National Viola and Pansy Society Newsletter Autumn 1997

Annual Show.

Following the success of last year's show. we once again saw an increase in both the number of exhibitors and visitors at Harborne in July.

There was some real quality in the blooms on display; and judge, Mr Tom Mantle, had a longer task to face than in recent years. Judging indeed took twice as long. which is no surprise when boards of Show Pansies numbered eight, to name but one class.

John Hamilton, Rose and Malcolm MacGregor travelled down from Ayrshire bringing their own blooms and those of John Johnston. The quality of their exhibits really made an outstanding display, and provided an example for all of us who would aspire to this area of floristry. The silver medal for the best exhibit was deservedly taken by John Hamilton's 24 board. Indeed the majority of the trophies were taken back to Scotland. The Easter Cups for violas and pansies were won by John Johnston and John Hamilton, who also took the Robb Trophy as overall winner. Rose MacGregor lifted the Clack Trophy with a stunning basket,

Stephen Leigh won his first bronze medal with creditable exhibits in the bedding classes. Chico White and Janette Warner contested the novice classes with some good blooms, Janette emerging the winner. Our youngest exhibitor was 11 and travelled from Rotherham: young Robert Brandreth 'got in the cards' and we hope that this will encourage him to return next year.

Members arrived from as far apart as Hertfordshire and Yorkshire, it was a pleasure to put faces to names; please come again and bring your blooms with you. Visitors and exhibitors alike were welcomed with fine refreshments, reflecting the hard work of the ladies in the kitchen. The behind the scenes work is what will make the overall success of any show. and we are most fortunate in having Gerald Barber as our Treasurer. Much of his work throughout the year goes unremarked, but not unnoticed; so it was most fitting that our President, Tom Pitt, should close the Show by presenting Gerald with 'The Teapot' for his service to the Society in this and recent years,

Auditing the varieties on display, I was struck by what a poor year it seemed to be for yellow cultivars. R N Denby, H H Hodge, Rowan Hood and Moseley Ideal were all noticeably absent from the viola classes, In the Fancy Pansies, George Rowley, Elizabeth McCallum and David Rhodes appeared only once or twice. Show Pansies, however, were greater in number and variety; and John Hamilton's winning entry in the seedling class showed that it is possible to extend the range of ground colours beyond yellow. For me, the outstanding variety was Elizabeth Christie, a distinctive Fancy pansy not seen on English benches in any memory. It has a dark blotch, pure cream margin and blackcurrant back petals. Malcolm Mcgregor's winning entry in the specimen bloom showed what a desirable variety it is with its clean lines and good form. The Society was generously given a plant and I shall spend the next year or two building stock.

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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