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South West Visit July 2009
Ian Rhys Williams

Page 4 - Lakin Earl

   After departing from Gary's, we meandered through the winding country lanes, of the Somerset countryside, with a running commentary from John Chiswell, of the names of villages and places of interest, towards Lakin's home. Following behind was Gary, accompanied by Danny Davies as passenger. We phoned ahead to say that we were approaching.
    Awaiting us was Lakin , who stood at the end of the main road, to guide us to his house, with a very warm welcome. Lakin has two, twelve by eight Alton glasshouses. In past years, Lakin has used both his glasshouses , for pot plants, however, this year he decided to grow cut blooms in one, as he felt that cut blooms were easier to transport to the Shows, as he gets older.
    One of his glasshouses was crammed with pot plants, grown to a very exceptional high standard. These pots were awarded with Red Cards in several Shows in the weeks after our visit, including the National. Lakin does not stop his pot plants, which prolongs their flowering Season. When one bloom goes past it's best, Lakin removes it, which is then replaced by another younger bloom. If you look in the Show results of the various Shows, the same pots are recorded as winning, including Bideford and the National.
   In Lakin's other glasshouse were his cut blooms. These were timed for Bideford, his local Show and the National. Lakin won the Six Board, at Bideford and was placed third in the Six Board at the National. For cane tops Lakin uses spent cartridge cases for eye protection. What an excellent idea for recycling. Also, in both glasshouses Lakin grows his Rex and Cane type Begonias at the end of his pathway, low down, where it is shaded and cooler. The quality of the pot plants were also superb. Lakin also took Red Cards with his foliage plants in all the Shows he exhibited at. A remarkable achievement. Outside in his garden, Lakin had a Marquee/ Shade house, which housed the overspill of cut bloom, pot and foliage plants. Lakin utilises all available space to full capacity.
   After a most informative couple of hours at Lakin's, we departed for home. We joined the motorway and journeyed homeward towards South Wales. Derek Bonner our Chauffeur, was exhausted after our long day. Never the less, it had been a most marvellous and enjoyable day and the topic of conversation was of what we saw during our South West visit and continued for many hours, before we finally arrived home late into the night.


A


B


C


D


E


F


G


H


I


J


K


L


M


N


O


P


Q


R


S


T


U

A.  Lakin with his pots.
B.  Left hand side of Lakin's glasshouse holding pot plants.
C.  Lakin's second greenhouse, holding pot plants for Bideford.
D.  Overspill of cut blooms in marquee shade house.
E.  General view of Lakin's glasshouse- cut blooms for the Bideford Show.
F.  More cut blooms for Bideford.
G. Mrs Elizabeth McLaughlan.
H.  Angela Jane.
I.   Helena.
J. Vera Coates.
K.
Whispers.
L. 
Mandaley.
M.
Sugar Candy.
N.
Surplus pot plants in marquee shade house.
O. 
Lancelot.
P.
 Cane begonia.
Q.
Begonia Rex Bowerie.
R.
Tiger Paws.
S.
Spent cartridges used for cane top eye protection.
T. 
Heuchera.
U.
Cold frame holding cutting tubers.

THIS CONCLUDES IAN'S 2009 SOUTH WEST TOUR

Page 1 - John Chiswell          Page 2 -Ron Haines          Gary Dando Part 1          Gary Dando Part 2

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