The chairman opened the May meeting of The Dawlish Garden Society by welcoming members and visitors. She thanked all volunteers at the recent plant sale held in front of the Strand Centre for growing and donating such a splendid array of tomato, veg and bedding plants. Together with larger plants from Dawlish Garden Trust a significant amount was raised which helps to offset the expenses for the forthcoming Produce, Flower and Craft Show planned for Saturday August 11th.
Flower of the month was won by Andrew Peters with a lacy Sambucus, the raffle was won by Kirti Sime, a trio of speciality jams.
Roy Halsey, an accredited RHS Rose and vegetable society judge, was introduced as our speaker this evening – his subject was appropriately Preparing for the Local Show.
One of the most important factors Roy stated was timing. Especially with potatoes, as depending on variety they will take 12,14 or 16 weeks to grow into fine specimens that you will be proud to exhibit. So check the date of the show then count back and start planting. Once you have produce to show, pick and choose the best, with spares just in case. All items must be clean, no holes or damage, certainly no fork marks from digging up your prize vegetables. Again read the schedule to check how many items constitute the category – usually an odd number 3 or 5 for instance.
The same criteria apply to showing flowers, conformity is the key. Choose 3 blooms of similar size and shape, with the stems and foliage visible as this gains more points, labelled with the variety where possible.
Show judges aren’t allowed to touch the exhibits so staging of your entry is important too, all flower heads facing forward attractively and shown to their best advantage.
Roy judges at shows around the country and is in demand as there are fewer judges these days and sadly fewer shows to judge. He remarked he was pleased that Dawlish still had a thriving show. He then took members questions which ranged from Cherry Tomatoes grown for taste to Rhubarb which is classed as a vegetable.
Next meeting is Snap, Bang, Wallop – Garden Photos with Impact on Thursday June 28th at The Manor 7.15pm. All welcome, members £1, visitors £2 to include raffle and refreshments.