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AGS Shows: South Wales Show 2015

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Started by: Jon Evans

Go to latest contribution by Yann DUPONT, 20 February 2015, 21:58. Go to bottom of this page.

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Contribution from Jon Evans 17 February 2015, 09:14top / bottom of page

The first show of the year always comes on us a little unexpectedly.  Exhibitors complain that they had plants at the turn of the year, but not now; if only the show was next week.  For me, I have to check that the sensor of my camera is clean, the settings are sensible, the memory card is empty, and the battery and spares are charged.  I empty and repack my camera bag, trying to make sure everything is still there that is meant to be there. 

Getting up at 6 to set off for the show is harder than it is later in the year.  This year, instead of frost and dawn sunshine, we had patchy fog all the way down the M4 from Reading to the Severn (a wonderful view down the bank of the Severn of chimneys and wind turbines sticking up through the mist in the thin sun).  At least we didn't have to struggle to find a route to Reading avoiding fallen trees, the way we did last year.

Crocus pelistericus MESE 380

When I am show photographer, I always choose a plant to practise on whilst judging is finishing.  This has to be a plant which didn't win its class, and isn't likely to be picked out by the judges for any of the awards.  Photographing it allows me to check the way I have my table and background is set up, what the lighting is like - whether there is a colour cast from hall lights, and whether I need a reflector or my LED panel, whether the tripod is the right height, and what I want the camera controls set to.  At Caerleon, I chose this lovely crocus exhibited by John Dixon.  It is renowned for being a fantastic deep purple, and for being distinctly difficult to cultivate (look it up, but I believe it needs cool moist conditions during the summer).  In recent years, a few exhibitors, notably John, seem to have found a way of satisfying its requirements.

Crocus pelistericus MESE 380
Crocus sieberi PJC215

I always try to photograph first those plants whose condition is likely to deteriorate during the day, so I started with a succession of crocus.  In fact I got it wrong, and missed a lovely pan of Iris Sindpers with 5 flowers, two of which had gone over by the time I came to try to photograph it, and a lovely pan of Romulea hirta. 

Whether the season is early or late, it seems this pan of crocus, exhibited by show secretaries Bob and Rannveig Wallis, is always in perfect condition for this show.  I have photographed it on several occasions; always stunning.

Crocus sieberi PJC215
Crocus vitellinus

By contrast, this pretty little golden crocus is one I haven't photographed before.

Crocus vitellinus
Colchicum hungaricum

Jim McGregor was awarded a Certificate of Merit for this familiar old friend, which is another regular at this show.

Colchicum hungaricum
Colchicum hungaricum albiflorum

By way of contrast, here is the white form of the same species, exhibited by Pauline Carless.

Colchicum hungaricum albiflorum
Amana edulis

Lee and Julie Martin showed a neat compact pan of Amana edulis.

Amana edulis
Crocus chrysanthus Herald

David Richards exhibited a pan of the C. chrysanthus cultivar Herald.

Crocus chrysanthus Herald
Crocus chrysanthus

By contrast, Peter Furneaux's pan of C. chrysanthus was grown from seed.

Crocus chrysanthus
Crocus etruscus

This was another pan familiar from previous years, C. etruscus exhibited by Jim McGregor.

Crocus etruscus
Crocus etruscus

A notably different form of C. etruscus, shown by Ian Robertson, from seed sown in 2004.

Crocus etruscus
Pleione humilis

Also in Ian Robertson's small 6-pan entry was this early Pleione.

Pleione humilis
Crocus cyprius

Moving on to the class for one pan of crocus, this was a delicate little entry from Ian Robertson.

Crocus cyprius
Crocus danfordiae

Another lovely little crocus in the same class, shown by John Dixon from seed sown in 2010.  OK, it wasn't John Dixon's; I think it was probably exhibited by Peter Taggart, but if anyone else wants to claim it, please let me know.

Crocus danfordiae
Crocus biflorus subsp nubigena

Winner of the class, and of a Certificate of Merit for its grower, was this familiar exhibit from Robert Rolfe.

Crocus biflorus subsp nubigena
Crocus gargaricus

One last golden crocus, exhibited by Peter Taggart.

Crocus gargaricus

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