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Autumn Virtual Flower Show Winners

October 20, 2021

This October we run our Autumn Virtual Flower Show on social media again. The competition was open to the public for 6 days on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. On each platform our followers were invited to submit pictures of autumn-flowering alpines in three categories: whole plant, close-up and group shot category.

Many thanks to all those that made the Virtual Flower Show, run by the Alpine Garden Society, the success that it was. Special thanks go to Razvan Chisu, Rob Amos and David Charlton who ensured the process ran smoothly behind the scenes.

Several noteworthy images were shown, sadly, some of which fell foul of the rules, terms and conditions. Some great entries were made that were obviously not taken in October 2021. The rules stated that the plant had to be in the entrant’s possession for at least 6 months; those entered by Botanical institutions or retail nurseries were thought to fall outside the spirit of this ruling. So saying, very many thanks to those institutions for taking the time and effort to bring such wonderful plants to our attention (the Cyclamen are to die for !) – alas, rules are rules!

And the winners are:

Facebook AGS members group

Group of alpines: Celia Sawyer with a planting of Acaena ‘Blue Haze’ with Cyclamen hederifolium.

Close-up: Celia Sawyer with Crocus sativus, the saffron crocus – no mistaking the extremely long red stigmas which are harvested. The lilac-purple flowers with the deeper purple eye and anthers covered in yellow pollen makes this an attractive autumn flowering crocus.

Whole plant: Roma Fiddes with Cyclamen rohlfsianum, the pick of the bunch for our judge. Not an easy plant to grow, requiring protection from the worst of our winter weather. This is an exceptionally evenly, well-flowered example.


Group of alpines: Glenn Bladon with a delightful collection of alpines shown on a semi-traditional display ladder.

Close-up: Ian Instone with Cyclamen cilicicum. Chosen for its simple elegance. A shame that we cannot get the delicious, sweet honey-scent from the image.

Whole plant: Ian Instone with Gypsophila imbricata (once known as G. aretioides var caucasica). ‘Cushion’ plants form a very important role in the cultivation of alpine plants, and this is a very good example.


Group of alpines: Paddy Parmee with Colchicum x agrippinum. An old horticultural hybrid, and excellent free-flowering, easy plant for the garden.

Close-up: Sheena Hesketh with Crocus speciosus. No mistaking this either. This is possibly the form known as ‘Artabir’, with its pale violet blue petals with conspicuous purple veining and creamy white throat.

Whole plant: Morris Wright with Crocus tournefortii, a native of Crete but fully hardy in the UK. A big problem with this species is that it keeps its flowers open, rain or shine, so it needs protection to keep the flowers in good condition.

Had this been primarily a photographic competition, the judging would almost certainly have taken a slightly different course. The beautiful Crocus banaticus and Colchicum baytopiorum with the superb use of lighting, the Gentiana sino-ornata with raindrops glistening on the azure blue petals, the bee on the Gentian scabra? flowers and other ultra-close-ups could have featured more in the final reckoning.

We hope to run more ‘Virtual Flower Shows’ in the New Year, so keep an eye out for the prompt.

Thanks again,

Ray Drew (Judge)