Dear Fellow Enthusiast,
The show season will be well underway when you receive this and hopefully those of you that are exhibiting will be having a reasonable amount of success and, more importantly, enjoyment. It has been a strange and challenging season. An extremely cold, late spring moved very quickly into a very hot and dry early summer. We initially struggled to get the Dahlias and Chrysanthemums established but now find ourselves exactly where we want to be timing wise. Nature has a way of balancing itself out and the recent cooler spell with periods of steady warm rain has certainly helped the plants put on some growth. Not long ago I was worried that the Dahlias would be struggling to flower in time for Harrogate Autumn Flower Show, but suddenly colour is bursting out all over our fields and the effects of the Beast from the East are fading into a distant memory. The tough growing conditions have tested even the most experienced growers, but I am sure that those Chrysanthemums and Dahlias that have been tended so carefully and unselfishly over the last few months will hopefully be rewarding us with stunning blooms and a kaleidoscope of colour whether destined for the show bench or a vase in the house.
This year we have almost 100 varieties on trial and the challenge over the next few weeks will be selecting those that we wish to take forward for another season. Remember these are open for public viewing along with the rest of our flower fields. 6 new varieties from our trial beds are included in this season, others may also be added as we do some final assessments for our main catalogue. For the first time in a few years we have also added some new Chrysanthemum blooms and my thanks go to John Peace and Frankie Charlton for helping us add these to our range. We have however decided with reluctance to remove a few Chrysanthemum sections from this year’s list.
For those of you showing over the next few weeks, we hope all goes well and the hard work and effort put in over the season gives you satisfaction on the benches. For those of you thinking of having a go but reluctant to take the plunge, remember we all start somewhere. If you haven’t had a go at exhibiting, then why not plan ahead for next year. Visit your local shows now, ask the questions, volunteer to help, or join a local or national society. Exhibiting is not all about the big national shows. Starting at grassroots level with your local society show and just taking part can bring its own rewards, with life time friendships being made. It is up to our generation to pass on our knowledge and skills to the next and the smaller local shows, quite often the annual focal point of the community, are as important now as they ever were if the next generation is to be emboldened to go on and have a grow! Remember though that all these local shows and societies only survive because of the dedication and time given by a small number of people. If you have the skills and enthusiasm to help give them support then this may help reduce the decline of so many local societies that are folding today, not so much due to lack of members but to the lack of people willing to take on the duties of office holders and committee members. Happy Growing.