Two days previously, hail and snow hit areas of London, yet on the morning of the show I walked from the local underground station with squinting eyes, so strong (and warm) was the sun. Staging the evening before makes for a relaxed start to the day; timing it right avoids Congestion and parking charges.
Androsace villosa var arachnoidea took the Farrer Medal, this being part of the AGS Sewell Medal winning 6 pan entry of Les Cheeseman. Three plants were awarded Certificates of Merit; one went to a fine plant of Daphne x hendersonii ‘Kath Dryden’, with bright rosy-red buds and deep rosy-pink open flowers. The second went to a plant of Sanguinaria Canadensis ‘Paint Creek Double’, exhibited in section B and lifted from the open garden last year in preparation for this show, this clone is similar to the normal double flowered form but the petals are very thin and attenuated. Last but certainly not least, went to a stunning pan of Asarum delavayi, like Marmite – you love ‘em or hate ‘em.
This was quite a show for Cecilia Coller as she was awarded the Mooney Cup for the most 1st prize points in the open section; the George Gable Memorial Trophy for the best pan of Ericaceae with Cassiope ‘Muirhead’and the Royal Bank of Scotland Trophy for the small Open 6 pan. Entries in Section B and C were pleasingly up this year, bolstered mainly by the relatively new exhibiting duo of Michael and Ann Morton, who not only took the Henry Hammer Cup for the most 1st prize points in C but also the Tomlinson Tankard for the most in B – a notable achievement.
The Audrey Bartholomew Memorial Spoon is awarded to the best plant from North America which this year was awarded to a statuesque plant of Fritillaria affinis var tristulis.
The London Show has a well represented Artistic section, where Sheila Brown won the Dawson Trophy with her Photographic skills and Jean Morris the Muriel Hodgman Art Award with her needle-point. So high was the quality of some of the artistic entries that two certificates of merit were awarded to paintings. The first depicted Aristolochia longa with a Southern Festoon Butterfly originally viewed on the Peloponnese and the second, a botanically accurate representation of Asarum splendens, showing all the parts necessary for identification.
Asarum delavayi, Cecilia Coller; Daphne x hendersonii ‘ Kath Dryden’, Kath Dryden; Fritillaria affinis var tristulis, Val and Dick Bathe; Sanguinaria Canadensis ‘Paint Creek Double’, John Humphries; Paintings, Ms C Jackson-Houlston.