Wereham Sign Gary Trouton

Passionate About Plants

August 2009

Paul discusses the difference between a fete and a country fair.

When I was a lad a fete was a fete not a country fair!

I am so thankful that at least the Royal Norfolk Show stays The Royal Norfolk Show and has not changed its name into the current in word 'Country Fair', the local steam rally is now it seems the Rally and Country Fair, when I was a lad a fete was a fete and not a Country Fair!

I have recently sold plants at what I would call a proper Garden and Country Fair in Scotland, but more of that later.

Hooray for Quaymount we achieved another Gold making it four in a row for our floral display at the Royal Norfolk Show. Being asked to be a judge was a great honour but suddenly I remembered all the aggravation that happened to me when I was asked to judge all the entries at a local horticultural societies meeting, how cakes ever came into it I will never know but I was certainly not prepared, I either like a cake or I don't so I no doubt chose the wrong one and upset the people on the committee! Armed with this thought I swiftly passed the honour to Roger who works for me after all he is experienced at judging. I am not saying Roger judging helped us win a Gold, after all he did stand down and leave the marquee when our stand was being judged. Knowing the format of judging makes you pay attention to detail and can be the difference between a Silver and a Gold medal.

Even before the judging started in my mind there was only one exhibit which was worthy of the best in show (unfortunately he was opposite us), it was the chrysanthemum grower from Lancashire. Every bloom was perfect, all the blooms were uniform and the display stood out from one end of the marquee to the other, however, not one of us were prepared for the oppressive heat we had to endure on the second day, 35 degrees plus, people walking around like zombies, and those poor chrysanthemum blooms really started to suffer. It is at times like this I like people watching but without a shadow of a doubt the poor poodle clipped into various pom poms and festooned with purple ribbons was the star of the day not only did it look a complete and utter fool it fixed you with a stare interpreted into 'I know I look a ponce but don't you dare laugh', this knocked the lady with the fuchsia pink t shirt and MATCHING HAIR well into second place!

We are already thinking about our display for next year's Royal Norfolk Show, but next we have the Sandringham Flower Show where we are lucky enough to be supplying plants for designer Jody Lidgard who is building a special show garden promoting the work of the Help for Heroes charity. We will have our own trade stand selling not only our unusual Hydrangeas but also a selection of more difficult to find plants.

The Kirkcudbright Garden and Country Fair was a real pleasure to be at, Kirkcudbright seems to be full of friendly amateur gardeners keen on the more unusual plants, on the first day the sun shone and it reminded me of something out of the James Herriot books even down to the main arena event 'The Drakes Hazzard', Ducks being put through their paces with the help of sheep dogs and the farmer - a fantastic commentator who got everybody cheering and helping the three main stars Count Duckular, Francis Drake and The Maverick Mallard complete their various obstacle courses including the death defying dive from a board into a pool, well worth looking them up on the internet.

Although the shows are hard work they do give us a little light relief from the hard work on the nursery (oh and a little extra income).

The recent hot weather has encouraged red spider on many plants so don't forget you can spray them with soft water containing a few drops of original Fairy Liquid, making sure you get the undersides of leaves.

Happy Gardening

Quaymount Nurseries

The Row,


01366 500691.

Paul Markwell

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