Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Scottish Rock Garden Club

I had the pleasure of attending my first ever plant show at the weekend.  What a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon I had.

The Edinburgh and Lothians branch of the SRGC hold a show here in Edinburgh annually.  Being that it is very local for me, a ten minute drive round the city bypass, made it an ideal candidate in which I could dip my toe into the water so too speak.  Alpine plants have always fascinated me and have admired them more often than not, from afar!  As my confidence in gardening is growing - I am hoping that I can turn my hand to growing some of these special little plants.  The main purpose was to get some inspiration and talk to the people who grow them.

I met some lovely people on the day.  They were very willing to discuss their plants and more importantly answer some of the questions I put their way.  I did feel like a bit of a duck out of water - the show format was sort of baffling for a first timer!  I've since found that the show rules are available on their website - now that I've read them, I can look back with a bit more understanding.

As I walked into the hall - I was taken aback by the riot of colour that greeted me.  Members, visitors et al formed an orderly queue - I stood patiently in line until it was my turn.  There was plenty of oohing and aahing.  Heads were nodding, grins were beaming and appreciation was apparent.  The dedication and commitment could not be ignored.

The most coveted award in the show is the George Forrest Memorial Medal.  Named after George Forrest the Scottish plant collector and explorer.

   

"the winner is........Hepatica Transylvanica - exhibitied by David Boyd"


A few more shots of these fascinating little woodlanders

Hepatica auctiloba

Hepatica Ashwood strain


On the opposite side of the hall - pans of Primulas were lined up - their exhibitors, no doubt, waiting with anxiety just a few minutes before the doors were opened and results revealed.  Here are a few,    
Left to Right
Primula Gold Lace, Primula Jackie Richards and Primula Blindsee
Various prize winning Primula

Perfect white blooms
Another group of plants which were exhibited in their droves were Saxifraga.  Saxifraga are a fascinating group of plants - such a diverse group that have really taken my fancy.  There were many beautiful specimens on display - here is a group of prize winners.



By far the largest exhibitor on the day was the Royal Botanical Gardens of Edinburgh their display was astounding and had I more room and a proper camera (not my phone) with me - I could have show cased this panoramic scene better.  Here are a couple of shots from the display

Various bulbs inc. Muscari, Narcissus and Fritillaria

Fritillaria towering above

More spring bulbs

Erythronium 

The vast amount of spring bulbs on display was to say the least, impressive - I wondered if the extended winter that we have seen this year has anything to do with the selection displayed at the show.  Having looked back at previous show reports it seems so!  Not that it hampered my enjoyment of the show, far from it!

My favourites of the day.....

Crocus 'Prins Claus'
Techophilaea cyanocrocus

Saxifraga Georgei
I had agreed to meet up with a friend at the show and as she is a member of the SRGC - she needs to take her turn at manning the entrance table - collecting money and selling tombola tickets.  Her stint was to last 1 hour - this gave me the perfect opportunity to go have a look through at the Plant Sales room before we had lunch!

There was a few nurseries displaying their wares along with an SRGC members plant sales table.  I was speaking to the owner of the local nursery I frequently use - he told me that despite the hall only being open for a short time - sales were good and plants were just flying off the tables!  I cheekily told him that I would not be buying from him, I could do that any time and if I'm being completely honest - I already had most of the plants he was selling that interests me!  He just laughed and with a little wink said 'See you next weekend!' - he knows me well!

As I wandered from seller to seller - I felt it only fair that I should not show favouritism and purchased a little something from each of them.  That will be a topic for another blog of course but as I already had a little project in my mind before going - I'm going to have an attempt at something like this



or this




or this


  

These miniature gardens are fascinating - I'm hoping that I can recreate something similar.  Now that I've bought the plants - I'm excited to get started.  I have finally managed to find a local source of Tufa rock so will try to get there at the weekend.          
        
I hope you have enjoyed my novice look around the Scottish Rock Garden show but if you would like to learn or read more, the 2013 report has just been published and you can read it here.

108 comments:

  1. Love those stone troughs. I'm going to make one this year...definitely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bridget - we will be looking forward to seeing what you create!

      Delete
  2. What a fun time you had! Sometimes seeing things through fresh, unjaded eyes is the best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ricki - I think you are right, I was able to appreciate without picking up any faults or errors

      Delete
  3. Wow! That looks like such a greta day out....sigh. Lovely photos too.TFS x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jane - it was a great day out and coming home with plants made it even better :)

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  4. I've always been fascinated by the little alpine gardens as well. Those examples you showed are wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wish I could say they were all my own work Shirley - watch this space though!

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  5. Sounds like fun! I don't think I'll ever have so much time that I can keep up with my garden and grow exhibition pots, but it's fun to see what other people create. Hope you are enjoying some spring weather!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't begin to find the dedication either. Maybe when I retire but it would not be an option at this time in my life.
      It is fun to see and if I can create something half as beautiful I'd be extremely happy

      Delete
  6. The wonderful thing about gardening is that just when you think you have found something that makes your heart beat faster, along comes another delight to tempt. It looks as if you had a great time and I am wondering what you bought. I would have been spoilt for choice, but I think the hepaticas might have been sneaking home with me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How true! I will do a blog about what I've bought...when I get time! Thanks for visiting

      Delete
  7. Those hepaticas look far better than mine (although I am quite pleased with my own this year) Its great to see the enthusiasm for growing alpines and the success of the SRGS. Alpine gardening clubs down here in some cases seem to be in decline. I lectured about my dicentras to the South west Scotland group at this time last year and was amazed at the level of attendance and enthusiasm- not to mention their hospitality!
    Roger

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roger - us Scots are a friendly bunch :) I think I would have enjoyed that lecture too.
      Glad your hepaticas are doing well. I only have 2 and they are kept in the cold frame - I'm not sure whether or not to chance them out in the garden.

