Pre-Show Checks

Well the countdown to the village show run by my local Horticultural Society has well and truly begun. It’s 6 days away so I’m going around the garden checking on progress and seeing what I think will be ready for the big day. For last years write-up click here.

The main classes are Master Gardener and Society Top Tray.

Master Gardener (display space 24″ x 24″) – One vase of flowers and 3 vegetables from the list. One from Sweet Peas – 9 of any variety, Gladioli – 2 of any variety, Dahlias – 3 of any variety, or Perrenials – 9 of any variety. And 3 from Runner Beans – 6, Cabbages – 2, Cauliflower – 1, Carrots – 3, Onions – 3, Peas – 6 (pods), Potatoes – 6 (one variety), Tomatoes – 6.

I didn’t enter this class last year as I wasn’t growing any flowers, it’s most likely going to be glads or dahlias with runners, carrots and potatoes I think. Or I don’t enter again this year and pool my best veg in the other classes. Decisions, decisions…..

Society Top Tray (display space 18″ x 24″) – 3 vegetables from the list:- Carrots – 3, Onions – 3, Parnsips – 3, Peas – 6 pods, Potatoes – 3 one variety, Runner Beans – 6, Tomatoes – 6. I’ll probably be relying on parsnips, runners and spuds for this one, possibly carrots if I have enough decent ones.

The Dahlia bed is looking good. I should be able to enter some of these into the show. The varieties I’m growing are Shooting Star, My Love, Firebird, Hayley Jane, Kennermaland, Vancouver, Black Cat, Le Baron and Pompon Flow Mix (various small ball types). In containers I have Bristol Stripe, Babylon Bronze, Atika, Kenora, Purple Gem and Kelvin Floodlight. For more Dahlia posts click here, here and here.

This is Shooting Star.

Hayley Jane.

Le Baron.

Black Cat.

The Gladioli are looking good, should have some ready at the right time.

Courgettes are a tricky class as I need three around 6″ long with flowers.

I need two cucumbers, they have their own class and can go into the salad veg selection.

The squash will go into the any other veg and selection of veg from my garden categories.

Peppers will go into the selection of veg category. Possibly some of the aubergines and chillies too.

The pumpkins are doing well. I’ve grown a couple of plants from the seeds Maureen sent me, the variety is Rouge Vif d’etamps.

And Chloe and I were in the garden harvesting the plum tree which produces hundreds of these tiny plums. Chloe loves them!

Don’t forget my free Land’s End Gift Voucher and Seed giveaway that I launched earlier this month. All you have to do is leave a comment on the post, just click here. I’ll be drawing the gift voucher winners and despatching the seeds towards the end of the month.


15 responses to “Pre-Show Checks

  1. It looks like you’re on track for the show. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you, though I don’t think you’ll need any luck, everything looks amazing.

  2. Thanks Jo we’ll see there’s a lot of luck involved with the timing.

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  4. Personal opinion…

    …with all the effort and the planning…

    ….you’ll walk it Dynamo!

    • Thanks Mal we’ll see. My onion disaster has dented my confidence, I’m not even entering the below and over 250g category and they are a veg that you can enter into the top classes Master Gardener and Top Tray so it’s limited my options. Still I’ll give it my best!

  5. It all looks wonderful and I’m sure that whatever you enter will do well and be among the winners.
    The week before a show is always a bit fraught which makes me glad that I’m helping behind the scenes and stewarding on the day rather than exhibiting except possibly as a late entrant!
    I’d be no good in the courgette class that’s for sure!

    • Hi Flighty, I’m sure you’d win if you entered. It’s a bit of rushing around the night before and the morning of the show but I quite enjoy it. Not sure I’d like to organise one though!

  6. Good luck!

    Ironically I received a flyer through my door from the local Horticultural Mafia here (the one’s who made it clear I wasn’t welcome) about their Bank Holiday show. I’m thinking of picketing it (but probably won’t, unless I get drunk, and get someone to video it).

  7. Your dahlias look great and your marigolds look just like ours. I’m sure that you’ll scoop a prize with your collection! Look forward to seeing the cup!

  8. If you don’t win something thing it’s all fixed and the judges have been given blood money!! You have some of the fabulous-est flowers and veg going! Best of luck xxx

  9. Good luck this weekend with the show! It’s our village show tomorrow also, and we’ve (foolishly? bravely?) entered our tomatoes, runner beans and sweet peas in for the first time. We only have a small number of single-variety classes in our local show – I’m not sure if that makes it easier or harder to plan! Any hints or tips? I think as long as we can harvest same-sized tomatoes at the knuckle they should be okay, and we have to figure out what to pin our runner beans too and hope again that we find six sufficiently straight ones of the same length! I think it’s the sweet peas that worry me most… I have no idea how to display half a dozen sweet pea stems for judging. Presumably they are looking for long stems and the more blooms per stem the merrier. But I don’t know whether they should all be cut to the same length, or staggered in height to show the individual blooms better, or how many colours to choose… ho hum… Any pointers gratefully received!

  10. Hi, I’ve been working all afternoon and evening preparing for our show, just finished dressing my shallots! Not sure about flowers as it’s the first year I have entered those categories. With sweet peas I think you’re right, long stems and more flowers, I think mine have 3 flowers per stem. Re display if you don’t set up too early you can look at how the others have done theirs or ask for advice when you get there. Maybe there’s photos on line you could look at. With the runners wrap then in damp kitchen towel with elastic bands to straighten them a bit. I struggling a bit this year as I’m spreading myself across so many classes and I grow a bit of everything so I sometimes don’t have enough volume to get a decent set. Don’t just go for the biggest, it’s the matching of the set that is key, try to get them all similar, not easy at all! I’ll do a full write up later in the weekend. Best of luck!

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