Sweltering in the Forest

The New Forest Show in Hampshire is a “proper” agricultural show – from coiffed cows to ferret racing to metasquoia-dimensioned leeks – it’s huge fun. We arrived early on what turned out to be a blisteringly hot day last week and checked out the Flower Marquee where two Collection Holders were exhibiting. Pine Cottage Plants, on its first outing to the New Forest Show, had won a Gold Medal for a cool blue display of agapanthus, which, if anything, were better than their Hampton Court Palace Flower Show exhibits (which won a Silver Lindley medal). http://www.pcplants.co.uk

The Sir Harold Hillier Gardens were also exhibiting and staff were working hard to enthuse visitors to visit the glorious gardens, not too far away from the Show.

We marvelled over leeks that could have doubled as marquee tent poles and parsnips of unimaginable length and inedibility, before the heat drove us out in search of local ice-cream and cider.

My salesman of the day award went to a cheerful young man demonstrating a muck rake at the entrance to the horse arena. He was finding plenty of opportunities to demonstrate its superior qualities!

We also enjoyed the vintage tractors and ancient agricultural machinery, all in working order, and demonstrating activities that would make a Health n’Safety officer’s hair fall out … particularly the unguarded circular wood saws. Teams of shiny heavy horses thundered round the main arena pulling wagons, craftsmen worked hazel hurdles, blacksmiths hammered iron bars into tools and a hot looking lady in period costume burnt rock cakes in an antique stove (I think that was probably an accident).

A great day out – heartily recommended for anyone who is in doubt as to where milk and lamb chops come from, and everyone else who enjoys meeting people who are really enthusiastic about their trade and materials.

Below: images from the Show

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