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AGS Shows: Summer South 2016

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Started by: Diane Clement

Go to latest contribution by Martin Rogerson, 31 May 2016, 12:12. Go to bottom of this page.

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Contribution from Diane Clement 29 May 2016, 10:33top / bottom of page

Congratulations to Vic Aspland who won his first Farrer medal at Summer South yesterday, with an immaculate pot of Daphne jasminea.   

Contribution from Jon Evans 30 May 2016, 21:51top / bottom of page

It was a beautiful sunny morning when we left home early on Saturday morning, driving down past the beech hangers to Petersfield to collect my stepfather David Philbey.  Looking south from Petersfield there was a high haze, which developed as we drove south and west into a noticeable mist on the top of the hills, with a hint of a change of weather in the offing.  Nevertheless, when we arrived the day was warm and more or less still. 

The hall was reasonably well furnished with plants, and they were surrounded by a combination of photographic displays by David and Christine Hughes, and a local group photographic competition which I had been asked to judge, involving classes for panels of 3 photos and supporting text to form an informative display.  Together the displays and the competition formed an excellent backdrop to the plants, and a reminder of the contribution photographs can make to the appeal of a show to visitors.

Tristagma nivale f nivale F&W 10284

For once, I had a few plants of my own to enter, but as usual they didn't meet the exacting standard required in the Open section these days.  I entered this Tristagma (botanical interest only !) in the 'rare in cultivation' class.  I grew two seedlings from Flores and Watson seed sown in September 2002, but this is only the second time they have flowered.

Tristagma nivale f nivale F&W 10284
Rhodohypoxis baurii

Among my other offerings was a small pan of Weldenia candida, which had presented 8-9 flowers all week; on the day of the show it produced precisely one!
The best of my other exhibits was this pan of Rhodohypoxis baurii - an unnamed small deep pink clone which I obtained originally from Aberconwy nursery.  Like most of my rhodohypoxis it has suffered badly over the winter from the predations of rats - a year ago there were 150 corms in a rather larger pan, now just 65.  It took me a week to establish that the rats were climbing up the outside of the greenhouse and entering through the louvres (now fitted with defensive chicken wire); in that time I estimate that I lost about 2500 rhodohypoxis corms, including all or nearly all my stock of some very slow cultivars which I had been building up for 15 years.  Since then I have trapped and killed 6 rats in the garden, and poisoned a lot more, and seem at the moment to have resolved the problem.

Rhodohypoxis baurii
Merwilla dracomontana

Still working around the judging, the next plant I photographed was this unusual ex-Scilla from the Drakensberg, exhibited by Dot Sample.  Smaller and daintier than M. plumbea, my guess is that this must have looked fantastic a week or so ago, and it is a plant I would love to grow.

Merwilla dracomontana
Iris lineata JJA 590.625

Diane Clement exhibited this lovely iris originally collected by Jim Archibald as a plant new in cultivation.  It provided the first suggestion of the problems I was to have all day. Although when you looked outside the breeze was barely stirring the leaves on the trees, I was working in an open doorway, and there seemed to be a constant flow of air into the hall.  If you look closely the first close-up isn't quite sharp, and it was the best of four I took.  
In retrospect, I should have pushed up the ISO setting on the camera to get faster shutter speeds, but my first Canon digital SLR performed so badly at higher ISOs (even 400) that I now have an ingrained aversion to using them, when in fact on my current model it is hard to see much deterioration in quality until you reach ISO 1600.

Iris lineata JJA 590.625
Lewisia rediviva

Alan and Janet Cook raised this lewisia from seed.  I thought that I should photograph it early, in case the flowers deteriorated through the day, but in fact it still looked beautiful at 4pm.

Lewisia rediviva
Paracaryum racemosum

Also raised from seed, this time by Martin and Anna Sheader, this is a great favourite of mine for its delicacy.

Paracaryum racemosum
Gladiolus miniatus

Still in the seed-raised classes, this gladiolus exhibited by George Elder was mostly over, with just a few individual flowers left for the interest of a few like-minded exhibitors.  In the breeze, it proved impossible to take a satisfactory close-up of any of them, swaying around on two-foot stems.

Gladiolus miniatus
Calochortus albus

George Elder entered three pans raised from seed with this fabulous Calochortus, accompanied by two alliums (following).

Calochortus albus
Allium cassium

Raised from seed by George Elder.

Allium cassium

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