South West Visit
Ian Rhys Williams
Four members of
the South Wales Area group, were invited to tour the glasshouses of some
of the leading growers in the South West Area. Derek Bonner, Danny
Davies, Ralph Trinder and I, set out
early to cross the Severn Bridge on Thursday, 30th. July,
journeying Southward, following the directions given by the Sat Nav;
towards the land where the cider apples grow - Somerset.
It had rained
'Cats and Dogs' throughout the night and early morning and the roads
were 'awash' with large puddles. However, the sun began to smile and
warmed the damp air. Our first port of call,
our way, was Blackmore and Langdon. We were greeted by Rosemary and
Steven Langdon, who, as always, gave us a warm welcome. The Show
house was almost empty as most of the pot blooms had been used earlier
in the season for their award winning display, which achieved a Gold
Medal at Chelsea Flower Show. The rest of the greenhouses though, were
full of thousands of cutting tubers as far as the eye could see.
Rosemary held a pot of Millie, which is to be released at the end of the
Season. By all accounts it is one of the best pinks to be released for
some time and should make an excellent Show specimen. Another promising
pot we saw was Olivia, which was released last year.
Page 1 - John Chiswell
After a brief stay, we made tracks towards Chilcompton, to see John
Chiswell's glasshouses, two days prior to the Porchester Show. Also
present to greet us was Gary Dando, the South West Representative.
John's main glasshouse was a rainbow of colour. The majority of his
reached their optimum size. Inside the glasshouse, was a
constant flow of fresh cooling air. This was achieved by a large fan at
the rear of the glasshouse and John had removed the glass from whole
pine-end [ North side ]. This helped to prevent mildew, which has
plagued many growers this year. John keeps most of his plants in a very
large net house. It keeps cool even during the warmest periods and has a
constant stream of cooling air throughout. The light is subdued where
the begonias thrive. John's begonias looked in A1 condition, in both his
net house and glasshouses.
A. John's 'Best in Show', bloom of Beryl Rhodes, at Bideford,
nine days before the Show.
B. John in his glasshouse checking his blooms, ready for the
Porchester Show in two days time. Most have reached their full potential
of nine inches- plus, with good depth. He has timed his stopping dates,
to accommodate both Shows at Portchester and Bideford. If any of the two
blooms are too advanced, he will remove them into the net house, to
'slow' their progress, in order that they do not edge too early.
C. On this side of the glasshouse, are John's second batch of
plants, timed for the National. Have you
noticed the large fan at the rear, and that most of the glass has been
D and E. John's net house. These plant are for the
National. Look carefully at the condition and health of the plants. The
stems are thick and sturdy,a picture of health. The begonias seem to
revel in these conditions - subdued light, with ample air flow. F.
Lindsey Smith. G. El Star. In the background top left is Emily
Rose and top right Beryl Rhodes. H. Jean Ishbell. I. John's seedling.
J. Dr. Eric Catterall. K. Snowbird, L.
Emily Rose. M. Mrs A. Jeffrey. N. Golden Hind.
John in his glasshouse
General view, plants for the National
Shade house ready for the National
More blooms for the National
Dr. Eric Catterall
IAN'S SOUTH WEST VISIT 2009
Gary Dando Part 1
Gary Dando Part 2
Page 4 - Lakin Earl