      Delete
  8. What a lovely bunch of plants. I love the little containers of plants.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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  9. Oh how exciting, as you probably know I am exploring the world of alpines as well. I went to a talk recently where they showed photographs of fields of imperial fritillaries growing in the wild they were stunning and it was fascinating to see them growing as they should rather than as individuals in gardens.
    We shall have to share our alpine experiences. I have joined the SRGC as I really like its forum

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Helen - I had noticed on your blog - it will be nice to share our experience. I'd love to get full benefits of membership but as my working hours would not allow me to attend group meetings etc - I've had a look on the forum, maybe worth joining just for that. Thanks for the push!

      Delete
  10. I am a member of the SRGC from afar. They have a wonderful on line forum where I avidly follow the snowdrop thread.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carolyn - I think it's a very popular group for international members. I must join!!

      Delete
  11. There were some beautiful flowers there, and visiting a show at this time of year makes it very tempting to go out and find some new treats for the garden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wendy - very tempting as I know too well :)

      Delete
  12. A little miniature garden sounds so sweet! And I love the displays. I'm afraid I wouldn't have been able to resist the sales!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly Holley and resist I didn't :)
      I just hope I'm not to heavy handed to make it a success

      Delete
  13. Wow, I can see why that H. transylvanica took the top award -- that bright blue color is eye-popping and the form is lovely. What a fun event! Thanks for taking us along through your photos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The colour was amazing! It was difficult not to fall in love with these beauties. Please you enjoyed my pics

      Delete
  14. Eye candy! Alpine plants are great if you want to garden big time with limited space. :-)
    Love the Hepaticas. I had actually never heard of those before they featured on Gardeners World last week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda - eye candy indeed!! I just hope I don't get too obsessive - it would not be good for the bank balance!
      The feature on GW was great wasn't it!

      Delete
  15. Such beautiful alpines, and the displays in the troughs are so lovely. I'm looking forward to seeing what you create.

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  16. Aren't they Paula! I looking forward to getting started. It's still a bit too cold to spend too long out in the garden. Once it heats up a bit - I'll be getting started!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hepaticas are the new buzz plant ! Keep seeing photos & reading about them all over. No wonder, they are lovely. I want to make miniature gardens too this year, miniature microcosms peopled by miniature figures. I saw a fantastic one using cacti and succulents + miniature cowboys. Very amusing !

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  18. They seem to be Jane. I think since the GW feature last week - they will be very popular. Good luck with your attempt. We can compare later in the year!

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  19. That looks like a really lovely show, I adore hepaticas, though I have never grown any. I will look forward to reading about what you bought, impossible not to have come away laden, at least with alpines a little money can go a long way. You have me thinking about how to use a little trough I have rescued, maybe some alpines would be a good use of it...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janet - aren't the spectacular little plants! Such beauty from the tiniest thing! Although doing them on a massive scale would be extremely hard work I think.
      I think your little trough would look super filled with a few alpines and as you say a little money can go a long way!

      Delete
  20. Angie what a wonderful show and so many plants that I have or similar species...fascinating and I love how the miniature gardens are displayed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Donna - I love the too! You are lucky to have lots of these - being quite new to me I am having fun trying to increase my collection.

      Delete
  21. Hi Angie - a great posting and some lovely shots of the various displays... going to plant events at this time of year always lifts your spirits! Just another excuse to purchase plants!! :-) Many thanks for visiting my blog recently - do hope the bees start to appear in your garden again after the long winter.. enjoy your weekend - Miranda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Miranda - thank you for stopping by :)
      Yes, the spirits do get lifted and I'm pleased to say that there was a couple of bees this afternoon. Rather large ones so hopefully queens looking for somewhere to nest!

      Delete
  22. Oh! such lovely flowers. But, I thought you were going to say more about alpine plants. I heard about them but have no idea. Perhaps you can write a blog post about it. All the best in creating those miniature gardens :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. KL - I will do a blog on my plants but you must keep in mind that I am quite a beginner at growing alpines. I do have a few that reside in the garden and are quite happy there.
      I'll do my best :)

      Delete
  23. Ciao! Ho scoperto ora il tuo blog, mi piace tantissimo e lo seguirò con piacere :)

    Un saluto

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Angie, sounds like you had a lot of fun at the Scottish Rock Garden Show! I have to admit that I have never been at a plant show, except rose shows, and think in general they are far less popular here in the US than they are in England. I think I would enjoy going to one as well, so I will keep my eyes open if I can discover a plant show close by where I live.
    I am fascinated especially by the display of bulbs that you are showing in your post here and I love the fritillaria. Have to find out if they would grow for me here in San Diego as well.
    Christina

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