Hundreds of people flock to Dorchester Agricultural Society Spring Show

Hundreds of people flocked to the Dorchester Agricultural Society’s annual third Spring Show at Sunninghill School, Dorchester at the weekend.

They were able to see a large number of exhibits, ranging from some of the most amazing succulents and cacti to delicate daffodils and tulips, along with tasty cakes in the cookery classes and vivid wildlife photographs.

The top flower award went to Derek Phillips as he took the Daffodil Championship for the third time in succession. The award is based around nine varieties, but this is nothing for Derek who has been growing 70 varieties since he began exhibiting in 1985.

Derek, from Peasdown St John, near Bath, Somerset, regularly judges events around the country, including the prestigious Royal Horticultural Show at Wisley. He said the trick to his success was concentrating on each exhibit: “You don’t want to think about the nine vases – the exhibit has to be an exhibit in its own right. It has to have all the right colours.”

Former Dorchester Agricultural Society president Ray Hayward was delighted when his Disquiet variety of Yellow Trumpet daffodils took the Best Bloom award. Ray, from Milborne St Andrew, said the winning flower had been planted in September, plunged in peat during the winter months to keep it frost free and then removed in February.

A keen exhibitor, Ray is a regular on the Dorset show circuit, recently exhibiting at Upwey and is planning to show at Wimborne next week before going on to the regional Wessex Group Show in Bristol.

“The daffodil show season is quite short – running from mid- March to mid-April – so you have to make the most of it.”

Leading national cactus grower David Ennals, from Toller Porcorum, took the top two awards in the British Cactus and Succulent Society’s sponsored classes.

David said he was pleased with the 47 exhibits in the classes, adding there had been an excellent turn-out in the junior classes.

First-time exhibitor Charlie Pitcher had an early birthday present when he was awarded a bronze medal for his cactus entry. Charlie, who turned 14 on Monday, was over the moon with his award.

John Chilcott, Dorchester Agricultural Society president, said he was delighted with the excellent quality of the entries, particularly from young people: “I had an extremely difficult task in judging some of the photography entries as the standard was so high,” he added.

Rebecca Cox
4th Apr 2017 10:15:00

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