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Countdown
to the National Show   2017

Phil Champion
National Society Champion 12 Cut Blooms1016
British Begonia Champion 12 Cut Blooms 2016

Week 1     Week 2     Week 3     Week 4     Week 5     Week 6     Week 7

 10th.August  - 1 Day to Go

Well we are now down to hours before I start getting blooms ready for the 240 mile trip to Shrewsbury just over a 4 hour drive.
Large tubes already to be filled (A), cut flower solution all mixed up and ready (B). My rather large boxes all filled with a substitute cotton wool (C). One bloom went down over night Burnout (D), but still have a good amount to pick from.
This seedling has a petal out of place (E),  I will try to move it at midday, it may damage it but it could be worth it but then again it could just end up in one of the other classes I've entered.
Watering this morning it looks as if I could pick a few that were destined for the North West show (Southport) next week (F) so have plenty to choose from.
2 birds came in trying to give me a heart attack this morning I'm now just pacing up & down wishing for a cool day clock watching, think I'll go to the pub.


Large tubes ready to be filled (A)


Cut flower solution (B)


Boxes ready (C)


Burnout edged (D)


Edged


Seedling (E)


Bent petal


Bit early for Southport (F)


Southport next week


Eva Grace


Anniversary


Tom Brownlee

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Week 7  7th. August

Well as I walk into the glasshouse today (Sunday) with 5 days to go I can now afford a little smile. At last things are looking up, weather for the next few days are perfect, no heat wave in sight anywhere in the country. That means there should be no excuses for anyone not being able to to submit an entry to the National show this year. Yes that means you and you even if it's just 1 bloom or plant, Imagine if 50 additional members just bought 1 bloom or plant each it would be some show for the public.

It amazes me that every year varieties can be good one year and rubbish the next. For me Charlotte is a complete waste this year, Sweet Dreams - normally a yearly banker and 12 plants grown struggling to find a decent one but that's Begonia growing for you.
The picture of the whole glasshouse is of 3 benches, most of the blooms for the National are on the back bench. Just so you can gauge the size of the blooms you can see a picture of a Bali-Hi with a blue circle round it, this is a 9 inch diameter circle. The remaining look at the moment they could be used for the North West Show at Southport. The rest of the pictures are random blooms that look like they could make the grade and end up on a bloom board at Shrewsbury.

So that's it now the fun can begin I can honestly say it's not about winning it's just being able to take part in showing the public my hobby. See you there hopefully, if you can't find me find the nearest beer tent I'll be there.


Three benches


Back bench


Bali-Hi with 9 inch circle


Colin Hamilton


Missy


Early cutting Tom Brownlee


Joyce Mihulka


Nichola Coates


Jennifer Wilson


Joyce Champion


Falstaff


Anniversary

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Week 6  31st. July

Getting closer to the show and I thought I'd got through the worst, how wrong could I be. A Blackbird flying around the greenhouse and yes from a great height left his mark (1). Plants still hitting the big outside Gypsy with next to nothing (2) and one of my seedlings not up scratch (3).
Next the heavens opened and the greenhouse sprung a leak (4), hopefully this will dry out. This one seems to have rot in the stem not sure if this will last till the show (5).
Finally something got hungry it didn't wait around for it's photo to be taken, but trust me it didn't escape.
2 weeks to go I just hope things improve because at the moment It's all a bit of a struggle.


Got a chance


Will it, won't it


Is there enough petals?


From a great height (1)


Nothing there (2)


Seedling (3)

Sprung a leak (4)

Rot in the stem (5)

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 Week 5  24th. July

Less than 3 weeks to go and I've had everything thrown at me this last week 28c, not quite as hot as down south but still warm. The difference from down south is the night time temperatures, it's a lot cooler and the begonias have a chance to recover from the heat of the day.  We've also had a day of high winds and some sort of seeds blowing in the winds have covered my plants, coming in through the roof vent getting everywhere. Have spent 2 days trying to get them off the plants I've run out of puff.
With greenhouse space at a premium it's time to throw out anything that's not up to scratch, colour run, dodgy buds it's got to go.
At the beginning of the week collars were going on quite quickly and by the end they nearly all have their collars on. Still finding a few problems with stem rot to add to my woes.
The early cuttings that are in my small greenhouse are also now ready for collars to be fitted, this will be something I will use a lot more in the future. They will have to be placed in 5 litre pots for stability as well before they get top heavy.
Let's hope things get a little easier for the run in, somehow not sure that might happen.
 


Early in the week


End of the week


Cuttings


Ready for a collar


A March cutting


Everything covered.


Colour run


Dodgy bud


Stem rot

Spotlight on Phil Champion   Michael Richardson

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