Tag Archives: Spring Show

Winning Photos

Here’s my photo selection from the Spring Show were I won a trophy for most points. The theme was “Home and Garden”.

Top left was in the class “Playtime in the Garden” and features my daughter, Chloe, having fun with the bubble machine. It got first prize and some nice comments from the judge.

Top Centre is a photo of my dog Polo; the only photo that qualified for “Animal/Birds in the Home or Garden”. Not surprisingly unplaced.

Top Right was stretching the category as it’s not my garden but Mottisfont Abbey near Romsey and in my eyes qualified as a photo of a “Garden Feature”. No points for this one either.

Bottom left won second prize for a “photo of a plant in a container” – Snake’s Head Fritillary which is now planted in the garden among the daffs.

Bottom centre was a toungue-in-cheek entry into the “photo of a wheelbarrow and garden tools” class. I entered this with the caption “sometimes gardening is a messy business!” The judge agreed saying gardening was “organised chaos” at the best of times and gave me a first.

Bottom right is a picture of Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat, Mumbai, India. Entered into the class “Washing Day” with the caption “And not a packet of Daz in sight!”. Although this was my best picture it was stretching the theme somewhat so didn’t score.

So two 1sts and one 2nd prize was enough to win the section and pick up the trophy. I’ll try again next year!

Spring Show Results

It was my local Horticultural Society’s Annual Spring Show on Saturday which provided lots of colour on a lovely afternoon at the Village Hall.

I picked up a couple of 3rd places in the five Daffodil classes I entered. And received the Arthur Symns Trophy for most points in the Photography section. Chloe won the Children’s Cup for her Easter plate and drawing of a princess – she ended up with more prize money than I did with £7, and there was no buying raffle tickets, it all went straight in her money box – very wise indeed!

Click here to see a selection of photos from the show.

And what fantastic weather we’ve been having recently. Back on the plot I’ve been making the most of it. I’m pleased to report the long parsnips are up – Stage 1 complete! And they were Linford Christie parsnips in the germination stakes – sowed on February 20th they took around 30 days to come up (I’m not sad enough to be checking daily, yet!). Just waiting for the long and stump carrots to emerge now. I also sowed a few rows of parsnips direct in the bed.

Then I re-assembled my two plastic cold frames to cover some lettuce seedlings and carried on with some more digging and sowing. All the brassica seedlings are coming on well in the cold greenhouse and the chillies and tomatoes are doing OK on the bathroom windowsill. I’m going to sow a second batch of tomotoes this week to see how they compare. Then next month I’ll move onto the tender veg, cucumbers, squash, courgettes etc. A very busy time!

Hope you had a good weekend and are making the most of the extra hour in the evenings. Doesn’t it make a big difference?

Update – I managed to win Craig’s competition over at Dyke’s Edge Allotments. Thanks Craig! I must remember to get that Euromillions ticket, they say things come in three’s!!

Little Helpers

Spring had definitely arrived today with some glorious afternoon sunshine which made it a pleasure to be out in the garden. And I had two little helpers with me to make sure I was doing all the jobs properly!

The daffodils are out in full bloom and the tulips are coming through nicely both in the flower bed and in the pots. Around the garden there’s forsythia, primroses, hellebores, pansies, lungwort and heather all flowering. In the veg plot there is no sign of the parnsips germinating yet. I’ve also sown long carrots in pipes and stump carrots in a couple of old dustbins. Fingers crossed I’ll get some decent specimens in the summer.

The broad beans are doing well, as are the onions that were overwintered. I’m still digging up parsnips from last year but there’s no sign of the PSB yet, hopefully it will start to sprout in the next couple of weeks, it’s one of the great treats at this time of year.

Under cover all the brassicas are at pricking out stage – cauliflowers, cabbage, brussel sprouts, PSB, and calabrese. There’s a tray of Red Orache, mangetout and sunflowers germinated and I’ve just sown some Burpee’s Golden Beetroot in modules this afternoon. So much to do now for the next few weeks to keep up with everything.

