Spring has definitely sprung, judging by the unusually varied and colourful display of flowers greeting Horsham and District Horticultural Society members and visitors to their Spring Show at North Heath Hall on Saturday 12 April.
The show was held later than usual due to Easter being late and the unavailability of the hall other than during the school holidays.
This, combined with the exceptionally mild winter and hence early spring, had led to a drop in the number of daffodils being entered but an increase in the number and variety of other flowers being displayed, reported Show Secretary Geoffrey Kirk, speaking at the presentation of awards.
The timing of the Spring Show is always a bit of a gamble, he said, thanking all those who had supplied the exhibits to make the show a surprisingly colourful one. In all there were 128 entries.
Flower judge Laurie Apted commented very favourably on the quality of many of the exhibits, picking out for special mention Eileen Sendall’s entry in the single floral art class for her interpretation of the subject title ‘April Showers’; a cup is awarded at the Summer Show to the member gaining the most points in this class at both shows. Domestic judge Anne Cole, who has not judged at Horsham’s shows before, was equally praiseworthy of the cookery exhibits.
Presenting the cups for the first time as President, Bob Taylor, a Society member for over 30 years, congratulated the exhibitors on the quality of their exhibits and wished to express his thanks for all the work put in by many people behind the scenes to make the show a success, be it those who set up the show, provide the refreshments, run the raffle and sell plants.
He ended by wishing members a ‘more normal British summer’ without prolonged periods of very hot weather or weeks of rain, to provide a really good growing season!
The annual Chairman’s competition for the Betty Santer Cup consists this year of a challenge to members to grow the heaviest ‘Beefeater’ type tomato from seedlings given out at the Spring Show. Members will have to bring in their tomatoes for weighing in at the Society’s Summer Show to be held at North Heath Hall, St. Mark’s Lane, RH12 5PU on Saturday 16 August 2014.
This show will also include the Society’s annual photographic competition which members are asked to support more actively than in the past year or two, when the number of entries received has been disappointing.
Full details of the five subjects chosen for this year’s competition are contained within the general show schedule and can also be found on the Society’s website www.horshamhorticulturalsociety.co.uk
Other summer activities include three evening visits on the following dates: 27 May at Knepp Castle, 24 June at The Old Farmhouse, a National Gardens Scheme garden in Rudgwick, and at Durrance Manor on 15 July. Full details are in the Spring Newsletter and on the website.
Cups for the best exhibits in the various groups of classes were awarded as follows:
l Stanley Cup – for the best exhibit in the daffodil / narcissi classes: Paul Dalby
l Irene Crackston Cup – for pot plants: Hazel Bockh
l Ron Ball Cup – for cacti and succulents: Diana Hartley
l Spring Floral Cup – for spring flowers other than daffodils: Sally Birchmore
l Secretary’s Cup – for small floral exhibits: Molly Gould
l Woods Mill Cup – for shrubs etc.: Valerie Goodwin
l The Domestic Cup, for the highest number of points gained in the cookery classes, was won by Sue Hammond, who also won the Butcher’s Trophy for the best exhibit in the Handicrafts Section.
l The Weald Cup for the highest number of points gained in the whole show was awarded to Paul Dalby.
l Finally, the Jubilee Cup, awarded to the member gaining the highest number of points for items exhibited at the Society’s fortnightly meetings during the winter, went to Jean Williams.
Report and pictures contributed by Ray Hartley.