The bright and colourful display of horticultural exhibits inside St Mary’s Centre, Felpham, on Saturday 18th August were in stark contrast to the rather dull and overcast weather. This summer with the exceptionally long, hot and dry period from June through July had had an effect on the number, of entries, particularly in the Dahlias and Gladioli classes, however the quality of the entries had not been affected. Numbers of entries in other classes, particularly the vegetables were increased and the chairman, in her closing address, remarked on how colourful the vegetable exhibits looked.
The winner of the best three spikes of small flowered gladioli class also took the prize for the best horticultural exhibit with 3 beautiful blooms. It was particularly pleasing for these awards to be achieved by a new exhibitor.
The standard of the floral art exhibits was exceptional with beautiful and innovative interpretations. The winner of the ‘Dallying with Driftwood class, was described as ‘fabulous’ by the judge with a very simple but incredibly effective arrangement of driftwood and stalks of Arum Italicum Pictum berries. The winner of this class also won the class for ’Harvest Home’ – an arrangement depicting a wild flower field edge – complete with harvest mouse! She also gained first prize for her miniature –‘a single colour’ – using dried flowers, and grasses, nuts and acorns to produce a very intricate and delicate piece. Other entries were of a very high standard which the judge commended in her overall remarks.
Mixed foliage and mixed flower classes are always popular and this year was no exception with a large number of very good quality exhibits in each class. The winner of this class was a stunning display of foliage of different colours shapes and sizes in a beautiful arrangement.
The Pot Plant classes attracted a lot of entries with many interesting exhibits of both flowering and foliage plants. The winner of the best flowering pot plant was a splendid, orange flowered begonia which was also judged to be the best pot plant exhibit.
The winner of the best orchid class had produced a magnificent plant with nineteen fully open white blooms!
The fruit and vegetable classes were very well supported. All classes attracted multiple entries with onions, tomatoes and sweet corn sweet peppers and Chillies looking particularly attractive.
The winner of the best vegetable collection also won the cup for gaining the most points in the vegetable classes.
The arts and crafts entries were very well supported with the skill and creative talents of the entrants much in evidence. Each of the four photography classes attracted high quality and interesting interpretations of the subjects.
Home industries classes were a little lower than last year but the
standard of the entries was excellent with mouth-watering exhibits of
everything from vegetable pasties to Victoria sponge, peanut brittle to
elderflower cordial, and Coronation Chicken to Date & Walnut loaf.
Unfortunately, only the judge gets to taste everything! Jams,
marmalades and curds were also well represented and looked extremely
Entries in the children’s classes were a little lower than last year but the imagination and skill of the children that entered was very evident. Of particular note was the ‘face made from fruit and vegetable’ which was won by a face made from a water melon with her mouth cut into the melon and sweetcorn for teeth. Eyes of cherry tomatoes, a plum for the nose and hair represented by the tassels from sweetcorn husks! In the 8-14 years classes the pasta picture of a palm tree in the dessert was made from 5 different types of pasta. We hope that the work of these children will encourage more entries in the future.
The show was very well attended; the plant and cake stalls did a steady trade throughout the afternoon with the raffle and tombola attracting much interest.
The prizes were awarded by the Felpham and Middleton Horticultural Society President, Mrs Beryl Allen, who also thanked all of those involved in staging the show, including volunteers and visitors, without whom such a great show would not be possible.
Report by Paul Sedgwick