Summer Show Report 2019

Saturday 10th August 2019


Society members and friends were very pleased with the excellent show on Saturday August 10th. The number and quality of the entries was well up to previous standards despite the difficult summer, first drought then recent heavy showers and wild wind. Despite continuing showers and wind the competitive atmosphere remained friendly and happy.

The schedule divides plants, flowers, flower arrangements, and vegetables into 17 classes according to species; there were excellent entries in all classes. Pride of place went to a spray of tree lilies which, despite being cut from their 6 foot height still towered above all, were magnificent in size and perfumed the area.

At the entrance was a large flower arrangement backed by an embroidered panel depicting the society’s name; with each letter supporting a picture of a flower head; together with several insects and gardening implements. Below was another cloth depicting garden items in appliquéd panels, which is an heirloom from the now defunct Meavy Women’s Institute

Many hands were needed to bring down from the loft, trestles and long boards to build the two-level structure for exhibits onto tables along the hall centre. On stage was a table with the 17 silver trophies, all of which are perpetual, being on loan for the one year only, to the member bringing the best exhibit as winner of each class. These were supported on a brightly coloured embroidered tablecloth depicting more flowers.

The first classes gave a good spread of colour from many varieties of pot grown plants, and shrubs, while the Hydrangeas; of Mophead, Paniculata or Lacecap types, ranged from dark blue or red to pure white, some with tiny blue stars.

More colours were brought by the large flower arrangements. A class for Calendulas grown from seed, (as annual plants these need special care to be at their best) showed how varied their colours can be. Dahlias always produce a fine colour spectacle, while a ‘flowers’ class leaves opportunity for species not so far mentioned.

The salads and vegetables were quite low in entries but showed the good quality of some unusual types, and collections of different herbs included several entries of more than the 3 varieties required.

The remaining classes for Pelargoniums and Fuchsias were followed by ‘a pot plant with foliage only’, ‘a plant in a small pot’ and the miniature flower arrangements. Particularly interesting were the entries for an ‘Arrangement (of garden flowers) in a Tankard’. This was a special class sponsored by the Royal Oak Inn.

Finally, there was the children’s class, split into two parts. During term time some children of Meavy School laboured to create their individual ‘a garden in a tyre’. In all 13 entries were judged by members of the Society’s committee. The winner was announced before school finished and full colour photographs of the best three were on show. Part B was for a miniature scarecrow, no more than 9 inches high. Unfortunately, only one entry was received (of excellent quality) and a certificate was presented at the show.

The Society does not use a judge as each visitor is asked to make their own independent choice of which is the best exhibit in each of the classes. The Society is most grateful to Dr. Jenny Sharp who spent all morning registering the entries and all afternoon collating the votes on a computer to produce the full results by 4:30 pm. John Smith, long standing society supporter and outings organiser, stepped in at short notice as Guest of Honour to present the certificates and trophies. Analysis of the votes also reveals which exhibiter has achieved the most points on a grading system for each class and the overall winner, Stephen Pine, was presented with the Gordon Cross Trophy, in memory of a previous Society President.

To support the visitors in their moment of stress, tea, coffee, and excellent cakes (provided by Society members) were available to purchase, also raffle tickets and plants. The major raffle prize of a large basket of fresh fruit was won by Stephen Pine, and several useful gardening items were distributed.

Overall the whole show proceeded splendidly, thanks to the support and physical efforts of many members. The number of visitors was somewhat disappointing but the cash returns to the Society held up well. And, by six o’clock Meavy Parish Hall was completely restored to its pristine condition ready for the next week.