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AGS Shows: Early Spring Show Harlow 26th February 2011

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Started by: Jon Evans

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Contribution from Jon Evans 27 February 2011, 22:32top / bottom of page

Our journey to Harlow was marred by wet roads, intermittently heavy rain, and roadworks along an extended section of the M25. It was a relief therefore, to arrive there and find the rain let up long enough for us to ferry the plants into the hall in the dry. The only slight concern was parking . . . on the grass.

A brief skirmish in the plant sales area was accompanied by worries about the gloomy weather, but in the event, by the time judging started the light had improved considerably. Doug Joyce, a good friend and fine photographer, was doing the official photography, with its attendant lists of plants which must be photographed, so although I was helping, I had a little freedom to experiment.

As a result, I spent a fair amount of the day using my macro lens to take close-ups, and experimenting with depth of field, though the macro was replaced by my normal zoom lens when I agreed to photograph the plants put up for consideration by the Joint Rock Garden Committee, to ease the workload for Doug.

John Richards had travelled a long way south to bring a number of excellent plants, including several Asiatic primulas not often seen at shows in the south of England. Here are Primula Arduaine and Primula Tantallon.

Not really close-ups, but at least I was free from the requirement to take pictures of ?whole plants?. Another of John?s plants offered me the sort of subject I was looking for. Here is Ypsilandra tibetica; first photographed in normal AGS style with plenty of depth of field, then experimenting with a much larger aperture.

On the same lines, here are two versions of Scilla Indra exhibited by Jean Rich, both cropped slightly too tight. I think I prefer the second.

A close-up of Anemone hortensis, exhibited by Robin White.

Next up was another of Robin?s plants, from the same three-pan exhibit; Hepatica Americana.

I was a little disappointed with these; they didn?t really capture the beauty of the plant. Here is a ?whole plant? image from later in the day, to try to show you what I mean.

Robin also brought a beautiful, and amazingly early selection of Erythronium hendersonii called ?Pacific Clouds?. I took a lot of close-ups of it; later in the day I found it had been awarded a Certificate of Merit, and an Award of Merit from the JRGC, so I took some pictures of the full pot as well.

Similarly, I took close-ups of Gymnospermium odesanum, exhibited by Ray Drew, again experimenting with depth of field. Later, it had been given a Certificate of Merit, and a Preliminary Commendation by the JRGC.

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