RHS Late Daffodil and Tulip Competitions 27 to 28 April 2015

In many ways the glasshouse complex at Wisley is a good venue for an RHS Daffodil and Tulip Competition. It avoids the horrendous driving through Central London (plus expensive parking), the displays both in the gardens and within the glasshouses themselves are superb, and it attracts a large number of visitors many of whom have never seen daffodils and tulips in their different types or grown to such perfection. There are of course disadvantages, not least of which is that when, as this year, the season is latish there is just not enough space to cope with all the exhibits. Having the small tulip competition away from the daffodils gave some space, but even then many of the classes were very overcrowded.

In 2016 this event will be held at RHS Harlow Carr in Harrogate which will give members in the North their first ever opportunity to see RHS Daffodil and Tulip competitions on home ground. In addition it is hoped that it will attract many daffodil exhibitors from the North of England and Scotland who have never previously exhibited at an RHS show. We look forward to it.

Getting back to 2015, Brian Duncan continues to amaze everyone. This was the fourth RHS show this year at which he has exhibited, coming all the way from Northern Ireland, and in addition to the many named cultivars he always has some seedlings with which to whet the appetite. It used to be standard daffodils only, but now it includes miniatures where he is without doubt the foremost raiser in these isles. In addition to winning the John Lea Trophy for 12 cultivars of his own raising where he was the only exhibitor, he also won the Devonshire Trophy, also a twelve, beating several of the country’s best exhibitors in the process. The two entries are shown below.

The John Lea Trophy
The John Lea Trophy
The Devonshire Trophy
The Devonshire Trophy

Miniature daffodils grow in popularity from year to year both for exhibitors and the general public and although this show is really too late to see them at their best, there were some good flowers on display.

Ivor Fox won the class for 3 vases of three species (left below) and Terry Braithwaite won the equivalent class for cultivars (second left, with Terry’s exhibit on the left).Terry’s bottom vase of Woodstar included the Best Bloom for Divisions 5-10 and 12. Terry also won the single vase of three species with Narcissus pachybolbus (third left) and Robin Crouchman the cultivar class with Hawera (fourth left with Robin’s winning vase the right hand vase on the bottom shelf)

Because it was a big show to judge and our need to set off for the long treck north the following photographs are mainly of flowers which caught my eye and are without exhibitors names or where they finished in the judging. The data for the Best Blooms was provided by Michael Baxter for which many thanks.

Best Bloom/Div 2/Seedling John Gibson 457-16-06
Best Bloom/Div 2/Seedling
John Gibson
Reserve/Best Div 1 Len Olive Ombersley
Reserve/Best Div 1
Len Olive
Best Div 3 Nial Watson Burning Ring
Best Div 3
Nial Watson
Burning Ring
Best Div 4 Nial Watson Seedling 767
Best Div 4
Nial Watson
Seedling 767
Best Miniature Brian Duncan Tri-tri x pallidulus
Best Miniature
Brian Duncan
Tri-tri x pallidulus
Winning 7 cultivars Dave Spencer See next photo
Winning 7 cultivars
Dave Spencer
See next photo
Cultivars for previous photo
Cultivars for
previous photo
Len Olive Cameo Joy
Len Olive
Cameo Joy
Nial Watson Citrus Souffle
Nial Watson
Citrus Souffle
Ray Sedgwick Cool Crystal
Ray Sedgwick
Cool Crystal
Vic Coe Cisticola
Vic Coe
Nial Watson M26 (miniature)
Nial Watson
M26 (miniature)
Winner Single Miniature Ivor Fox Mary Plumstead
Winner Single Miniature
Ivor Fox
Mary Plumstead
Brian Duncan Seedling 3893 See next photo
Brian Duncan
Seedling 3893


Winner 3 x Div 7 Ivor Fox As label
Winner 3 x Div 5
Ivor Fox
As label

Disappointing was perhaps the word to describe the Tulip Competition because although perhaps slightly larger in entries than average it still fails to attract new exhibitors despite great efforts all round. It will be interesting to see if the 2016 show in the north of England fares better with its greater tradition of tulip showing. Nevertheless there were some good exhibits and in addition to Paul Payne having made the trip from Norwich, Barbara Pickering had ventured south once again from Wakefield.
As at last weeks Harrogate Spring Show Paul Payne had the Best Vase in show to win the Walter Blom Trophy with his winning entry Angel’s Wish in the 9 bloom class. In second place was John Gibson with World’s Peace and third was Barbara Pickering with Tambour Maitre. These are shown below from left to right.
Geoff Ridley was the winner of several of the other classes.
Many thanks to Georgina for all her efforts at the three shows that we have attended and at Rosemoor where we didn’t. It has been a difficult season but she and her staff have coped remarkably well.