During the months of July and August, due to a lack of dog shows and D.I.Y. jobs, my wife and I decided to try our luck at exhibiting blooms at our local flower shows. After tracking down schedules we discovered that many of the shows did not include pansy or viola classes so we were limited to entering only four events.

On the morning of the shows we found that and early start was beneficial in order to assess, pick and stage the blooms. Even in the summer months the weather was sometimes against us. On one occasion, whilst loading the car, a gust of wind caught the blooms, blowing some into the road. Luckily they were hastily retrieved, examined, dusted off and no harm was done.

As we are relatively new to exhibiting, we feel that the help we have received from members of the N.V.P.S. with regard to staging, held us in good stead and proved a definite advantage. The other competitors' presentation and staging sometimes did not show their blooms to their best advantage and freshness was a problem.

Fortunately, between us, my wife and I won all our pansy and viola classes at every show we entered. At the first show I was very pleased to have won the only "Golden Diploma for Excellence" given out in the flower section, for my board of six exhibition violas. Subsequently, my wife decided to enter various other classes (fuchsia etc) and won the cup for "non-member with the most points".

All in all, we really enjoyed our days at the shows, especially meeting new people, discussing our blooms and observing how other flowers and plants were cultivated and exhibited.

Ian & Sue Pickup(Bristol)

Editor's Note

I am sure that Ian and Sue are not the only members who get around their local shows. Why not send me a small piece for publication if you have entered a local show, or even simply attended and looked at the viola and pansy classes.

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