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Loughborough AGS Show, 2007

Loughborough 2007 The Loughborough Spring show 2007 was very well attended with the benches fairly groaning under the weight of numerous spectacular plants in full flower. The huge effort put into local advertising by the show organisers had obviously paid off with lots of people joining the exhibitors to enjoy the feast of plants and bulbs on the benches.

Hepatica nobilis var. japonica In spite of the many showy and well grown narcissi, primulae and dionysia vying for attention on the benches the Farrer Medal went to an enviable plant of Hepatica nobilis var. japonica shown by Clare Oates. The delicate pink anthers set neatly against pure white petals looked absolutely stunning.

Fritillaria alburyana One bulbous plant to catch the eye with its beauty and delicacy was a pan of Fritillaria alburyana with seven lightly chequered pale pink hanging flowers. This plant hails from NorthEastern Turkey where it grows on stony, peaty soils and had been grown to perfection by Geoff Rollinson. It was in even better flower than it had been the previous year and deservedly won the Richard Regan Trophy for best plant in a 19cm pot.

The daffodil which I found most appealing was a pan of Narcissus triandrus concolor x ?fernandesii raised from seed by Bob and Rannveig Wallis, its pale nodding flowers full of promise for the future.

Diane Clements’ large pan full of an exquisite white form of Colchicum szovitsii was outstanding with its large, white flowers centred with glowing golden yellow, standing upright to attention. Rare and beautiful, it hails from Turkey and Iran and was judged best pan of a bulbous plant in the show. Nearby, a plant from the opposite side of the world, the South American Ipheion sellowianum, stood with its small bright yellow crocus like flowers opening under the early morning sun.

Colchicum szovitsii, Ipheon sellowianum

Saxifraga 'Coolock Gem' The winner of the Saxifrage Group Salver for best pan of Saxifraga went to a large cushion of Saxifraga ‘Coolock Gem’ with many pure white flowers closely hugging the cushion. This is rapidly becoming the ‘must have’ saxifrage for exhibitors. However I also liked a nearby pan of S. ‘Maria Callas’, a pink hybrid raised by Malcolm McGregor. A low mat of mid pink flowers with a very neat habit will make it a contender for prizes in the future.

Dionysia 'Markus', D.'Annielle', D.'Monika' Class 59 (3 pans Dionysia hybrid) contained the most densely flowered dionysia that I had seen so far this year. Three cushions of some of Michael Kammerlander’s earlier hybrids were on show from Ju Bramley. The pale purple flowers of D. ‘Markus’ contrasted well with the yellow flowers of D. ‘Annielle’ and the always reliable D. ‘Monika’.

A plant of the tantalisingly beautiful (if frustrating to propagate) Dionysia freitagii EGW91/6 was putting on a good show, as was a good cushion of Dionysia ‘Chris Grey-Wilson'.

Dionysia freitagii EGW91/6, D.'Chris Grey-Wilson'

In plants for foliage effect the long narrow silver-grey leaves of Celmisia spedenii, raised from seed in 2003 by Ian Leslie, contrasted well with the pot’s dark top dressing while nearby rose the fluffy woolly columns of a venerable specimen of Haastia pulvinaris. The winner of plant for foliage effect in Section C was a specimen Armeria maritima ‘Rubrifolia’, proving that an easy garden plant can win prizes when it is well grown and well presented.

Celmisia spedenii, Armeria maritima

Tim Lever
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