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AGS Shows: Kent Spring Show 2017

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Started by: Jon Evans

Go to latest contribution by Jon Evans, 17 April 2017, 21:34. Go to bottom of this page.

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Contribution from Jon Evans 17 April 2017, 21:34top / bottom of page

The Kent Show this year meant an earlier than usual start for me - I added an hour to my journey by detouring via Petersfield to collect my stepfather David Philbey.  It was well worth it; he thoroughly enjoyed the day out, and spent most of it talking to old friends in the show circles.  Everyone helped him; I even found Jim Macgregor giving him a hand back from the toilets.  Several very kindly brought plants for him to replace those he has lost recently; thanks to all of you for that.  This is the first time I can remember for a long while when he has gone through the day without an afternoon nap; he was so full of the show that he talked about it all the way home.

At the entrance to the main hall, outside the room housing most of the plant stalls, were three nurseries under a glass roof.  That worked well later in the day, but at 8am I was greeted by a decidedly chilly Tim Ingram, wrapped up against a nippy northeast wind, trying to arrange plants on his sales table.  Also outside were Plantbase and local Madrona Nursery.  By the afternoon the weather was a bit more clement (the sun was out) and Gillian had taken over from Tim - here she is talking to Jude Lawton from Plant Heritage and that nice chap from Plantbase (Graham ?).

Inside in the warm, there was a sales and information table from the Saxifrage Society, with some excellent plants from David Hoare and Tony Hale.

Also inside, Aberconwy, Parham Bungalow, Jacques Amand and Pottertons, and some seeds for sale (correction: from Derry Watkins, Special Plants), who also brought a few plants for display, including this lovely white form of Geranium maderense.

I should point out that I took these pictures of the plant sales at the end of the day, not in the morning when it was busy.

The main hall provides a spectacular show venue, with wonderful light.

Around the seating and food area were an array of craft sales tables, an interesting exhibit from RHS Wisley which was given a Silver Award, and one more plant sales table.  When I approached the last with its auricula theatre, there were three ladies sitting chatting in the middle, on stage as it were, but when they saw the camera they dived for cover.

Behind these two displays were the artistic classes, featuring four paintings by Rannveig Wallis, and four paintings and five pieces of needlework by Jean Morris, and last but by no means least a single entry in the Intermediate Section by Andrew Ward.

The show benches were comfortably populated, if not as full as they might have been, and there were some excellent plants.  When two shows take place on the same day, there are always a few exhibitors who might have travelled the length of the country who instead attend the other show, and a date on Easter Saturday will also cause problems for a few.  A show schedule designed for mid to late March also meant a few sparse classes, and others which were crowded.

It was great to see the usual contingent of visitors from across the channel.

Doug Joyce was the official show photographer on the day, but I ended up setting up a 'studio' on a table near him and taking pictures for this forum.  Because I was not working from the official list, I managed to miss a lovely Kalmia polifolia f leucantha from Gemma Hayes, which won the Longfield Trophy for the best plant in the Intermediate Section, so my apologies to Gemma for that.


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