And I’ll be even busier this year after meeting a chap in the next village who is happy to share his garden veg patch with me. I’ll be able to do the heavy digging work and we’ll share the crops so I should be self-sufficient in veg through the summer and autumn months this year.

It’s the Winterslow & District Horticultural Society’s Spring Show on Saturda 26th March. If you’re in the area pop into the Village Hall from 2pm to take a look at the exhibits. I may even enter a few myself this time!

Spring Show……The results are in!

Today was the Winterslow & District Horticultural Society’s Spring Show and the local village hall was full of flowers and other exhibits. I couldn’t go last year and this year the entries are significantly down so I can only imagine what it would be like on a good year.

I managed to get one entry in, 5 daffodils (3 varieties), but now I’ve seen the categories I could have entered 3 or 4 more classes. I won 2nd prize! Rach entered a Victoria sponge, although had a bit of a disaster with the edge of one half breaking away slightly but she managed to patch it up and also won a 2nd prize! That will go down nicely later with a cup of tea! So not bad considering we weren’t going to enter anything just before the deadline.

My daffodil varieties were St. Keverne, Ice Follies, and an unknown variety I planted a couple of years ago.

Entries were 50% down this year due to the harsh winter putting the spring flowers back so far.

First and second prize in the flowering shrub went to a Mahonia Japonica (should have entered mine!).

Nice collections of spring flowers.

The baking section.

This flower arrangement won a first prize in the “arrangement for Easter” class.

This arrangement took second prize.

This arrangement won the “fun without flowers” class.

Last, but not least, were the children’s entries, decorated eggs, welly boots, Easter hats and bunnies!

I’ll definitely be trying some more classes next year and can’t wait for the summer show now as I did really well last year.

First though I’ve got my sights on the Salisbury Community showin early July. The schedule is out now so if you live around Salisbury why not give it a go? See you there!

A nice day off……

Had a day off work today to catch up with a few jobs round the house and garden. My last post said I was giving up on this year’s Spring Show but I’ve been talked into entering one of the classes as entries are only half what they were last year (Rach is also entering one of her lovely Victoria sponges). So first job was to get some daffs cut for the class of 5 daffodils, three varities. I’ve grown three varieties of daffs, St. Keverne, Ice Follies and Fortune plus there’s a few random ones scattered around the garden already. So now there’s a dozen cut flowers in water and I’m hoping they will be in full bloom for tomorrow.

I’m really pleased with the daffodils in the front garden, they’ve started to bloom at last!


I wanted to do a tidy up of the flower beds and noticed that I do have a hellebore growing, just the one flower, despite what I said in my previous post. Hadn’t noticed it before, I have no idea when I planted it!

I noticed the smaller of my two Japonica’s was still in flower (the larger one flowers in Autumn).

I tidied up the herb containers ready for some new arrivals in a couple of weeks.

On the veg front everything is growing on well. I planted some broad beans that I’d grown in toilet rolls and noticed that some of the ones I’d sown direct ages ago are just starting to poke through the soil. I dug over the main bed that I manured a few weeks ago so that can settle ready for some salad potatoes that I’ll put in next weekend. No sign of my exhibition carrots yet but all the salad veg I sowed under the cold frames has germinated nicely.

Strange going’s on in the onion bed though. I covered the shallots and onions with one of my mesh tunnels to stop the birds pulling them out. Now a hole has appeared at one side of the mesh tunnel and something, I presume a rat, has tunneled underneath two of the onion rows and there’s a couple of tiny carrots lying on the soil surface. So this creature must have found a couple of tiny carrots in the soil I’d dug over in one of the other beds and dragged them through it’s tunnel in my onion bed. Weird! I replaced the soil and put back the one onion that had been dug up so no damage done really.

Finally I noticed this spring bulb in one of the beds, does anyone know what it is?

