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AGS Shows: Early Spring Show Harlow 2nd March 2013

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Started by: Jon Evans

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Contribution from Jon Evans 06 March 2013, 13:00top / bottom of page

After the fine display at Caerleon, I was optimistic about the prospects for the Early Spring Show at Harlow, though a weather forecast of unremitting gloom meant that photography was always going to be difficult. Doug Joyce was the official show photographer, and I was acting as his assistant, fetching and carrying, and taking my own shots, and in particular close-ups, of the plants I liked. Doug was using a handheld LED panel to provide additional light, so it will be interesting to see whether his shots turn out better than mine.

In the event, the show benches were rather sparse, particularly in the large pan classes,and there wasn't the usual array of Farrer medal contenders competing for attention. However, there were a lot of interesting and attractive plants to photograph. The quality of these images isn't quite as high as those from the last show - mainly because of the light, or lack of it (for Caerleon we had beautiful spring sunshine), because of the freshness of the plants at Caerleon, but also perhaps because there is some indefinable knack which invests my photography on some days, but deserts me utterly on others. Nevertheless I hope you enjoy them.

Looking at the six pan classes, there were no entries for the large or small six pans of rock plants, or the six pans of rock plants in the Intermediate Section. However, there were entries for six pans grown from seed won by Bob and Rannveig Wallis, and for six pans of monocotyledons, won by Don Peace with six pots of snowdrops.

Galanthus Blonde Inge

One pot of Don's six pan entry stood out - this graceful snowdrop with yellow markings. Inge is certainly a lady to look out for.

Galanthus Blonde Inge
Galanthus gracilis

Elsewhere Peter Taggart exhibited a nice pan of Galanthus gracilis.

Galanthus gracilis
Galanthus nivalis poculiformis

Cecilia Coller produced this attractive poculiform form, which always looks more like Olsynium douglasii than a snowdrop to me.

Galanthus nivalis poculiformis
Galanthus Straffan

Lee and Julie Martin exhibited the pick of the large pans of snowdrops.

Galanthus Straffan
Iris Sindpers

For some reason I have never managed to get good pictures of this iris before, here exhibited by Lee and Julie.

Iris Sindpers
Iris Frank Elder

Sticking with irises, Don Peace won the Farrer medal with this large pan of Iris Frank Elder. Personally, I feel that this would look better with more space, and half the number of flowers so that the individual blooms could be seen. Packed pans like this may be a testament to the skill of the grower, but they don't make elegant pictures.

Iris Frank Elder

I'm not going to comment on whether Don, who had driven 3 and a half hours to get to the show, makes an elegant picture. But he was well rewarded for his endeavour, winning the points aggregate for the Open Section, as well as the Farrer medal, and the Ivor Barton trophy for his six pans of snowdrops.

Iris zagrica

At the other end of the scale, here is a little cutie in solitary glory - Iris zagrica exhibited by Andrew Ward. Very hard to expose to capture detail of both the pale blue uppers, and the deep purple markings on the fall.

Iris zagrica
Colchicum luteum Golden Baby

Peter Taggart staged a non-competitive display of a wide variety of unusual bulbs, including three forms of Colchicum luteum. One, C. luteum Vahsh had large rather ungainly flowers; this form was much more appealing. Peter showed a third, tiny form, which remained stubbornly in bud during the show; I suspect that might be my favourite if I saw it open.

Colchicum luteum Golden Baby
Crocus gargaricus

Also from Peter Taggart's non-competitive display.

Crocus gargaricus

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