National Viola and Pansy Society Newsletter Autumn 1997

Secretary's Notes.

As another season draws to a close might we reflect on what has passed and the progress of the Society.

Our membership has continued to grow steadily and recent publicity in Amateur Gardening and Garden News has raised the profile of both the Society and our florist blooms. The Annual Show had all round improvement in quality and quantity. and yet we continue to have only a small proportion of our membership exhibiting. Quite a few people have told me that they would have shown, but did not consider their blooms good enough. We have a schedule that allows any member, regardless of experience, to bench any sort of pansy or viola that is in bloom on the day! I am sure that anyone who has exhibited for the first time in recent years will agree that help and encouragement have been well to the fore, and that as a Society we go out of our way to make the experience enjoyable.

As you read this journal you will see that the Society is going forward with the awarding of certificates to new varieties and a further extension of the classes in the show schedule. May I draw your notice particularly to the article on the AGM, this is an important part of the management and future of the Society.

For those of you who are interested in the development and history of our favourite flowers, I have reprinted a small chapter that appeared in Hardy Florists Flowers in 188l, which appears as the centrepiece.

My eye caught a welcome sight at the Shrewsbury Flower Show; a stand of pansies in the trade marquee. A. B. Longden is not a name well known in the viola and pansy world. Until recently Mr Longden, of Rotherham, was a fuschia specialist, but has now decided to concentrate his skills in our direction. His display of bedding pansies was most creditworthy and earned a well-deserved medal. During our conversation he told me that he was to show at Southport, and I trust that he was equally successful there.

Another appeal for articles. Many of you share your experiences with me, by letter or telephone. I do think that the rest of the membership would be interested. As winter draws in, how about committing your thoughts, experiences or questions to paper and sending them in for publication? Ceri Bowen in Wales is the sole voice in this edition! Some words on growing for garden display would be most welcome.

As the horticultural press is quick to tell us of the decline in younger gardeners, I am pleased to be able to report that our Society is going against the trend. Two young members, Oliver Howlett who is 10 years old and James Kennard who is 11, are both keen viola growers who have visited the National Collection in Surrey. Robert Brandreth also 11, came to the show and exhibited. We also number a Junior School in Buxton in our membership. We hope that they will enjoy these plants through into adult life.

Secretary's Notes Subscriptions Awards to Blooms Schedule Changes for 1998 A.G.M. Annual Show Shrewsbury
Ayr Show Kings Heath The Pansy Around the Gardens Ceri Bowen Plant Distribution 1998 Society Library

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