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Aldbury Garden Club

Spring Show Report 


 April 7th 2024

ACG Spring Reports: Text

Anyone who gardens will know that we are at the mercy of the weather. Last year the show was at the end of a freezing winter and late spring, so we were woefully short of tulips. This year, although it hasn’t always felt like it, late winter/early spring has been warmer than usual so finding daffodils in perfect enough condition for our RHS accredited judge Peter was tricky. He’s a real stickler! I feared for my sanity as in the run up to the show I found myself staring longingly at daffodils on every roadside and wondering if my conscience would let me steal some in the dead of night! It didn’t! 

We didn’t have the sea of yellow we had last year, but it was still a magnificent display which was made even more beautiful by the vast array of tulips that joined the daffodils. It never ceases to amaze me just how many varieties of each of these two flowers there are, hence the number of different show classes. Two ladies visiting the area from Wing were quite bowled over, and another from Haddenham said that our village show put theirs to shame, and they have a population of 6,000! Be very proud of yourselves Aldbury gardeners! 😊 

New participants mingled with old hands as people brought down their entries. Some were clutching just a few blooms, others had buckets of them. Annie Eggar needed a wheelbarrow (plus Duncan!) to bring down her ‘pot of flowering bulbs’ whilst Michelle Grace had a far easier job transporting her jar of chutney from the vicarage. 

There were multiple daffodil and tulip first prize winners this year which was wonderful. And they weren’t all bagged by the bucket bringers! Jennie Shaw, Kate Holton, Bill Page, Barbara Gunter-Jones, Tess Alps, Janet Joynson, Alex Pearce, Annie Eggar and I all won a first for one or more of our blooms. 

In the general classes Caroline Ellwood’s pot of flowering jasmine (brought to the show by a handsomely windswept Tobias) took first prize, Tess won for her 5 stems of polyanthus, Alison Bateson triumphed over a mass of mugs filled with spring flowers, Rosmarie Hollinghurst took first place for her rhododendron, Tess’s gorgeous fritillarias were also winners and thankfully, after the effort of getting it there, so was Annie’s pot of flowering bulbs! 

Tess was the overall flower queen winning the Les Sparkhall Challenge Cup for most points across all flower categories. Nice one Tess! I was the shock winner of the Eric Moss Daffodil Challenge Cup. The first cup I have won for anything flower related in my history with the AGC! 

The flower arranging classes for this show were on the themes of Reflections and Peace. Tess won the former with a stunning and very clever display about Narcissus and his reflection, whilst I won the latter with a simple white creation of hedgerow blossom, tulips and Bergenia flowers. We each bagged second place in the opposite categories, so we shared the AGC Floral Arts Challenge Trophy. 

People who regularly enter the Domestic Classes are always in a state of slight fear and trembling at the thought of what the formidable Pat Quigg will have to say about their cooking. Ann Allsworth and I have discussed it (and laughed about it) often enough! Undaunted, Clare Juniper, Alex Pearce, Michelle Grace, Teresa Inglis, Annie, Tess, Lillian Gunter-Jones, Juanita Mann, Ann and I all brought offerings. It was a tense wait for the results! Michelle won the chutney class and Teresa the marmalade. Ann’s carrot cake was a winner, ditto Clare’s asparagus quiche. I pipped others to the post for my hot cross buns, Millionaire’s shortbread and apple pie made with pâte sucrée. I am therefore very proud to say that despite my quiche having a ‘soggy bottom’ I won the Spring Show Domestic Shield. 

As always, I was very excited to see what the under 14s had come up with for their two classes – a bird’s nest made from any materials, and two animal biscuits. They are so imaginative, and our judge Eileen had a very hard job deciding between them all. Isabella and Massimo Pett came up with fantastic ideas but were narrowly beaten by Seth Capp for his bird’s nest and Xanthe Cole for her biscuits. The overall winner of the Junior Trophy for the 3rd year in a row was the very talented Xanthe. Well done to them all! 

My gratitude is endless for everyone who entered any class and to those who came to support us and bought raffle tickets. Staging the show is a huge team effort and particular thanks go to the AGC committee (Sue Justice, Linda Di Mizio, Tess, Ted Bianco, Paula Anderson and Ian Brown), Tim Alps, John Justice, Mark Milner, Sylvia Wren, Janet Joynson and all those who stayed to help us clear away at the end of the afternoon. 

Rachael MacRae
AGC Chair

ACG Spring Reports: Text
ACG Spring Reports: Pro Gallery

Aldbury Garden Club

Spring Show Report 


April 2nd 2023

ACG Spring Reports: Text

After a freezing Winter and a very wet March the committee was concerned that the hall would look very sparse for the Spring Show on Sunday April 2nd. How wrong we were! Wordsworth would have been enraptured by the host of golden daffodils, not to mention the rest of the dazzling displays that filled the tables. We had double the number of exhibitors of last year and wonderful feedback from everyone who came.  


Daffodils of every possible shape, size and colour were our most hotly contested classes with multiple exhibitors winning first prizes. We were especially delighted to be able to award the Eric Moss Challenge Cup for six individual blooms to Alison Bateson, whose late husband George planted many of the bulbs. 


Tulips were in short supply due to the weather, but Tess came up trumps with hers and covered most of the categories in one fell swoop. Multiple Mugs of Spring flowers looked so pretty on the back wall table, overflowing with colour and variety. Sally Basset pipped everyone else to the post with her exhibit. Tess won the flowering shrub class with a stunning branch of Magnolia stellata, and Alison Bateson’s Amaryllis triumphed as the best flowering pot plant.


Flower Art entries were on the themes of A Crown and Tulip Fever. With two magnificent winning displays, Tess was appropriately crowned and won the Floral Arts cup. She also won the Les Sparkhall cup for the most points over all the flower categories. Nice one Tess! 


The Junior entries were wonderfully creative on the themes of a Gingerbread Figure and Eggstravaganza. There was a tie for first place between Xanthe Cole and Massimo Pett so we decided to buy another trophy and award two this year. Congratulations to them both, and well done to all the other children who entered. A talented bunch!


Pat Quigg had her work cut out judging all the Domestic Class delicacies this year. Armed with her spoon, knife and glass of water she bravely ploughed through numerous jars of chutney and marmalade before tackling some beautifully plaited loaves, chocolate Brownies, sausage rolls and cakes. I am extremely proud to say that, despite some tough competition from Ann Allsworth and Clare Juniper, I won the Domestic Shield for the second time, proving to my incredulous husband, Angus, that last year was no fluke!


There are numerous people to thank. First and foremost, everyone who submitted an exhibit. Without you and your support there would be no show. It takes planning and effort to plant, nurture, pick, arrange, create, bake and boil your way to an entry so well done everyone who did, and thank you. Also, all those who came to view and bought raffle tickets to support our participants and our club. Sylvia and Rose spent hours grappling with entries and results, and our judges Peter Robertson, Judy Wortley and Pat Quigg did a tricky job superbly well. Tim Alps moved mountains of equipment and tables yet again, helped this year by John Justice, and Janet ran the raffle brilliantly despite recent knee surgery. Last but most definitely not least, your Aldbury Garden Club committee of Tess, Annie, Linda, Ted, Sue and Paula. It takes a massive team effort to stage the show, and despite this being the first ‘behind the scenes’ year for three of them it ran like clockwork. You are all superstars, thank you.

Rachael MacRae
AGC Chair

ACG Spring Reports: Text
ACG Spring Reports: Pro Gallery
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