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Exhibitors' Newsletter, Spring 2006
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Exhibitors' Newsletter, Spring 2006

Early Spring 2005

You should have received this newsletter with your Shows Handbook for 2006 - once more close to the start of the season.  One of these days, I'll take you by surprise by getting it out early!  You should all have got your list of Show Dates in the Shows leaflet sent out with the December bulletin.

If you know of anyone who might be tempted to exhibit at our shows, phone or email the AGS Centre and they will be glad to send a Handbook out to the member concerned.

The big change during 2005 was the continued expansion of the Shows coverage on the internet, usually there a day or so after the show.  As well as the full results and the picture gallery of plants, you could also see a short report describing the highlights of each show.

I would like to continue this expansion during 2006 by including additional personal show reports by other members.  If you would like to do this for the occasional show, let me know and I will organise a user ID and password on the website that will enable you to submit your report and any pictures you want to include.

Anyone who takes digital pictures at a show (general views, or interesting plants) can continue to email them to me and I will display a selection in the picture gallery.

The Society website is at:

Another important feature at AGS Shows is the Joint Rock Plant Committee comprising representatives from the RHS, the AGS and the SRGC.  It meets at many of our shows and enables the recording of a widely circulated and highly respected account of Alpine plants.  In this issue, Rod Leeds, the Chair of the Committee tells us a little more about how it operates.  I would strongly encourage exhibitors with plants of interest to place them before the Joint Rock Committee and add to this diverse and informative record.

My thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of the shows during 2005 and good luck with your exhibiting in 2006.

                                                                                                       Jim McGregor

In this issue

·       The Joint Rock Plant Committtee, Rod Leeds

·       Workshop on Showing Alpines, Sunday 30 April, Jim Almond

·       The February Display, Loughborough

·       South Wales Show - back to Caerleon

·       Summer North, 30th Anniversary

·       The Online Flower Show

·       Conservation - Wild-Collected Plant Material

·       Aggregate tables for 2005

The Joint Rock Plant Committee of the RHS - Rod Leeds

This year the Joint Rock Garden Plant Committee is sixty years old. It was formed in 1936 to formalise the awards already being given to plants by the fledgling AGS. Since that date every plant given an award has been described in the AGS Bulletin (Alpine Gardener) forming a very comprehensive and unique record, of which the Society can be justifiably proud.

Each year the ‘Joint Rock’ meets at seven AGS shows (including the London show at the RHS in April). These meetings are indicated by the JR printed next to the venue in the Show programme and the Show Handbook.

Plants for assessment have to be entered on a standard form obtainable from the show secretary by 11am on the show day. It helps greatly if the exhibitor includes the history of the plant, so a full assessment can be given. If there is doubt about the provenance then the committee always errs on the side of caution. The plants do not have to be ones from the show bench, but do need to be of show condition to receive awards. The secretary of the group is Primrose Upward, who has to work very quickly to check if the plant has had a previous award and more testingly to see if there has been a name change in the ensuing years. We do try to return the plants to the show bench as soon as possible, but these checks are vital to ensure probity.

We do thank exhibitors who take the trouble to place plants before the committee. It really does ensure that plants from high alpines to ferns and bulbs are assessed and recorded. A feat looked on at quite jealously by other sectors of the plant world.

Practical Workshop on Showing Alpines - SUNDAY, 30 APRIL 2006

This workshop is the first in a new series of workshops. The day will be led by Jim Almond who is a successful exhibitor and experienced grower of alpines. The workshop will be aimed primarily at AGS members who are currently exhibiting in sections C or B but newcomers to showing, or those recently taking the plunge in the Open Section, will find useful tips on growing and preparing for a show.  Even if you do not exhibit you will still find the topics covered will give helpful advice on how to get the best from the plants you grow.

The day will start at 10.00 am and finish at approximately, 4.00 pm. Plants will be available for sale. The cost will be £18.00 for AGS members and £24.00 for non-members. A lunch will be included in this cost.  Further information and booking forms are available from the AGS Centre.

The coming season - 2006

The February Display, Loughborough

Once again the February Display at Loughborough on February 11 is to be open to the public in the hope of attracting new members to the Society.  Throughout the day there will be demonstrations of interest to experts and novices alike as well as a continuous slide show of Local Groups Members’ Gardens and plants.  Come along, enjoy a good day out and please bring plants for the Members’ Sales Table and Exhibition plants for a Members’ Display.

Refreshments will be available as usual.

South Wales Show - back to Caerleon this year

Because of problems with the availability of the Bassaleg venue, the South Wales Show has had to return to its original venue in Caerleon this year.  So take note - it is at Caerleon Community College, Cold Bath Road, Caerleon, Nr Newport, NP18 1NF.

Summer North celebrates its 30th Anniversary

The 30th Summer Show North takes place this Summer and we will be issuing special award cards to mark the occasion.

Online Flower Show

This will be an interesting experiment at the end of the 2006 Season.  It will be an opportunity for you to 'exhibit' that Farrer Medal plant that was unfortunately growing in the garden, or the prize specimen that insisted on flowering on the Wednesday between two shows!

It will also be an opportunity for international members, to participate in a ‘show’. Start taking digital photographs of your plants now and enter them in our on-line flower show at the end of the main Show season.  (Or get a friend to take the photographs - it is the plant that is being entered.)  Plants exhibited must have been cultivated by the exhibitor and photographed during 2006. This is not a photographic competition but the photograph should be good enough to display the plant’s true qualities. Full details will be posted on-line in the News Section of the AGS website.

The results of this competition will not contribute towards any of the AGS national awards or trophies.

Conservation - Wild Collected Plant Material

The AGS strongly supports the aims of CITES and does not endorse the sale or promotion of plant material that has been collected in the wild.  Such collection is seldom justified.  It is the responsibility of the exhibitor to check or monitor the origin or source of any plant exhibited on the show bench.  All members should be aware that events such as our shows are being more and more closely monitored for the presence of such material.

Newsletter Copy

If you have any brief items that could be printed in future issues of this Newsletter, please let Geoff Mawson have them.  He has agreed to act as coordinator.

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