the end of July my plants were nearly ready for the first show at
Titchfield (A) on the south coast. I was looking forward
at last to seeing some colour in the shade house, the growth of my plants had been
exceptional. Being very happy with the way things were going, pleased
with my compost, the growth everything was looking good. As the buds
started to open all was still going in the right direction, even with a
couple of weeks still to go. The weather was even going to plan no real heatwaves in the pipeline, cool conditions were on the cards all the way
through. Disaster started within the last week once the blooms started
to open, (B,C). Something I did not expect, although my plants were
looking good and the growth had been exceptional the blooms were falling by
the wayside. Some blooms were starting to go out of shape, double
centres were appearing. I had grown 10 whispers not 1 was any good, Fred Martin the centres looked more like a fist. More & more were falling by
the wayside. By the morning of the show there was only 10 blooms left so
these were packed into the car,(D) my hopes were not very high. At the
show my blooms were staged although they were of good size I knew
they had too many faults, but thought I might squeeze third in the 6
bloom class (E) but it was not to be. Dave Coates walked away with most,
only missing out on 1 class to Brian Simmons in the 3 cut bloom. Still I
feel that my growing is moving in the right direction. Many of my plants
were thrown out for a bit of colour in the garden for a week or so (F).
Just for a bit of fun the following week I was off to my 2nd. show,
hopefully there would be a few blooms left over from Titchfield that
were late in opening. 3 days before the show the temperature had
risen to 29°c, 2
days to go even higher 32°c. how can I cope when it gets that hot,
everything just melts including me. The afternoon of Thursday 4th.
August at around 4-30 I cut 8 blooms, (G,H,I,J) packed them into my
boxes & into the car, they were now ready for the journey, we were on our
AYR a trip of 408 miles taking nearly 8 hours. Arrived at Ayr at
about one in the morning, the reason to get there early was to see other
growers stage their blooms and to have a good chat. What amazed me most
that there was no end of help, everybody was helping each other whether
it was helping getting blooms in, or even staging (K). Although my board
of 6 came nowhere (L) they were no way out of place against the others.
John Hamilton's 6 who came runner up are to the left. I will put together
another short piece about Ayr show a bit later. The only show left for
me now is the National, already some of the blooms have been discarded.
I may have also been a bit ambitious with my timing.