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AGS Pershore Show - July 2010

AGS Pershore Show - July 2010
After a long cold winter followed by an extremely dry spring it was surprising how much flower appeared on the show bench.

As usual much was supplied by Campanulas, especially the newly fashionable ‘Baby the Spirit’, a white large flowered hybrid with reflexed petals. An old favourite, not so often seen was C.pusilla while a new name to me was C.pelia. The invaluable ‘Crook’s Campanulas’ is the only mention of this species, (it is not mentioned in Graham Nickol’s new book) Crook records it as awarded AGM 1950 but clearly doubts the name, regarding it as synonymous with C.thersala. Beyond dispute however is its monocarpic nature. A couple of interesting Campanulaceae were also shown – Platycoden grandiflorum ‘ Sentimental’ and Adenophora wetiatae as reminders that both these genera are as splendid as they are overlooked. 

It is odd how plants come in and out of fashion. When I joined the AGS over 30 years ago dwarf conifers were commonplace, but for nearly 20 years became unfashionable, but have made a sudden return in just the last 2-3 years, to the extent that there were 9, 3 pan entries in the 6’ pot class and not a weak entry among them, the judging took ages.

One of the strengths of the July show is the number of curiosities shown. Two very strange Pelargoniums barely recognisable as such were P.tetragonum and P. auritum subsp. Carneum – but are they really alpines?

As usual several odd South Americans were on the bench - Junellia morenonis, Adesmia corymbosa (a tiny legume), Nototriche macleanii (remarkably in flower) but I doubt if ever these will become common. The one everybody admired however was Gentiana szechenyi from Quinghai in china whose flowers were like G. deprena but with totally different foliage.

On a more mundane level was a splendid Lewisia ‘Ashwood Pearl’ – but how did the exhibitor get it to flower so late in the year?

Bulbs in mid-summer are few but Rhodophiala advena from seed showed the colour variation within this species, while a pot of Androcymbium striatum 10 years from seed ex the Drakensburg caused much discussion among the judges.

No Farrer medal was awarded, the best plant in show was a Trachelium asperuloides, which was felt to fall just short of the standard required. This belonged to Eric Jarrett, who on being told announced to the assembled judges that lunch was cancelled amid much laughter!

Richard Hancock.

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