The National Begonia Society


2015 Diary

Michael Richardson

Episode 16.   "Local Excursion No 11"  

Thursday 23rd July – Ball Colegrave Summer 2015 Showcase
   Once again the x3 amigos (Vincent Potts, Robert Bryce and myself) got in the saddle but this time headed South into unknown territory. Yes that’s right we headed South down the dreaded M6 towards - West Adderbury, Banbury, Oxfordshire – this journey would take us South via the M6, M42 & M40.

Our destination was Ball Colegrave as they were having their Summer 2015 Showcase.

Who are Ball Colegrave, a little history –
    On June 6th 2001 Ball Horticultural Company joined forces with The David Colegrave Group to deliver an even greater level of service and products to growers, retailers and local authorities in the UK.
As a result of the merger, Ball Colegrave is supported by an even stronger team of breeders across the world producing the most commercially viable and innovative plants the industry has ever seen.
   Today Ball Colgrave remains one of the only companies who still rigorously trial new breeding lines in both commercial trials and on its own Trial Grounds facility in West Adderbury, Oxfordshire.
   The Company’s Summer Showcase hosted on its Trail Grounds is considered amongst the best in the world, receiving over 2000 visitors every summer from Growers, Retail Plant Buyers, Parks, Landscapes and Gardening Press. During the 3 week event the company show cases many of its existing top performing varieties in inspirational and stimulating patio and garden displays along with presentations of new varieties and experimental lines.

Back to the story -
   We had arranged to meet John Winfield at Ball Colegrave at 11am, we made good time in getting there for just before 10:30hrs and that included a cappuccino break at a Service Station on the way down.
   While we were waiting for John Winfield, Gary and Joy Dando arrived, we waited until 11am but John seemed to be running late so the five of us went inside for a coffee and a sit down and waited for the rest.  Peter & June Sourbutts arrived and finally John. We all had a good chat whilst finishing our drinks and then the 8 of us set off looking at what was being showcased there.

I went camera mad and took pictures of what I saw, the following is in no particular order –

Begonia plant of the day -  
 I had to start with this Begonia experimental variety (see picture on the left) as Vincent, Robert and myself thought this was the Begonia plant of the day – We just hope it gets selected and released.


Scented Begonias –
   The following x2 pictures are of scented varieties – and trust me they smelt nice – It’s just a shame the following pictures are not “scratch and smell” or “smell o vision”

Experimental Begonia varieties –
The next x5 pictures are of all experimental varieties that I liked the look of.

Starshine series –
   The following x2 pictures are of the Starshine series

Northern Lights series –
   The following x2 pictures are of the Northern Lights series.

Peter and his dinner!!! –
   Yes that cake is make out of Begonias

The thorn between the roses!!! -
Joy Dando, June Sourbutts and Peter Sourbutts

Some more Begonias –

Something different –
   These are not Begonias but just as impressive –
       And no in the first picture there is not x2 strange new varieties of Petunia’s called Petunia Robert Bryce and Petunia John Winfield, well not yet anyway….


It was a fabulous experience and hopefully will be repeated next year –
 At this point I would like to thank John Winfield for organizing the day for us all.

                                Until next time….


Michael Richardson's Diaries 2015