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AGS Shows: AGS South West Show, Exeter 29th March 2014

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Started by: Margaret Young

Go to latest contribution by Jon Evans, 02 April 2014, 17:23. Go to bottom of this page.

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Contribution from Margaret Young 30 March 2014, 18:02top / bottom of page

Congratulations to Lee and Julie Martin  who had their long round trip to Exeter  for the show rewarded by a Farrer medal for their beautiful  exhibit of Narcissus obesus 'Lee Martin' - sunshine in a pot! 

Contribution from Jon Evans 31 March 2014, 22:12top / bottom of page

On the Thursday before the Exeter Show I drove to Plymouth and back to fetch my eldest son from university, dropping off the artistic section entries en route, so they could be put up on Friday night (thanks Val). 190 miles each way.  So at 6am on the Saturday morning, beautiful though the journey was, I felt as though I knew not only where the speed cameras were, but every fallen tree from the winter gales, and every badger corpse, for we have reached the time of year when they wander onto the roads, to be decimated by oncoming HGVs.  
Despite wearing a jumper and keeping the car as cool as I could, the Erythronium hendersonii flowers, still in bud the previous evening, had opened and turned to crumpled tissue paper by the time I arrived.  I don't think I will show it again; it seems impossible to get it onto the bench in good condition without an ice-box in the car.  Fortunately, since returning home to my shade frame, the flowers have recovered, and I must remember to cross-pollinate it tomorrow.
Once again I spent most of the morning accompanying the artistic judges, so it was already quite late by the time I started the photography, and I was quite focused on capturing the award plants rather than general views of the show.  Fortunately (or unfortunately), this was quite a small show, with a number of major exhibitors missing for a variety of different reasons, and I was able to finish comfortably, before the show closed.  Plenty of time to be creative, and find the angles which turn the most awkward plants into silk purses.

Saxifraga Allendale Chick

The Dartington Trophy for the aggregate in the Novice section went to Duncan Bennett, a local exhibitor who seems to be something of a saxifrage specialist.

Saxifraga Allendale Chick
Saxifraga georgei

Also exhibited by Duncan Bennett

Saxifraga georgei
Narcissus Xit

Duncan Bennett's entries weren't all saxifrages; this pan of narcissus won the Otter Trophy for the best plant in the Novice Section.

Narcissus Xit
Tulipa cretica

Moving up to the Intermediate Section, there were a number of attractive bulbs exhibited by Pauline Carless, a relatively new exhibitor (I think she got her Bronze medal last year) I haven't spoken to before; I enjoyed a short chat with her and her husband.

Tulipa cretica
Erythronium oregonum

Pauline Carless also brought this attractive erythronium. There was some debate about whether it was actually E. oregonum, or perhaps E. californicum or a hybrid - the flowers were very large, and rather yellower than one would expect from E. oregonum.  Whatever, it was a very nice plant.

Erythronium oregonum
Tropaeolum azureum hybrid

This tropaeolum seedling was exhibited by Dick Fulcher.  I would have liked to meet him and talk to him about it.  The red buds open orange and fade to cream, rather like the seedling I posted photos of here last year, but the flower shape has clear similarities with T. azureum.  
Sadly, when I repotted my seedlings, to separate the different tubers which had all bloomed different colours, the largest of the five tubers, which I suspect was the one with the red/orange/cream flowers, had collapsed, leaving an empty shell.  I hope that one day, another seedling will come for me the same colour.

Tropaeolum azureum hybrid
Hepatica Millstream Merlin

Also in the Intermediate Section, Audrey Dart showed this familiar blue hepatica.  I first saw it at this show years ago, exhibited by Robin White.

Hepatica Millstream Merlin
Primula Lindum First Kiss

Peter Summers won the Dartmoor Trophy for the Intermediate Section aggregate.  His entries included a number of good primulas, including this from the Thompsons' stable.

Primula Lindum First Kiss
Primula Aire Mist

Peter Summers also won the Cornwall Trophy for the best plant in the Intermediate Section with this Primula Aire Mist.

Primula Aire Mist
Babiana pygmaea

George Elder exhibited this South African bulb in the new and rare section.  He was delighted that it had deigned to bloom; it is tricky to get it to flower.  And what a lovely form, with these huge primrose yellow flowers with dark centres.  Probably my favourite plant of the show (or maybe that was the Tropaeolum).

Babiana pygmaea
Epimedium wushanense Spiny leaved form

Also in the new and rare section was this epimedium from Julian and Sarah Sutton.  I always like epimediums, but this was exceptional, with the clumps of cream and yellow flowers set off by the deep red spiny new leaves.

Epimedium wushanense Spiny leaved form
Petrocosmea iodiodes

From the foliage classes, a beautiful petrocosmea rosette from Mavis and Sam Lloyd.

Petrocosmea iodiodes
Fritillaria tubiformis

Every year about this time, sometimes here, sometimes at London, Peter Erskine exhibits his pan of this French fritillaria.  It always flowers at soil level, one of its charms, but one which makes it difficult to photograph.  This year, Peter was awarded a Certificate of Merit for the exhibit.

Fritillaria tubiformis

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