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Sweet Scents and Gorgeous Blooms

The Early Summer Show is one of my favourites as it normally coincides with the time the garden starts to come alive. This year that wasn't entirely true, particularly on the vegetable front, thanks to our wonderful British weather! In the week running up to the ESS we were terrified that entries would be few and the displays not up to their usual standard. Nothing could have been further from the truth. We had a record 31 exhibitors for the Show and just over 200 entries. Quite a few of those that entered were new to exhibiting in horticultural shows and we were delighted to see most of them take home a prize!

We hope that is all the encouragement they will need to participate in the Main Show in September. For more photos from the show, click here.

Congratulations to everyone who entered! Prize winners for this year’s show were:

Mike Compton Memorial Cup (Best in Show) - Tina Powell

Sweet Pea Cup - Sheri Sticpewich

Blacknest Rose Cup - Tina Powell

Garden Cup (Other Flowers) - Antoinette Williams

President's Prize (Fruit & Veg) - James Wheatcroft

Willards Cup (Floral Art) - Mary Hardcastle

Small Cup (Cookery & Handicraft) - Anne Cannings

Maple Tree Cup (Photography) - Sheri Sticpewich

We would also like to thank everyone who helped setup, take photos, serve tea and cake and clear away at the end of the day. Each event seems like a monumental task but with everyone pitching in, the tables are arranged, the entry cards written, and the staging is ready for the exhibitors. Such an outstanding group of people who come together to support the Society! Many thanks to all of you! We would also like to extend a huge thanks to our brilliant Show secretaries, Tina and Anna, who ensure everything runs smoothly, secure our judges and still find time to put in their own fantastic exhibits.

But June wasn’t all about show preparations! We enjoyed a chilly, but dry evening visiting the beautiful garden of Spurfold in Peaslake.

The Barnes, who have opened their garden under the National Garden Scheme for over 20 years, welcomed us with wine and nibbles. While it was too late to enjoy the rhododendrons, we very much enjoyed the colour, texture and shape of the numerous shrubs and trees that border the garden and provide an amazing backdrop for the borders closer to the house. During the summer months, shrubs are so often forgotten and overtaken by their more extravagant and brightly coloured neighbouring perennials, but they do provide a useful function and shouldn’t be overlooked.

Admiring the borders at Spurfold. Photo credit: S Sticpewich

Please don’t forget to selectively water during the next few months. These cooler temperatures make us think plants are happy, but we haven’t really had enough rain this last month. Vegetables, fruiting trees and shrubs, annuals, containers and recently planted trees will be the most desperate. Test the soil first by plunging your index finger deep into the soil, at least halfway down your finger. It should be easy to push your finger into the soil. If it is difficult, then the soil is likely too dry and compacted. This means you will need to water the area for consecutive days to ensure it has enough water.  Gently lift your finger out of the soil and examine the amount of soil that is stuck to it. If there is a lot of soil stuck to your finger, you can miss watering for the day. If there is no soil stuck to your finger, then the soil is dry and requires a good soaking. Best to water in the morning not in the morning as plants don’t appreciate getting their leaves wet in the evening and it can contribute to blight, mould and mildew.

We hope the sun shines, the days get warmer and your garden continues to thrive.

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