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2014 Diary

Stephen Jones
THE BRITISH SOCIETY
CHAMPION   2013 & 2014
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August 

   This month I will start with my success at Shrewsbury flower show the National Seven pot Fig1.
Fig 2 is my entry into the six pot restricted which again had a first place. Fig 3 is the cut bloom and one plant 1st. I was very pleased with my entries how they looked after they had been staged. Fig 4 and
 Fig 5 show trophies being presented. The plants have come a long way since I showed the black ugly looking tubers six months ago in February you wouldn’t think they could turn out so splendid the unrestricted plants in 10 inch pots 33inches high and nearly the same across.. During these last six months I have written in detail my growing methods compost used there is no magic system or feeding involved. I have tried following information and knowledge gained from fellow members and using the society magazines I have kept over the last few years since joining the society as a valuable source of propagation techniques growing methods feeding regimes with timing and planning for the show bench.

   I will go back to my build up to the show dates.31st July Fig 6 & Fig7 show the plants one week before I start to prepare them for the National at Shrewsbury at this stage not giving any feed to the plants with using approx 450 flower supports carefully inserted. Fig 8 & Fig 9 are taken the Wednesday the week of the show and I start to pack around the flowers to protect them during their 75 mile trip up the M5, M6, M54 & A5 to Shrewsbury.  I spent about six hours packing cotton wool type material around the blooms I watered all plants prior to  packing well which took a time as seen in  the van Fig 10 plenty of material was used. It took Jane and I four hours to fit these plants into the van ready to travel. We set off at 16.15 arrived at 18 .30 started setting up finally leaving for home at 22, 30 getting home at just after midnight. We visited the show on the Friday had a really good day with plenty to see again on Saturday ready to bring all twenty one pots back home. No time for careful packing on the return journey but all went well. Figs 11 to14 show the plants one week after the show some are more knocked about than others.

   We opened our garden on the 16th August for the Central area members to have a look round and view the plants that I entered into the show as not all people would have visited Shrewsbury. This visit was organised months ago before the National and succeeding to win five firsts at Shrewsbury would have made I think the visit worthwhile if growing large flowering Begonias does interest you. Jane and I would like to thanks the people that did attend but the numbers attending were very disappointing and with the central area having one of the biggest memberships within the society I would have thought more members could have taken the opportunity to see these plants  close up and of course ask as many questions as they wished. Perhaps more Central area members will visit the area meeting on September 27th at our usual venue of Manning ford Hall and then find out about what is happening in their area  of course have access to some very good  information plus named variety tubers when available in early spring.

   Three weeks after the show I’m removing old flowers along with their supports 450, to date the plants look as you would expect a bit tatty. They still need watering and I give them a feed of potash each couple of weeks. I have replaced the glass in both greenhouses after removing to reduce the temperature and get some air movement through when the plants were in full flower as the weather has gone unseasonally cool at night .I will not be taking any autumn cuttings this year as I did this time last year which will save me having the propagator on all winter. The tubers of the cuttings taken last autumn have been growing strongly all summer  having  removed all their flowers and growing tips hopefully there should be plenty of tubers for next year as several people at the show  asked if I would have any  to spare in the spring. Continued going around the plants each day removing fallen flowers checking for any sign of botrytis which quickly catches hold if not removed promptly.
 

              
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Congratulations to Steve on the magnificent achievement of winning the British Society Championship
for the second year running. His Diary this month illustrates the amount of work and effort that goes into this .
                                                                                                                                         Editor.

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