The National Begonia Society



A  Personal Review of my Season

Robert Bryce, Secretary

For the members pleasure I thought I would review my season, I had a very interesting year. My targets were all pot plants with a few cut blooms:

           No 1  to enter the Scottish Championship 9 pots for the first time.
           No 2  to enter the British Championship 7 pots at Shrewsbury
           No 3  to grow 30 off cut blooms to enter the cut bloom classes at Shrewsbury

     I succeeded in fulfilling all my entries at the shows and had a modicum of success.

   All in all I felt that the weather was ideal for growing. I had no cultural or disease problems during the season.
   First Shrewsbury where there were some fabulous pots on show and some good cut blooms. The pot championship was just won by Steve Jones and the 12 cut blooms just by Mike Richardson. I was pleased for both of them as their exhibits exuded quality. I was fortunate or unfortunate to end up as runner up to both of them. There was very little in them both. However I had the consolation of taking the Best Pot in Show with Sweet Dreams and Best Bloom in Show with a gold seedling of John Hamilton's later named by him after his mother in law Moira Callan. I cannot remember anyone winning both these awards together at previous National Shows. I also was runner up in the 6 board, 3rd in the 3 board and 3rd in the 1 pot.
   All in all Shrewsbury was an excellent show for the Begonia Society and the organisers were very pleased with our contribution. I grew 12 pots for Shrewsbury and ended up taking 9 pots to the show.
   I was a judge at Southport Show which saw some excellent cut blooms from Terry Tasker. These were the best in our society this year. Terry is now a quality cut bloom grower after a number of years of year on year improvement. The pot plant prizes were taken by Barry Walker and the Best Pot in Show was a species Irene Nuss from Vin Potts. This was to also be Best Species at Ayr Show.
   On to Ayr where Ian Donaldson won the 12 cut bloom British Championship for the first time achieving his ambitions. Ian is now a major grower of begonias. I was pleased to congratulate him and remind him that now the only way now is down. I was also pleased to congratulate Vin Potts who had the best species plant in Show. I had grown 20 pots for Ayr and took 12 pots to the show. Surprisingly half of them were in 8 inch pots. I won both the 9 pot Scottish Pot Plant Championship and the 3 pot. As a bonus I also had Best Pot in Show with Kathryn Hartley that was spotlessly clean. Tony Shepherdson from the North East showed some excellent blooms including Gold Hind awarded Best Yellow.
   In winning the Scottish Championship I became only the second person to win the National and British cut bloom Championships and the British Championship and Scottish Pot Plant Championships. I followed my good friend John Hamilton who was the first to congratulate me.  For the faint hearted I must point out this took me over 30 years to achieve so I was very happy at the end of a long road.
   Another pleasing matter in 2014 was that my red seedling was grown to an excellent standard and that Burnout was again the best cut bloom in John Hamilton's greenhouse. I was also pleased to get a photo of Joan Bryce with a good pot of her namesake in the background.
   On the seedlings saved from 2013 I thought 3 of them showed considerable promise. Unfortunately I did not take a photograph of the best one a frilled lemon seedling. The others were a bright yellow duplicate of Monica Bryce and a cream with a yellow centre. This years seedling had Burnout as one of their parents and were all Orange in varying shades. These overall were the best I have ever had so I am looking forward to growing the best of them again next year.
   The downside this year was the loss of my good friend and fellow exhibitor Denis Hague and the stroke suffered by my Welsh friend and fellow exhibitor Ralph Trinder. I pray daily for his complete recovery. I dedicate my successes to them both.
   I would like to thank all my fellow exhibitors this year for their efforts, without them we would not be able to fill our shop window. I wish more would take part and carry the load.
   All in all a successful year and my final year of pot plant growing until I test Steve Jones again. He is a breath of fresh air and I believe I have left a more competitive pot plant class than where it was 2 years ago. I hope people now realise I can grow pot plants. Next year I will attempt to repeat some of my previous considerable successes at cut bloom exhibiting, my true passion. No pot plants in 2015 other than the odd seedling for pleasure.

   Lastly my brother Alan will bow out from the Begonia Society this year after over 30 years. He will be living in Spain and I wish him well. The Bryce Brothers no more, he leaves with 5 off National Championships for cut blooms plus a British Championship for cut blooms. I believe he was one of our best ever growers. I will miss him lots.
                                                                                         All the very best.

Bob Bryce

Trophies for Best Pot and Cut Bloom at the National.

2nd. Place entry Shrewsbury
British Championship 7 Pots.

Best Cut Bloom at The National.
 A seedling of John Hamilton.

 Best Pot in Show. Sweet Dreams

Scottish Pot Plant Championship
won in 2014.

Best Pot at Ayr.
 Kathryn Hartley

2nd. Place entry Shrewsbury
The National Society Championship

Joan Bryce
 with the plant name after her

Kathryn Hartley
at time of Southport.

Greenhouse at time of Southport with pots for Ayr.

Best Yellow at Ayr
 Tony Shepherdson.

Ian Donaldson 12 Board
1st. at Ayr

Ruby Young
 at time of Southport.

Joan Bryce
before Shrewsbury.

A seedling of mine grown by
John Hamilton 2014.

New Seedling 1 from 2013.

New Seedling 2 from 2013.

Burnout grown John Hamilton 2014

Pots prior to Shrewsbury.

Greenhouse before Southport

Pots for Ayr at time of Shrewsbury.

Sweet Dreams prior to Shrewsbury.

Sandra McLauchlan at time of Southport

Vin Potts Best Species Ayr.