On the M5 to
The Farrer Medal was a hotly contested affair between a huge Trillium rivale (Lee & Julie Martin), a beautifully well flowered Dionysia ‘Andreas’ (Paul & Gill Ranson) and a large Primula allionii ‘Crusader’ (Mike & Christine Brown) which in contrast to many such forms on the benches was able to show its individual flowers off without them being crowded by their neighbours. The Trillium won on a close penalty shoot out making this Lee and Julie’s second already in 2010!
For the second consecutive show David Hoare’s saxifrages won the large six pan class. A mammoth mound of Saxifraga ‘
The small six pan class was awarded to Eric Jarrett with four assorted, and superbly presented, cushions (Dionysia termeana and D ‘Bernd Wetzel’, Androsace ciliata and the rare Saxifraga quadrifaria) and two excellent primulas: P ‘Blindsee’ and P ‘Jo Jo’. After a break of some years necessitated by a move of house, Eric has been able to stage a successful come back, a feat which others have found difficult to achieve.
The Veitch Trophy for three pans of bulbous plants was won by Bob & Rannveig Wallis with Fritillaria gibbosa, F crassifolia subsp crassifolia and what they view as the best of the Gageas, Gagea fibrosa, since it has the biggest and pertest flowers in the genus. Sadly, Peter Erskine, the holder of this highly contested award was not able to defend his title because of the late season.
The show schedule is heavily weighted towards Primulaceae classes, so it came as no surprise that as well as winning the Peter Edwards memorial trophy for most points in the Primulaceae classes, and the East Devon Trophy (best plant in a 19 cm pot) for Dionysia ‘Gheist’, Gill and Paul Ranson also took the overall aggregate in the Open Section for the second year running.
The judges liked three particular plants enough to award Certificates of Merit. These were to......
a particularly large flowered Fritillaria crassifolia subsp crassifolia (Wallises) which has cloned up well to produce a large potful;
the stunning red form of Anemone biflora (Ivor Betteridge), which he had raised from seed
and the Dionysia ‘Andreas’ (Ransons) which came so close to the Farrer Medal.
As in the open section, the major awards in the Intermediate and Novice sections were won by a spread of exhibitors. The overall winner of the Intermediate section was Tony Hale of
In the novice section, the Dartington Trophy (most first prize points) was won by a local exhibitor, Richard Horswood of Honiton, and best plant by another local: Mike Quest of
The Exeter Show is also graced by an artistic section which is greatly enhanced by the natural overhead light of this modern exhibition hall. Jon Evans’s superb photographs were untouchable and won him the Open aggregate. It is definitely worth taking some time to watch Jon in action at the shows because most of the pictures on view were carefully crafted from photographs taken on show days. Ju Bramley was a worthy winner of the Intermediate Section.
On returning home, the day had obviously been fairly warm and the first newly arrived solitary swallow perched in the garage that evening reminded us that summer is not far away.