. I donít know if they will flower late or if they will just miss flowering altogether this year. We will see!
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