Alpine Garden Society

01386 554790
All topics Members' On-Line Discussion, All discussion threads for AGS Shows

AGS Shows: London Show 2012

To make contributions or to send emails to other contributors Login

Started by: Jon Evans

Go to latest contribution by Margaret Young, 15 April 2012, 19:25. Go to bottom of this page.

Long threads are now split into pages: Page 1 of 8:    (1)   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   next

Images on this page are shown as thumbnails. Click on an image to enlarge it.

Contribution from Jon Evans 12 April 2012, 14:33top / bottom of page

Another London Show has been and gone. The car boot is empty, and my hall is full of debris, and boxes I need to store in the loft until next year. I don't have official counts of the number of plants exhibited, but I believe this year's show was probably the best supported for many years; the benches looked full, without the patches where we spread plants out to fill the space, and there was a riot of colour. The artistic competition made an attractive backdrop which attracted a lot of interest, and although the entries there were down on the last few years, the space was filled with an exhibit of photos of Alpines in Gardens which proved popular with the public, and showed them which of the plants on the bench were growable in a garden situation.

I am a little disappointed that despite the number of visitors with cameras, no photos have appeared here or elsewhere on the web, except for the few that Jim McGregor has posted on the show results page. Fortunately I took some myself with my compact camera on the second day of the show, when the plants were flagging, and I was physically and mentally exhausted, so don't expect perfect pictures, but I will be able to give you some idea of the show later on, when I have had a chance to do something with them.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank some people publically for all they did to make the show such a success.

First of all the exhibitors; it is not easy to exhibit plants at the London Show - you have to drive into central London on Monday, or very early Tuesday morning, and then on Wednesday evening to collect your plants, by which time they will be looking distinctly weary. Many of the exhibitors themselves looked distinctly weary by then. I would like to pick out Ian Robertson, who brought a car-load of entries including several large cyclamen in from Shaftesbury on the Monday evening, which made a big contribution to the variety of colour in the hall. I hope that his plants didn't suffer too badly, and that the rather dodgy assignation in a lay-by near Swindon Wednesday evening, to collect them from the van returning to Pershore, went without a hitch. Particular mention must go to Cecilia Coller and her husband, who somehow, despite ill-heath and a withering frost the Thursday before the show that destroyed several entries, managed to drive in from Norfolk to central London with nearly seventy plants in the little white van. We did everything we could to help them, but it was still a tremendous effort in difficult circumstances, and she thoroughly deserved to sweep the board of the major awards.

I would like to help all the judges, stewards and helpers who were there on Monday for set-up, Tuesday and Wednesday for the judging, stewarding, show photography, show reporting, providing care of the plants and information to the public, selling books and seeds to the public and dealing with a most wonderful range of enquiries, and in particular those who helped move plants, take down photos and pack everything up on Wednesday night. It is an enormous help that many of the exhibitors who arrived early to collect their own plants at 5pm when the show closes then stayed to help us round up and move plants for those who can't make it until later on. I know how hard you all worked and I would like to thank every one of you; I couldn't run the show without this support.  Under this heading I need to make particular mention of my wife Helen, who came to help all day Sunday and Monday, and before and after work on Tuesday and Wednesday, keeping me organised and sane, and making cups of tea, cake and biscuits for me, exhibitors, judges and stewards throughout the setup and break down of the show.

These are uncertain times with the RHS London Shows, and there were difficulties in the run-up to the show, and rumours of potential changes in the future, but I would like to thank all those overworked RHS staff in the halls for the period of the show, who helped to make sure everything went without a hitch, managed to get the halls cooler overnight than I can remember them being before, which helped a lot to preserve the plants, and even worked out how to close half the blinds on the roof, when the sun was threatening to cook some of the plants.

Finally, I would like to thank Jim and Chris McGregor (ably assisted by Jackie), who went to enormous, unseen lengths to make the show a success. Not only did they bring the van down from Pershore full of books to sell, but they spent the whole of Monday persuading exhibitors at the Cotswold Group show to send plants down to London with them, so the layers of boxes of books were topped with another layer of plants to exhibit. Thanks also to those who permitted their plants to be borrowed in this way; it makes a terrific difference to the show. For their return journey, packing the van was even more difficult, as they had agreed to take all Ian Robertson's plants back to Swindon (fingers crossed). Today will be spent unpacking and re-packing the van, and returning all these plants to their owners; tomorrow they are judging at the Chiltern Group show; Saturday they are going to Chesterfield. When you wonder, perhaps, why queries to Pershore don't get prompt responses, or changes seem slow on the website, try to remember how much work these two do every week for the society. Thank you again Jim and Chris.

As ever, I hope to see more exhibitors next year; the show is very dependent on a few stalwarts. Sometimes unkind comments are made at other shows suggesting there are 'easy' firsts to be had at London, because of the reduced level of competition. You are wrong; there are no easy firsts to be had - they are earned the hard way. The judges will not award a first unless the exhibits are of sufficient quality; if you want to see more competition, then enter yourselves, and find out yourselves how easy they are to collect.

Contribution from Martin Rogerson 12 April 2012, 18:59top / bottom of page

Jon, a wonderful description. After that the pictures will almost be superfluous. Just reading it has made me exhausted, must go and sit down :-))

Well done and thanks from one who can't get there for putting in all that work. Much appreciated.

Contribution from Jon Evans 14 April 2012, 17:01top / bottom of page
Views of the Show

I would like to start with a few views of the show. The great thing about London is the number of visitors we get from outside the society. These photos were taken with my Fuji compact, in some cases at high ISO, so quality is far from ideal.

Views of the Show
Artistic Section

One of the great things about the show is the Artistic Section which provides a splendid backdrop to the show. There are more classes, and entries, at London than at any other show, because we have plenty of space. I would like to walk you down that wall of photos and paintings.

Artistic Section

Long threads are now split into pages: Page 1 of 8:    (1)   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   next

This discussion Thread: London Show 2012 - To make contributions or to send emails to other contributors Login

Go to top of this page
Discussion Topic AGS Shows
All topics Members' On-Line Discussion