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AGS Shows: Early Spring Show Harlow 2017

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Started by: Jon Evans

Go to latest contribution by Tim Ingram, 08 March 2017, 22:28. Go to bottom of this page.

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Contribution from Jon Evans 05 March 2017, 21:42top / bottom of page

The Harlow Show on Saturday was magnificent - far better than it has been for several years.  The sales hall was crammed with nurseries - two of which overflowed into the corridor between there and the show hall.  I'm told there was brisk trade in lunches and cups of tea; I was too busy at the other end of the school to experience this first hand, but I was able to liberate a plateful of judges' lunch, and cups of tea reached me regularly thanks to Steve Bratley, Mike Sullivan and the ladies in the kitchen (plus a Mars bar and a cheese sandwich in case my energy was fading). 

Also in the corridor between plant sales and the show hall was an AGS bookstall, the seeds, and a series of four plant and photographic exhibits which could be viewed before the show was open.  In the afternoon, Bob Wallis delivered a lecture on spring bulbs which I was sorry not to have time to attend, particularly since he had borrowed a number of my photos, and I would be interested to hear what he had to say about the plants.  All of this so far down to the exceptional efforts of the Show Secretary Kit Strange and her helpers. 

But impressive though it was, that is not why I described the show as magnificent.  In recent years, with difficult growing seasons, the show itself has been rather sparse; not this year.  The show benches were well-furnished with alpine plants of all kinds, with the early genera (Galanthus and Crocus) giving way slowly to Narcissus, Fritillaria, Primula allionii and Saxifraga.

Display of Spring Bulbs

But first, the exhibits.  The first one you encountered on the corridor was a display of spring bulbs from Jacques Amand International, featuring large pans of Iris, Fritillaria and other genera.  The display, backed by their sales stand, was in a rather gloomy area, which made it hard to capture a photograph which did it justice, but it was full of interest, and was given a Silver Award.

 

Display of Spring Bulbs
Photographs taken around Lake Van in Eastern Turkey

Next was a display of photographs by David Livermore of the plants, people and landscape around Lake Van in Eastern Turkey on an AGS trip led by Chris and Basak Gardner in May and June 2011.  This was given a Silver Award.

Photographs taken around Lake Van in Eastern Turke
Photographs of Californian Native Flora

Also given a Silver Award was a display of photos of Californian Native Flora featuring Calochortus in particular, taken by Solene Dequiret, a recent or current student and friend of Kit Strange from Kew, who spent two weeks in May and June 2016 exploring California on a travel scholarship.

Photographs of Californian Native Flora
Display of Mixed Alpines

Finally, near the door of the show hall, was a wonderful exhibit staged by RBG Kew of mixed alpines, which featured many terrific plants including some excellent and unusual irises.  This display was given a Gold Award.

Display of Mixed Alpines
Porphyrion Saxifrages

Inside the show hall was a terrific non-competitive display of Porphyrion saxifrages by David Hoare, mainly smaller plants which he couldn't find a class on the bench for, but demonstrating really clearly the range of colour and form available from this group of plants.  This display wasn't judged; I believe that was an oversight rather than David's intent.

Porphyrion Saxifrages

One of most impressive things about this show was the range and quality of plants in the Novice and Intermediate sections.  The numbers speak for themselves.
-              Open: 343 plants from 36 exhibitors
-              Intermediate: 126 plants from 11 exhibitors
-              Novice: 27 plants from 5 exhibitors.

Galanthus krasnovii

This snowdrop was exhibited in the Novice Section by local member Deborah Leonard.

Galanthus krasnovii
Galanthus Peardrop

Carolyn Millen is relatively new to exhibiting, but she has a huge collection of snowdrops, and came up from Maidstone with her husband John and a car full of snowdrops (hers) and saxifrages (his), to stage in the Intermediate and Novice sections.  This is one from the Novice section; she won section aggregate.

Galanthus Peardrop
Synthyris missurica

One final plant from the Novice section, exhibited by Philip Walker.  I know it is only small, but it was a neat, elegant exhibit and provided a good opportunity to photograph it in flower.

Synthyris missurica
Galanthus Anne of Geierstein

Moving on to the Intermediate section, we encounter more snowdrops from Carolyn Millen, including this one which won the Geoff Smith Salver for the best pan of bulbs in the Novice and Intermediate sections.

Galanthus Anne of Geierstein
Galanthus Ben Warwick

Also from Carolyn Millen

Galanthus Ben Warwick

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