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South West Visit July 2009
Ian Rhys Williams

   GARY DANDO  Part 2

After spending an hour admiring and discussing Gary's fantastic display of vibrant coloured baskets, we ventured inside to Gary's glasshouses. From the outside, we hadn't realised the size and expanse of area which we were about to enter. To say that it was big, is an understatement. Besides the two newly erected aluminium glasshouses, Gary, assisted by the Radstock Mafia ( Basil, Tony, Don and of course John Chiswell), had built two enormous wooden framed, poly carbon type greenhouses. Each greenhouse was inter connected. Tiered staging, seemed to stretch to eternity. There was ample ventilation and a soft gentle breeze cooled the inside air, to the liking of the begonias and the visitors alike.
   In one timber house, there was a large spray-misting propagator, which periodically hissed like a demented hissing snake. Here, cuttings were rooted. Situated above these was a large growing lamp, which Gary uses at the beginning and end of the growing Season to assist and hasten propagation. Also, in the same area, most of Gary's Rex pots are kept. Here the light was subdued to the liking of the foliage plants. The intensity of coloured foliage plants were stunningly spectacular.
   Gary had created the ideal atmosphere of dimmed light and high humidity, where his foliage plants revelled. As it was fairly early in the growing season for Gary (he times his Double tuberous begonias to flower late, to exhibit at Shepton Malet), most of the buds on his plants had only just been selected, therefore, there wasn't much colour on display. However, one flower, glowed like a yellow beacon, an Australian variety named Yellow Rose. Last year when I first saw it, the petal formation was suspect, however, this year, it looked really good. There isn't another yellow begonia, with such vivid yellow petals. It looked stunning.
    We stayed in the greenhouses for a couple of hours, discussing the qualities of different cultivars, compost mixes and Gary's cultivation methodology. Then it was time for us to depart and we were on our way to Lakin Earl's for our last visit of the day.   


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A. B. Gary's greenhouses looking from his raised Sun Lounge.
C. One of Gary's timber framed house. Notice the Amblyseius Cumcumeris Mite bags stapled to the bench.
D. Scaffolding planks used for staging. Notice the Rex cuttings under the bench.
E.  Single stemmed restricted pots, with buds selected for Shepton Mallet Show in September.
F.  Ralph Trinder in the background looking at the varieties Gary grows.
G.  Connie Boswell.
H.  Gary's Rex house crammed with Rex. This house also houses his propagating misting spray, which creates the humid atmosphere which Rex like.
I. Merry Christmas
J. Silver Jewel.
K.
Holiday.
L.
President Carlo.
M.
Vista.
N.
Rocheart
O.
Gary holding Sal's Comet.
P.
 Namur
Q.
Vectra.
R.
Many Colours. 
S.
Fireworks.
T.
Pearseyes.
U.
General view of Rex house.
V.
Notice three buds selected on each single stem.
W.
Sal's Comet
X.
Yellow Rose, a dazzling yellow, an Australian variety which Gary acquired last year.  

IAN'S SOUTH WEST VISIT 2009
Page 1 - John Chiswell          Page 2 -Ron Haines          Gary Dando Part 1          Page 4 - Lakin Earl

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