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Great turn out for Horticultural Society’s 47th annual show

THE annual showpiece of the Frome Selwood Horticultural Society took place last month and once again it did not disappoint. 

It was the society’s 47th annual show and this year had over 140 entries. There was an array of displays from home grown produce, flowers, pot plants and fruit and harvest baskets.

The show featured on BBC Radio Bristol lunchtime broadcast just minutes before the public were welcomed through the doors. Show secretary Mike Meaden, himself an award winning gardener and expert begonia and fuchsia grower, spoke enthusiastically about the Society show.

Various venues in Frome have hosted the event, from the old Technical College up Park Road that is now Longleat Court, to the old Market Hall, now the library; then the Cheese and Grain and Football Club to where it is now held – in the perfect setting of Selwood Academy. Head teacher, Jean Hopegood, took the opportunity to congratulate all who had taken part.

Jean and FSHS President Pam Secker had the task of presenting the prizes for the many colourful exhibits.

Jane Norris, who helps organise the event, said, “Even if not everyone could win, at least many of the 140 members had taken part.  Of the 505 entries, 475 were actually staged, which by anyone’s standards is remarkable given the inclement weather of the past week that had wreaked havoc on some of the delicate tall stemmed flowers and soft fruit, apples and vegetables.

“The baking section was well supported and two new names will be added to the characters whose names are already engraved.  Rachel Joyce stole the class in her first year, taking most points in homecraft, while Dan Norris was adjudged the best exhibit in the whole of the section with his apple chutney.

“Rachel will also have her name on the best exhibit in floral art trophy, and her husband, Terry Joyce beat off some wonderful photography by winning both prizes in that class.

“Top gardeners were David Turner, who won the Society Shield for Most Points in Show; Richard Robinson for his vegetables, in particular for winning the NVS medal for most meritorious vegetable exhibit for his pair of cabbages. Alistair Wood won the coveted Ralph Showering Memorial Trophy for Best Exhibit in Show with his near perfect white decorative dahlias.  His Master Gardeners Trophy is credit for his all-round growing expertise.

“FSHS chairman Ray Carver still has the talent that brought Frome in Bloom to the town, and won best pot plant with a beautiful orange begonia and Mike Meaden proved yet again that he never fails with his exhibit fuchsias.  Jean Fraser won most points in floral art with her wonderful interpretation in the many floral art classes.

“NAFAS judge, Mike Bowyer congratulated all who took part, as did the other guest judges, Mr D Rawding on vegetables, Mr Bob Ford on flowers, Mrs Jean Cristofoli on homecraft and Mrs Lyn Blanning on photography.

“Mike Meaden particularly paid tribute to the exhibitors and to those who had supported the show in its planning and organisation.

“The FSHS celebrates its fiftieth year next year when a special celebration is planned.  Everyone is welcome to come along to the monthly meetings that are held at Critchill School, Frome.  See press or visit or phone Jane on 0777 6208531 for more details.