Working at the sharp end – Dorchester Agricultural Society to hold first registered Cactus Show in the county for nearly 30 years

Cacti and succulent enthusiasts will have the first opportunity in nearly 30 years to exhibit their favourite plants at a registered show in Dorset.

The British Cactus and Succulent Society (BCSS) is sponsoring a range of classes at the Dorchester Agricultural Spring Show in the town on 2 April, which also features a range of daffodil and spring flower classes.

David Ennals, Dorchester Agricultural Society committee member, said it was the first time the BCSS had supported an event in the county since the demise of the Boscombe and Poole branch in 1988.

Mr Ennals said he was delighted with the sponsorship, which includes prize money, cards and medals for the best cactus and succulent at the Show, which takes place at Sunninghill School and Community Hall.

As a BCSS member, Mr Ennals started collecting at the age of 14 and now has nearly 500 plants. He said cultivation of the plants was relatively easy as long as a few simple rules were followed.

“At this time of year, I keep them in the greenhouse ensuring the temperature remains at 5C. They need to be kept bone dry from November to the beginning of April. The flowering season starts in April and May and they should be watered every two to three weeks.

“Ideally, if kept in the house, they should be placed in a south-facing window to ensure they get maximum light.”

Mr Ennals, from Toller Porcorum, will be writing to the Somerset, Bristol and Exeter branches of the BCSS to ensure a good turn-out on 2 April, but hopes the event will lead to the establishment of the first BCSS Dorset branch.

“We want to encourage people to enter, even if they have not shown before and there are two classes for junior as well. Entries in all the cacti and succulent classes are free and I’ll be on hand to provide help and advice if exhibitors are unsure in which class to enter their plants.”

Robin Pitcher, Dorchester Agricultural Society Spring Show chairman, said this year’s event included new cookery and floral art classes.

“The first two years have gone really well and we’re hoping for a bumper level of entries this year,” he added.

Admittance to the public is free. Doors are open from 2-4pm to view the plants when refreshments will be available.

Rebecca Cox
30th Jan 2017 13:43:00

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The 2022 Dorset County Show is kindly sponsored by: