Hampton Court Best Show Exhibit 2011 and the best of the rest

Joanna, Stephen Bennett, Gillian

Today, on behalf of all the exhibitors, staff and volunteers,  Joanna Jones and I accepted the award for Best Show Exhibit in the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2011 from Stephen Bennett, Head of RHS Shows.  We received a vase which will be engraved with the names of all the Collection Holders exhibiting this year.

Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard this year to make the Plant Heritage Marquee a memorable experience.  I have tried to put something on the blog most days during the show and I will finish up with some images of those collections I haven’t already covered.  In alphabetical order;

All week I have been gazing over at the Agapanthus  from Dick Fulcher of Pine Cottage Plants with their huge heads of deepest blue, through sky blue to white.  Lorna Fulcher is shown here titivating the plants on her display.

One of my favourite plants, Primula auricula, was being displayed by Bob Taylor along with his Astrantia.  Both of these plants have flowered exceptionally early this year, but Bob still managed to have a many types of Astrantia on show and even a few Primula  among the display of these plants in art.

Russell Coates of Langley Boxwood in action during one of our popular workshops on Care of Topiary, demonstrating how to care for your box cone.

At least 12 years ago I rang a telephone number in a small ad in the back of The Garden magazine and spoke to Keith Hayward about the Canna he had for sale.  I still remember being incredibly impressed at how helpful he was even though I was just wanting information about these plants.  It’s great to now be involved with Keith and Christine as they exhibit their plants and Christine, you lead a mean rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’

Dahlia,  one of those plants which really has come back into fashion, always look at their best at Hampton Court and National Plant Collection Holders, Winchester Growers put on a wonderful display.  I only wish they were in Winchester, a bit closer than Penzance, to go and see them in the flesh.

Dahlia 'Tommy Keith'

You may already have seen a picture of Vicky Fox of Plantagogo with Alan Titchmarsh on Press Day, but this is a close up of their stand.  I don’t have enough shade in my garden to grow Heuchera well, so I get my fix at shows.  See you at Tatton Park.

Hosta, with not a slug nibble in sight, and enough variety to enthuse the most faint hearted of us were on show from Mickfield Hostas.  Mel also inspired the public with her worshops on how to succesfully grow hostas.

Photogenic Mrs Sandy Worth is a regular with her straw hat and poppies.  Even though they are not in flower, there is always a queue to buy plants from Sandy’s display.

Our new TV star Jane Lindsay of Tynings Climbers, is still speaking to us after her impressive performance on the BBC coverage of the show on Thursday evening and her wonderful plants speak for themselves.

Passiflora 'Debby'

Tale Valley Nursery , another first time exhibitor with us at Hampton Court and their  display of Rhodohypoxis, pink and white perfection drew many compliments.

Paul Gardner’s Sarracenia, those plants which must inspire Dr Who monster creators, were helping to keep the insects down in the marquee and being watered with the deluges of rain which fell on Wednesday and Thursday.  I mean this literally as the marquee wasn’t quite as waterproof as we might have hoped.

Sarracenia x mitchelliana

Dibleys Nurseries also featured on the BBC on Friday evening and we sent many visitors over to their stand to buy a Streptocarpus ‘Isabella’, which we had shelved on our Library of Garden Plants display.

Streptocarpus 'Isabella'

Last but not least, Veratrum, an unusual plant collected by Mrs JG Owen MBE.  This plant is deadly, but may also contain a compound that helps treat brain cancer.  Who is to say what else the living pharmacopoeia that are the National Plant Collections will throw up?

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