Friday 20 September 2013

Bolton Percy Village Flower Show

Not just flowers but vegetables, fruits, cakes and preserves. It’s good that village traditions live on and a small village show has about 300 entries in about sixty different classes. Each year former colleague Mike Ashford and myself are invited to judge the fruit, veg and flowers. It is a very pleasant and in no way arduous task but we make quite sure we are gone before the public arrive; they might not like our choices!
All the entries are in and registered in the parish room by 11am. They are still serving coffee when Mike and I arrive.
The old school yard
The parish room is the old village school closed seventy years past.The parish room yard is the old playground with the original and now much-cracked tarmac surface. It acts as a wonderful mulch covered with years of leaf litter which is now soil. Just at look at the Japanese anemone that I planted through the broken tarmac thirty years ago (don’t let anyone tell you that herbaceous perennials must be planted every three to five years!).  It is six foot tall, twice the height of the same plant in my own garden!
Bolton Percy village green
Inside the marque on the village green it is by now a hive of industry as volunteer ‘officials’ attend to the judging. The lady who judges the cakes observed that she had to taste all the produce. Was this a complaint or was she just gloating?
It’s planned like a military operation
Mike and I do the judging together. We are not experts in the rules of judging but for a small village it is not appropriate to be too severe and the classes of produce are quite simply defined.
I need my cup of coffee
One of the most important factors in judging the quality of the frequently specified three items of produce is they are of uniform size. The biggest are not always the best. This year it worked out that the first, second and third prize for three courgettes was in the reverse order of size. We always have a minor crisis of conscience when judging the runner beans. We are torn between the small young tender beans like we eat at home or the large long uniform ones that look good on the display bench.
Can’t you just smell the winning entry for the best scented rose?

A fine entry in the children’s section

I wonder if he had any help?

The lovely orchids look a bit crowded

It’s been a good year for sweet corn
Clutching a bottle of wine, by 12.30 we are on the way home.


  1. I don't blame you making a hasty retreat.
    Why do parents do that - pass off their work as that of their child - this used to happen a lot when I was teaching!

    1. I think this happens a lot in schools with regard to homework.
      In this case no one really thinks a child has done the work all by herself/himself and if the thrill of appearing in a show sows the seeds of a future gardener it's alright by me. ):-
      ( I can never remember these smilie things, hope I am not being rude Sue!)

    2. That's more an angry frown, Roger :) See pair of eyes and smiley mouth.

      Imagine it turned through 90 degrees clockwise

  2. I love this great English tradition! We have these shows only for flowers in our villages, but I do like the competition of the best vegetables and fruit. I did not know that even cakes and preserves are showed.
    And about 300 entries in a small village........yes, the English are real gardeners.

    1. Perhaps my turn of phrase gives the wrong impression about the number of entries Janneke. Some folk might enter for perhaps a dozen classes, but if say fifty people are entering it is very commendable for a small village

  3. O, I see I understood it wrong. Yes 50 people is about the same as on our village shows, and indeed very commendable for a small village.


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