This was the first time that I have shown at Southport Flower Show and although no first prizes (only a second with my achimenes and third with a vase of mixed sweet peas) it was great to be there.
There is something exciting about going to a flower show before it has opened. It is great just to observe people staging, dressing and perfecting their exhibits. At Southport there is plenty of staging time with the amateur marque being open from Tuesday evening right through to Thursday morning before judging.
I had entered nearly all the gladioli classes, but alas I was only able to stage 2 spikes. Most of my gladioli hadn’t opened in time for Southport so I need to plant a couple of weeks earlier than I did this year.
There were some good exhibits in the championship gladioli class which requires 3 vases of 3 spikes.
The number of entries in the sweet pea classes were lower than normal probably due to the hot summer we have had causing them to ‘flower out’ sooner than normal. I didn’t have as good a pick as I had hoped but was able to put a vase of 12 mixed stems in .
There were some impressive society stands – the National Sweet Pea society scooped the award for the best stand. I was also very impressed by the National Vegetable Society exhibit.
Other notable exhibits were in the vegatables, begonias, cut flowers and roses.