Spring Show……I give up!

It turns out I don’t know my trumpets from my doubles, my multi-headed from my large cup, the list goes on! I didn’t realise that showing spring flowers was so complicated. Add the fact that only a couple of the 100 or so daffs I planted in Autumn are starting to show themselves and apparently I should have already cut them in preparation for Saturday’s show. To heap misery on the situation the tulips are weeks away and I don’t even grow hellebores or container primulas. I give up!

So I will just be a spectator come Saturday afternoon rather than in the running for a 1st or a cup. I’ll have to wait for the Summer show to take on my local rivals!

Embrace the Dark Side

In previous years I’ve just grown veg, now I’m embracing the dark side and having a go at growing flowers. It’s a pretty miserable day here and I’ve been left alone to look after the girls. Rach is off at a local NCT sale helping out and trying to make some spending money for our holiday.

So in between nursery rhymes, painting, stories etc I thought I’d sow some flower seeds. I moved the operation indoors and the dining table became a temporary sowing area. I’ve recently received some seeds from Maureen which was amazing and a very kind offer. She has collected them from her garden, something which I need to learn to do this year! And put a little note on each packet to help me. There’s a whole host of them, some I’ve never heard of, so it’s exciting to learn more about them and to see their progress. Here’s the list:

Mixed Sweet Peas
Marigolds
Red Orach – hardy vegetable like spinach and deep red leaves mean it can be used as an ornamental border plant.
Mixed Dahlia’s
Sweet William – to be sown direct outside
Cenrinthe Major pururascens
Nasturtium tom thumb mixed
California Poppy ‘Golden Values’
Pumpkin Rouge Vif d’Etamps
Tomato Gardener’s Delight

I’ve sown all but the Poppies and Sweet William in a mixture of trays and pots filled 3/4 full with moist multi-purpose and topped with seed compost. After sowing I’ve covered the larger seeds with a thin layer of seed compost and the smaller ones with just a sprinkling of vermiculite. Then into the sink to soak up some water and then onto the windowsill. Job done!

Most of the seeds sown so far are up and well away with the first true leaves on the cauliflower, calabrese, onions, sunflowers and lettuce. I have some peppers and chilli seedlings coming on and waiting for the courgette and squash to germinate. I’m really pleased that all 3 cucumber seeds I’ve sown have come up as the seed I use, Dobies Carmen F1, is quite expensive at £3.75 for 6-8 seeds (although I do get 50% discount on that price ordering through my local Horticultural Society). If they survive the pack of seeds has latest me two seasons and I will manage to give one plant away each year as I only need two plants in the greenhouse to be self-sufficient in cucumbers from May-October (and we eat a lot of cucumber!). So all in all good value.

A week to go to our local Spring Show and my daffs are nearly there.

I’ve never entered, or even been to, the Spring Show before so have no idea what I’m doing other than what’s on the schedule. I was hoping to enter some of the flowers I planted as bulbs back in the Autumn. There’s a dozen daffodil classes of various sizes and types, a couple of tulip classes (no chance for me as mine are only 3″ out of the ground), flowering shrub, primula and a few other classes such as collection of spring bulb, mixed vase of cut spring flowers etc. Then there are handicraft, homecraft, photography, art, flower arranging and junior sections. We’ll see how it goes, I need to get my entry form in a couple of days beforehand so I will wait and see what I’ve got in the middle of next week.

Here’s the Plot Defender aka “Polo”, my dog, a rescue Staffie cross. He hasn’t featured on this blog before. He likes sticks and proving how destructible so called indestructible toys are (I used to have a Staffie as a kid, Grip, full pedigree name, Grip ‘The Dandy’ III – he used to chew up a car tyre in a few weeks!). Polo’s dislikes are cats and pigeons so he makes a great defender of my patch of earth.

Whilst I’ve been typing Chloe has been busy practising being the next Jackson Pollack!