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Started by: David Hoare

Go to latest contribution by Tim Ingram, 31 March 2012, 08:17. Go to bottom of this page.

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Contribution from David Hoare 23 August 2011, 11:34top / bottom of page


Plant Sales from 10am Show open at 12noon Refreshments all day. AGS Members Free, Public £2 Admission

There will be 8 Nurseries attending.





They will be pleased to bring orders along to the show


Could Exhibitors please help the show stewards and pick up there unwanted class cards, this helps making room for others and spacing out exhibits.

Back in March we picked up over 50 unwanted cards and we had over 40 late entries.

We look forward to seeing you at the show

David Hoare (Show Secretary)

Contribution from Tim Ingram 23 September 2011, 09:13top / bottom of page

Further to David's description of the Autumn Show South.

The Shows are undoubtedly the finest 'shop windows' for the Society, but this is only so if a much wider range of enthusiastic gardeners can be attracted to them. Combined with this is actually enthusing them to join! This must imply new and more effective ways of advertising the Shows and a real buzz of excitement for newcomers (ie; things going on like demonstrations, short talks; really good plant sales drawing on a wider range of plants than necessarily traditional alpines; more information about our gardens; and so on and so forth).

The fact that relatively few new members join at the Shows (which after all are the 'kingpins' of the Society) is something of an indictment of our ability to exploit them effectively. So in Kent we are trying to do various things to broaden the appeal to visitors (as probably do many other Shows). Personalising the welcome to the Show is, I think, a good idea because it draws on our individual enthusiasms rather than the more general image of the Society. Thus the posters below, which can be used on the entrance tables along with literature and plants and flower arrangements. A second method is using a much wider distribution of 'flyers', simply to inform far more gardeners in the area about the event. This is controversial because of cost, but done well and professionally could have a long term impact on increasing the profile of the Society (in combination with other forms of advertising).

The third approach is to let visitors know about future events, whether Shows, Garden openings, or Conferences. The drive of all this is to consider the interests of potential new members as much as we do the present membership. Or, of course we can not do this and assume that the great professionalism of the Society will always draw in new members? But I doubt the effectiveness of this over time.

Contribution from Tim Ingram 23 September 2011, 09:24top / bottom of page

The above image could be used as a simple Show 'flyer' on A6 card at relatively reasonable cost. I don't expect any comments but they would always be welcome!

Contribution from Tim Ingram 25 September 2011, 03:20top / bottom of page

A quick summary of the Show from my perspective more as a gardener than exhibitor:

It was a good day, the sun shone and even if a little quiet in terms of entries to the Show, the plants were as great as ever and some of the artistic exhibits extremely beautiful. A few of us (!) were tempted greatly by the plants available from the nurseries. Amongst the remarkable variety always grown by Robin White at Blackthorn was a new species of Geranium, lasiopus and the the Chinese shrub Leptodermis oblonga. Robin also grows a small and exquisite form of the little iris acutiloba subsp. lineolata, which I intend to try outside on a sand bed next spring. Nigel Rowland from Long Acre had some superb ferns along with his usual intriguing range of woodland plants. Those that found their way into my box included the Californian Polypodium scouleri, little Woodsia obtusa and the very fine Andrachnoides standishii. Beautifully grown plants by a fine nurseryman. Little Heath Farm (John Spokes) are unusual in growing many fascinating woody plants, as well as alpines, and had the interesting early flowering Abelia mosanensis which was new to me. Nicely scented and with very good red autumn colour, this looks a very worthy shrub for the garden. John also grows many North American alpines from seed, which are a fascination of mine too. Keith & Rachel Lever had their as ever wonderful and exciting variety of plants, always something new and interesting. By now my box was beginning to overflow! I am assured that Dryas integrifolia 'Greenland Form' doesn't actually require glacial meltwater to thrive (!), and another very different plant was Tuberaria lignosa, a small subshrubby relative of the cistus with yellow flowers but really the most attractive foliage. Choice Landscapes had a fine range of alpines including Saxifraga 'Hare Knoll Beauty', which lived up to its name with a second flush of pink flowers. Robert Potterton, Rannveig Wallis and Jacques Amand also had some good plants, and especially bulbs, and I think like most Shows this combination of plants on display and really enticing specialist nurseries makes for a most enjoyable day for those of us captivated by our gardens and plants.

