…gone. Only with a silent auction, that doesn’t happen. Participants write their bid on a sheet of paper and when the auction closes, the highest bid wins.
Roses from Catherine Penny made the journey from distant Lancashire and an Agapanthus via a circuitous route from Fairweather’s in the depths of the New Forest. More direct sources included Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Longstock Nursery, Val Le May Neville-Parry (Clematis), Peter Catt, Pollie Maasz (Hemerocallis), the Savill Garden, Loseley Park(Iris) and Hampshire Group chairman Doug Smith.
Each bidding sheet was headed up with some history of the plant, size and growing conditions and there was some serious bidding.
Two ladies fought it out for Rosa ‘Souvenir de Mme Leonie Viennot’ taking it right up to the final call for bids; Hydrangea paniculata ‘Savill Lace’ a new cultivar raised at the Savill Garden was very popular and Clematis heracleifolia ‘Chris’, named for Val’s late husband attracted a lot of attention with one of our regular Hampton Court volunteers wanting it for her husband Chris and being pipped at the post. Alan Titchmarsh helped get the bidding going and managed to get three plants by the end of the session. By the end of the afternoon, only one plant remained and this is when we were glad we had asked for a phone number. The successful bidder had got as far as Stockbridge, but came back to pay for and claim his prize.
Mercy and I both bid for Hemerocallis from Pollie, but didn’t pay enough attention to how it was going and ended up empty handed. Maybe that’s how it should be – like competition rules which exclude employees or family members from entering.
Some happy auction winners
The auction raised almost £700 and with the seed shop run by our regular volunteers Janet and Judith, we took almost £800. Many thanks to all the donors and buyers.