This blog reviews the latest products, plants and innovations in gardening. It also provides a link for my many gardening friends who are members of the GardenMessenger and Seedmessenger Yahoo groups and their sub-groups that I moderate.

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Location: Australia

I am a semi-retired UK botanical garden curator and former international horticultural consultant, who has worked extensively in Europe, the Middle East, North America and Australia. I spend part of the year in Australia and part in Europe, mainly due to family and work commitments. I earn my living from writing and editing Internet copy, articles and books. I have written over fifty books on gardening and have been translated into twenty-four different languages. I am a former UK Garden Writer of the Year and a previous Quill & Trowel Award Winner from the Garden Writer’s Association of America. I am interested in developing gardening communities on the Internet and I manage the popular GardenMessenger Yahoo group, along with its various sub-groups like PondMessenger and SeedMessenger. I also edit International Water Gardener and its associated regional web-sites.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

UK National Amateur Gardening Show

Quality pumpkins at the show

Bad weather failed to dampen the spirits of the thousands of determined show-goers who turned out in force for the National Amateur Gardening Show at the Bath and West Showground in south-west England. Over 33,000 people enjoyed a record total of twenty-one spectacular garden displays, a feast of flowers, fruit and vegetables, the biggest dahlia show in the world, top gardening experts, a world record breaking cucumber and the finest display of pumpkins ever seen in this country.

Show judges praised the quality and high standards of the multitude of produce on display, including the magnificent Floral Marquee’s fifty exhibits, and the spectacular Floral Art displays – many of them brought to the show by the talented members of the National Association of Floral Arrangement Societies who made a welcome return. The Showering Pavilion was also bursting with colour and blooms as the National Dahlia Society, celebrating its 125th anniversary, staged its annual show which attracted growers from as far away as Scotland and France, and inspired many new members to join up.

Ray Davey, giant vegetable co-ordinator and steward of the Flower, Fruit and Vegetable Marquee, said that entries were well up, standards were excellent all round and the giant pumpkins on display were the finest ever seen in the whole country. The poor growing conditions this year meant that for once there was only one world record broken at the show – that was for the longest cucumber, measuring just over 35inches (90cm) and grown by a delighted 90 year old Mr Alf Cobb, from Nottinghamshire.

Craig Glenday, editor of Guinness World Records, made a surprise visit to the Show to hand over a special certificate for Mr Cobb. Meanwhile 23 year old Mark Baggs’ mighty pumpkin from Dorset weighed in at 314 kilos. At six weeks old and therefore still only a baby, the pumpkin was pronounced the biggest ever seen in the show’s history. Photo: AG

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Happy Gardening



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