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AGS Shows: AGS Early Spring Show at Harlow, 1st March

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Started by: Jon Evans

Go to latest contribution by John Good, 03 March 2014, 17:42. Go to bottom of this page.

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Contribution from Jon Evans 03 March 2014, 15:23top / bottom of page

The machinery of the AGS show season is finally creaking into action.  Dawn on Saturday saw us contending with more habitual show start hazards - frost and fog, rather than the floods and fallen trees of two weeks ago.

Doug Joyce was the official photographer at Harlow, making sure the show was covered properly for the AGS website and bulletin.  I assisted him, but was able to take more time with the plants I photographed, and to experiment with angles and depth of field.

Galanthus ikariae

Already the season has moved on.  At Caerleon, the hall was full of pots of snowdrops; here there were scarcely any, and only one made the short list for photography - a pan of Galanthus ikariae from seed sown in 2001 by Don Peace.

Galanthus ikariae
Crocus dalmaticus

Crocuses were still in evidence, but not to the same extent as two weeks previously.  These photos of Crocus dalmaticus, exhibited by Ian Robertson, have a very strong 3D feel to them.

Crocus dalmaticus
Crocus Middleton Cream

I found this lovely crocus in the 'Rare in Cultivation' classes.  Ian Robertson's notes tell us that it is a hybrid between Crocus biflorus ssp weldenii and Crocus chrysanthus, which originated from E.A.Bowles at Middleton house, which came to him via Ray Cobb and Alan Edwards, and is very slow to increase. 

They don't tell us how beautiful it is.

Crocus Middleton Cream
Crocus scepusiensis

The third and final crocus I photographed at Harlow was exhibited by Joy Bishop. I love the purple tips to the petals.

Crocus scepusiensis
Romulea bulbocodium var leichtlinii

At Caerleon, I photographed a neat and tightly packed pan of Romulea nivalis.  At Harlow, I found a rather different exhibit, this time from Ian Robertson; this pan of romulea looked more like a bird's nest, and the nest of a large untidy bird at that.  But what lovely white flowers, scattered in abandon.

Romulea bulbocodium var leichtlinii
Iris winogradowii

John Dixon exhibited a pan of this iris two weeks ago at Caerleon.  I don't know whether it was the same pan, kept carefully in a fridge for the fortnight, or a second pan, scheduled to flower two weeks after the first.  Either way, its presence at Harlow was a fascinating insight into the skills, and wiles, of the exhibitors.

Iris winogradowii
Iris kolpakowskiana

Another iris from the Reticulata section caught my eye; the tiny Iris kolpakowskiana, only two inches high, exhibited by Peter Taggart.  It was grown from seed collected in Tashkent, and sown in January 2009.

Iris kolpakowskiana
Iris svetlanae

As well as Reticulata irises, there were a number of Junos, including several pans of Iris reichenbachiana, and this lovely Iris svetlana from Ivor Betteridge was awarded a Certificate of Merit.

Iris svetlanae
Iris kuschakewiczii

Bob and Rannveig Wallis, who won the Open section aggregate at the show with a vast selection of bulbs, brought this little blue Juno.

Iris kuschakewiczii
Acis tingitana

As I said earlier, the season is moving on already, and Bob and Rannveig Wallis were able to exhibit this lovely Acis (formerly Leucojum).  It grows relatively easily, but is tricky to persuade to flower.  I have a form which flowers in November, but it hasn't done so for a number of years now; I suspect it needs warmer, drier conditions in summer than it has had since the cherry tree started to shade my greenhouse.

Acis tingitana
Narcissus x. incurvicervicus

At Harlow, the full flush of the daffodil season was upon us.  This lovely plant, exhibited by Bob and Rannveig Wallis, is Narcissus x. incurvicervicus, similar in some ways to the widely available commercial hybrid N. Hawera, but much more delicate and graceful.

Narcissus x. incurvicervicus
Narcissus jonquilla

Bob and Rannveig Wallis also brought this pan of Narcissus jonquilla, tall but elegant.

Narcissus jonquilla
Narcissus cantabricus

Finally, the Wallises exhibited another pan of Narcissus cantabricus seedlings, this time sown in 2004.

Narcissus cantabricus
Narcissus bulbocodium pallidus

This pan of Narcissus is one which Pam Turtle has had for a long time - the label said they were sown in 1992.

Narcissus bulbocodium pallidus

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