PICTURES: Felpham and Middleton flower and produce show

Ted Love and his prize-winning dahlias at Felpham and Middleton Horticultural Societys flower and produce show. Picture: Derek Martin DM17841328a
Ted Love and his prize-winning dahlias at Felpham and Middleton Horticultural Societys flower and produce show. Picture: Derek Martin DM17841328a

Dahlias and gladioli were the stars of the show for Felpham and Middleton Horticultural Society on Saturday.

The size and quality of entries in these classes for the flower and produce show at St Mary’s Centre were particularly impressive.

Paul Sedgwick, the society’s publicity officer, said: “The wet and windy weather immediately preceding show day had not affected the quality and range of exhibits that were on display, with nearly all classes being well represented.

“The winner of the best medium decorative dahlia class also took the prize for the best horticultural exhibit with three beautiful blooms of dahlia Kemora Sunset. The winner of the best single gladioli was an excellent, very tall, white stem with many fully-developed blooms.

“The standard of the floral art exhibits was exceptional, with beautiful and innovative interpretations. The winner of the oriental class, with an exotic arrangement of orchids, also won the best exhibit in floral art, while the best of the Big, Bold and Beautiful was a stunning arrangement of gladioli and hydrangeas. The Petite in a Sea Shell provided several very delicate and intricate exhibits.

“The show was very well attended. The plant and cake stalls did a steady trade throughout the afternoon, with the raffle and tombola attracting plenty of interest.”

Mixed foliage and mixed flower classes are always popular and this year was no exception, with a large number of good-quality exhibits in each class.

The pot plant classes attracted a lot of entries with many interesting exhibits of both flowering and foliage plants. The society’s internal competition, earlier in the year, for growing a regal pelargonium from a cutting had sparked several entries in the pelargonium/geranium class. The winner of the foliage plant was a particularly fine example of a tradescantia. The best fuchsia in a pot was a magnificent example with a mass of beautiful flowers.

The fruit and vegetable classes were very well supported. Several classes attracted multiple entries, particularly runner beans, onions, tomatoes, courgettes, sweetcorn and rhubarb. The judge had a difficult decision differentiating between the entries in the cherry or plum tomato class, as all of the entries were of an excellent standard.

The arts and crafts entries saw an increase in entries on previous years, with much skill in evidence in all of the handicrafts and excellent interpretations of the four subjects in the photography classes.

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 savoury quiches to Bakewell tarts. Jams, marmalades and curds were also well represented and looked extremely appetising.

There was also a lot of interest in the children’s classes, particularly in the vehicle made entirely from fruit and vegetables in the three to seven years age group with the winner being a train of potatoes with carrots for wheels and loaded with grapes. In the eight to 14-years age group, the photograph of clouds attracted a large number of entries and the winner showed good skill in capturing the dramatic effect of sunlight filtering through the clouds. The imagination demonstrated by all the children gave great encouragement for the future.

The prizes were awarded by president Beryl Allen, who thanked all of those involved in staging the show, including volunteers and visitors.

Margaret B. Howard won three trophies, for most points in show, most points in vegetables and most points in home industries classes.

Christine Dunham won most points in flower classes and her exotic arrangement of orchids won the trophy for best exhibit in floral art.

Ted Love won best horticultural exhibit with three beautiful blooms of dahlia Kemora Sunset. He also won cups for best dahlias in show, most points in dahlia classes, best pot plant and the RHS Banksian Medal.

Other trophy winners were Karin Hay for best collection of vegetables, David Donovan for most points in fruit, Michelle Sinclair for most points in arts and crafts classes, Don Faircloth for best orchid in show, Melissa Haufé for best gladiola and Sandra Harris for best vase of cut flowers.

Children’s Cup winners were Jacob Abbott for seven years and under, Elia Dixon for eight to 14 years.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, September 26, at 7.30pm at St Mary’s Centre, Grassmere Close, Felpham, when Ben Cross will give a talk on alstroemerias and the British cut flower industry.