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The last of the large RHS shows for the summer is held at Tatton Park in Cheshire. Again we exhibited dahlias and gladioli. The gladioli exhibit was awarded a gold medal and Best Exhibit in the Floral Marquee. The nanus gladioli stole the show with varieties including Impressive, Vulcano, Alba and the Charming family. We were awarded a Silver Gilt for the dahlia display. White Alvas, Megan Dean and Karma Choc were amongst the most sought after varieties.
Hampton Court is the longest of the RHS shows, opening on the Monday and closing on the Sunday. As usual for this show the weather plays a huge part, either being very hot or very wet. This year during build up temperatures in the marquee reached 29 degrees which isn’t good for the flowers. Our exhibit was finished just in time for judging at 9.30 am on the Monday. Gala day starts at 10.30 and the day culminates in a spectacular firework display in front of the Palace.
In the beautiful setting of Chatsworth House, the show opens on the Wednesday and runs for five days. This year we exhibited both dahlias and gladioli on two separate displays. The gladioli display was judged as a gold medal exhibit with top varieties being Rigoletto and Bonfire. The dahlia display was awarded a silver gilt medal which was a good achievement so early in the growing season. Top varieties here being Anna Cornelia and Pooh. Visitors loved the vibrant colours and different shapes of the cactus, decorative, ball, poms and waterlily varieties. The show is in its third year and was well attended and is growing year on year.
Chelsea is the first show at which we exhibit gladioli. This year was a good growing season, not cold and good day length and light levels. This helped to have strong spikes for the exhibit. It was an emotional show for me as my mum had passed away only a week before the show. We were also hoping to achieve a record not many nurseries had done by getting ten consecutive Chelsea gold medals. The team worked hard in the build up prior to judging on the Monday morning. Monday is also Gala day with celebrities and guest arriving for a preview of the displays. In the afternoon, during Private View, Helen and myself were privileged to meet the Queen when she came to see our exhibit. She asked about the growing and about other species gladioli which she had seen on visits to South Africa. This was a wonderful honour for us.
Malvern Spring Festival came three weeks after RHS Cardiff this year with a good break between the two shows. Our tulips had been kept in coldstore for a week due to some unexpected warm and sunny weather. Our exhibit of tulips and amaryllis were a colourful and eye catching sight as people entered the floral marquee.
We were awarded a gold medal for the exhibit with the most popular variety being Vanilla Coupe, a strong yellow double ‘pop up’ tulip.
The show season opened for us at our home show in Cardiff. The weather running up to the show had been kind to us, sunny and not too warm. Our tulips and other spring flowering bulbs were in good form. The exhibit was made up of 45 varieties of tulip for which we were awarded a gold medal. The most popular variety with the customers was Flyaway. Crowds were coming to see the exhibit and the show was a great centre piece for tulips.