WHAT! No Greens?

30 Jul 2006

The last Saturday in August played host to the 46th Annual Johnshaven and District Horticultural Society Flower Show. A squad of Horticultural Society committee members and other volunteers descended upon the Village Hall on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings and Saturday morning to set out tables, prepare the nosh and allow exhibitors to display their exhibits to best advantage. Then the hall was closed to the public for a few hours while the judges cast their eyes over the 333 exhibits entered by 36 Society members in 108 categories, plus a further 166 exhibits from 29 children in 27 categories.

325 prize-winning rosettes later – or more accurately 325 mini-certificates later – the public were allowed into the hall to see the scores on the doors and admire the prize exhibits. The flower, pot plant and rose exhibits decorated the whole south wall of the hall making a fabulous display. This year was a real treat for anyone with a thing about onions – there were 36 exhibits of onions, shallots and the likes – but a bit of a disappointment for fans of cabbages, cucumbers and courgettes, for which there were no entries at all.

Particularly notable exhibits were the children’s “garden on a plate” and “build an animal using a toilet roll as a base” categories, pretty much all of the flowers, and an unfeasibly large marrow.

Unfortunately this rookie reporter completely forgot to sample the tea and cakes and is unable to verify their alleged fineness. However, it was noted from the signs around the hall that the cost was a very sensible £1.50, an example that could be followed by many of the village’s organisations who, frankly, charge well below a fair price at coffee mornings and the likes for what is invariably a top quality nosebag.

Later in the afternoon, the winners of the various cups and shields were announced, being presented by the Reverend Hastie, followed by the auction of exhibits in aid of Horticultural Society funds. In his second faux pas of the day, your reporter found that he had spent all his money on raffle tickets (prizes won: zero) and only had 23p left to spend at the auction. Auctioneer-extraordinaire Clark Simpson did his best to extract the maximum amount of cash out of the bidding public, but as usual there were still plenty of bargains to be had for those with the necessary funds to hand.

Our thanks go out to all those who made this show possible; the horticultural masters, all the keen and proud gardeners, the creative kids and their parents, the ruthless judges, the members and supporters of the Hortis Society and all of you who turn up on the day to sample the delights of our rich and fertile soils.