Despite this we still find it very hard to capture the attention of a wider number of enthusiastic gardeners in the region, and are trying to question more why this should be and how we may begin to attract a greater audience. The answer must lie in many directions, but fundamentally in looking to the interests of those gardeners who are not members, as much as we do to those who are, and in convincing gardeners of the great benefits that come from viewing plants in a more thoughtful and insightful way.

There were a number of most remarkable plants on display, but not having a camera with me it would be much better (anyway!) to look at the images put on the AGS website by Jon Evans. however, I couldn't take my eyes off an extraordinary and superlative specimen of Cyclamen graecum, this time not grown by Bob and Rannveig Wallis but by Ian Robertson.

So a thoroughly enjoyable day and we look forward to next spring where the wonderful variety of plants should inspire us to spread the word of the Show more widely, and maybe liase more across the Society in thinking of new ways of convincing gardeners that we are a pretty interesting lot!

Contribution from Chris McGregor 25 September 2011, 23:06top / bottom of page
Show Flyers

Earlier in this discussion thread Tim suggested the option of creating 'show flyers' to publicise a show. Supplies of A5 size pre-printed colour flyers are available from AGS Centre and these can be personalised with your own show details. If show secretaries would like the option of something similar in an A6 size - let me know and we can design one.

Contribution from Jon Evans 25 September 2011, 23:12top / bottom of page
Judging in progress

As Tim has pointed out, the benches on Saturday, were rather sparse, and there was much debate through the day as to why this was. Two main reasons were proposed, at least to me; firstly that it provided further indication of the damage inflicted on many collections of bulbs, and cyclamen, by the rigours of last winter, and secondly that the curious season this year in the south of England, with a desperately hot and dry spring meaning that many bulbs which survived the winter died down early, and didn't store the resources to flower well. My own plants were either in peak condition a week ago, or will be another week before flowering, and this was certainly the case for other exhibitors as well; there were several pots with tiring flowers, and others with many buds to come.

Judging in progress
Oxalis flabellifolia

Nevertheless, among the plants which were brought there were some exceptional specimens. The first to greet the eye as you passed the Artistic Section and entered the main part of the hall was a small pot entered by Colin Rogers in the Beginners Section of a beautiful and wonderfully compact (perfectly grown) South African oxalis, O. flabellifolia, awarded a Certificate of Merit.

Oxalis flabellifolia
Hessea stellaris

In the Open Section there were many other pots of South African bulbs, exhibited mainly by George Elder, who went home with a hatful of seconds and no first prizes, mainly because many of the plants were either past their best, or not fully out.

Hessea stellaris was second in its class, probably because the flowers were just starting to wilt, but this was poor recognition of the achievement in getting it to flower so well; neither I, nor several other members who grow South African bulbs can get this to flower at all.

Hessea stellaris
Massonia pygmaea ssp. kamiesbergensis

More familiar perhaps is the genus Massonia, with its heads of white shaving brush flowers nestled between pairs of glossy leaves; this is Massonia pygmaea ssp. kamiesbergensis, again exhibited by George Elder.

Massonia pygmaea ssp. kamiesbergensis
Romulea autumnalis

When judging was completed, George's South African Romulea autumnalis was resolutely closed, with tightly furled bunches of stripes giving little indication of the wonder which was to appear little more than 30 minutes later.

Romulea autumnalis
Polyxena longituba

Fortunately, you do not get this problem with Polyxena. George exhibited 4 different species. The first is Polyxena longituba, which has been appearing at autumn shows for a long time, but until recently was often wrongly named.

Polyxena longituba
Polyxena ensifolia

Secondly we have Polyxena ensifolia, a plant with a larger, showier bunch of flowers. Unfortunately George's potful was staggering out, and only two bulbs were fully out.

Polyxena ensifolia
Polyxena maughanii

Thirdly, the tiny Polyxena maughanii, a personal favourite. George exhibited a pan with over a dozen bulbs in, spaced out to allow room for the leaves to develop, though at this point each plant, with its pair of leaves ant little bunch of flowers is only about the size of the top joint of your thumb.

Polyxena maughanii

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This discussion Thread: AUTUMN SOUTH SHOW 24th SEPTEMBER 2011 - To make contributions or to send emails to other contributors Login

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