Although due to unseen circumstances it was a two hour dash round the show with camera and a failing memory for names (flowers and people), my impression was that it was a good show with two really outstanding classes shown on the right. (Click on the photographs to expand)
Richard Gillings achieved a record- breaking fourth successive win of the Bowles Cup with 15 vases of three from at least four divisions; he still has a further three wins to achieve in order to beat Tony Noton’s total number of successes. In second place was Ken Harrop with an entry which, although it perhaps lacked the wow factor of Richard’s, on individual examination of the individual vases it ran it very close.
The Richardson Trophy had five very good entries with the winning three below.
Highlighting these two classes allows me to make a point which has concerned me for the past ten years. The RHS is out of step with all the other main UK daffodil shows in not displaying the points awarded to each flower or vase in the main collection classes. In the Bowles Cup this was done, but in the Richardson Trophy it was not. How can we hope to explain to the visiting public and equally importantly the exhibitors themselves why one exhibit is better than another if there is no record of the assessed value of the flowers and their presentation. It is said that it would cause controversy; but there already is controversy and although one might not agree with the points awarded at least one would know how the judge saw the relative values of the individual flowers. I rest my case.
Many of the first-time visitors are drawn to the classes for miniature flowers and there were plenty to see at this show. It is always a good sign for a newish exhibitor when they manage to beat their mentor at a major show. Here Linda English achieved it with a pristine superbly staged entry in the six vases of three miniatures. The prizes seemed to be well spread out in this section, even Frankie Charlton won a first prize and there was me thinking he only grew them to photograph them for his catalogue. A few photographs from this section are below.
Along the side of the tent was a display of magnolias and other flowers which together with other photographs are shown below. Congratulations to our northern exhibitors Ken Harrop and Frankie Charlton for doing so well against very tough opposition. I always try to feature a few flowers which are new to the north and one to watch for is a 2W-W shown by Roger Braithwaite seedling 895 (Barbara Ann). Its photo is next to three others rarely seen in our region (only joking lads).
Please feel free to add your comments pointing out what I missed etc. using the reply facility at the bottom of this post.