Thursday, 14 March 2013

AGS Harlow Show

At this time of year the experts who meddle with miniature blooms are having their moment in the sun; revelling in their alpine gems and racing up and down the country to attend one of the many Alpine Garden Society shows. One of the first in the calendar is the Harlow Show in Essex, and last Saturday several Kew students headed up there to help out, ‘do our bit’, and assist staff from the Kew Alpine Nursery. This is the first such show I have attended, and it was dashed good fun! The highlight was undoubtedly seen in the main hall, which was resplendent with row after row of pristine alpine specimens all displayed by amateur growers and AGS members from across England. The competition is broken up into classes, such as ‘1 pan Fritillaria’ or ‘3 pans Primula’, with each exhibitor offering up their best plants for any category of their choice. The judging process takes about an hour, with a rabble of old alpine experts thrashing it out amongst themselves, and the atmosphere getting somewhat heated in the process! A truly splendid specimen of Gymnospermium albertii (see previous post) was on show, and won a ‘Certificate of Merit’ for being judged one of the most outstanding plants on display. Unfortunately I was unable to find one in the plant sales next door, but did come away with a beautiful Adonis amurensis from the chaps at Edrom Nursery. I hope you enjoy these following spring gems, and if you are interested in witnessing such splendour first-hand there are many shows left on the calendar (see here). Back to the tropics next for more Palm House glory!
The Farrer Memorial Medal for best plant in the show was won by this mass of Iris ‘Frank Elder’

Glorious variation in colour from Ranunculus calandrinioides

Hepatica japonica ‘Utyuu’

Crocus sieberi subsp. sublimis ‘Tricolour’

The dainty stripes of Crocus reticulatus subsp. reticulatus

This is the Adonis amurensis, cheery blooms and fascinating foliage

Crocus x jessopiae, selected and named by the great plantsman E.A. Bowles

Heads held proud above the foliage, Crocus chrysanthus ‘Ladykiller’

Crocus malyi, crisp and elegant!

An explosion of colour and form in one pan! Crocus abantensis

Crocus minimus provided one of the best colours of the day, and the dark hints on the outer petals are a joy!

Some creative eggs displayed their gems with stone dressings. Outstanding efforts as seen here with Callianthemum anemonoides!


Wife, Mother, Gardener said...

This post makes me realized that I really love crocuses... and I.reticulatas.... and spring in general. :) C. 'Tricolor' is actually poking its head out in our circle lawn this freezing, cold day.

C.subsp. reticulatus is a new one for me! Thanks!

Jane Aston said...

Gosh how splendid they all are. It's still freezing here, most odd. I could do with a Palm House to escape to.

Share my Garden said...

Oh, Bertie, flower appreciation is so particular - for me 'Frank Elder' looks like a piece of washing that got in the wrong wash. But the stripey crocus is a must have!

Anonymous said...

Would I EVER love to have seen those gems!!!!

Bertie Bainbridge said...

Greetings all!