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.