I had my eye on one special plant but that in itself has a rather nice story attached to it - therefore it deserves a post all to itself. More suspense but it will be worth the wait, I hope.
Before the first talk started we had around 30 minutes to make the first pass of the tables. There was 8 trade stands and as is normal at these shows, a table with plants offer for sale by members. On my wish list for today had been a pretty pink/mauve flowering Corydalis but as I made my way around the room, each vendor gave me a shake of their head, offered me a yellow flowering varieties or C.malkensis and C. Beth Evens, both I already grow. As much as it pained me to do so - I offered a simple no thanks reply. What now, the money was burning a whole in my pocket!
I returned to Kevock Garden's tables, they are an award winning specialist nursery - there is always some nice plants, in particular, Primula on offer. Of course, being this early in the year - choice was limited. They had a few little pretties but I already had some of them.
My first purchase was P. Calderiana. A petiolares type Primula. Apparently it is supposed to smell of fish. I've had it up close to my nose and fortunately, can't smell it! It needs a cool shady damp postion - lots of those in my garden! P. forrestii was my second purchase, this one needs a gritty lime soil - therefore will need to be grown in a container if I'm to keep this going. Lastly, P. juliana Garryarde Guinevere. Guinevere is an old variety dating back to the 1920/30 and I had been after her for a while. I'm pleased to welcome her to my garden.
It was time now to take our seats - we had already decided that sitting up on the balcony would be better. The main hall by now was filling up. Sheila was keeping her eyes peeled for the doors to the balcony opening so we could get front row seats.
In this picture, you can just make out the Beechgrove Garden crew directly in front of the stage (right hand side). Someone else I recognise in this shot is Billy Carruthers (red lumber jacket bottom left) he is the owner of my local nursery Binny Plants. They didn't have a stand at todays show but mental note to grab him later and enquire about the elusive Corydalis. Sadly, I couldn't find him, I suspect he didn't hang around for long.
Both speakers today were women. Which, from what I could gather, was quite rare at these events. There was a huge German contingent in the audience and their translator stood up and introduced the first talker. I thought this was a rather nice touch.
The first talk - the picture says it all!
|Make your own Daffodils (and Snowdrops) by Anne Wright|
Anne Wright made a very useful comparison in her slide show. She showed us how to chip and twin scale onions, who knew - certainly not me! What a clever comparison that was, I may not be familiar with the internals of a snowdrop bulb but the insides of an onion is no stranger! Each of her slides was detailed and along with her narration I found I had a better grasp on this method of propagating. Whether or not I'd actually give it a go would be another thing. Mind you, if at anytime there is a spare onion kicking around the kitchen, it had better watch out. I'll have it chipped as quick as look at it! My immediate thought was just how much would all the equipment and sundries cost me? Depending on the bulb, it would likely be more cost effective to buy more bulbs. On a commercial scale though - probably far more cost effective her way. I'll leave you to do the math!
She then touched on the subject of Hybridizing, how to prepare the flowers and carry our artificial pollination. For a complete novice like me, I found it useful in terms of learning about the sex organs of a plant. Again, whether or not I'd give it a go - I doubt it. I'm far too lazy a gardener! Maybe one day in my retirement, when I get the greenhouse of my dreams and have much more time on my hands, a girl can dream can't she? Never say never though!
We were then treated to a slide show of the various plants she had produced through Hybridizing - some nice, some not so nice but as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I thoroughly enjoyed this talk, the room was then opened for questions before we broke for lunch.
|Anne Wright's sale table|
full to bursting with her Hybridized Narcissus
Lunch consisted of a packed lunch we brought with us, saves time queuing in the canteen or spending money, that could be spent on plants. After our sandwiches, we went for a wee stroll around Dunblane. Had we more time, it would have been nice to have wee stroll around the Cathedral and it's grounds. I could not resist a cheeky little shot of Andy Murray's gold painted Pillar Box. Most of you are probably familiar with our bright red pillar boxes here in the UK but to commemorate medal British gold medal winners in the 2012 Olympics - pillar boxes in their home towns were permanently painted gold by Royal Mail. I've provided a link here if you want to read more about it.
We made a quick dash back to reclaim our seats for the second talk. Diane Clement - Hepaticas, a growing obsession, began with an introduction to Hepaticas and their species. We were then give an explanation on their taxonomy - these little woodland wonders used to attributed to the Anemone but were separated from them due to the green sepal like bract that appears just below the petals. It's not only the flowers that are interesting, their foliage can be just as eye catching. In Japan, Hepaticas are extremely popular, obsessive even and like Snowdrops, can command extremely high prices.
It's at this point, I'm utterly ashamed to say I nodded off! Those who read my previous post know that I had attended the show after only 3 hours sleep, I just couldn't help myself - I did ask my companion if I had snored, she then had to admit that she too had fallen asleep. How embarrassing?
In my defence the hall was hot and stuffy. Just in case I have whetted your appetite - I found a very similar article here. In fact the more I read of this article, the more familiar it became, perhaps I wasn't asleep for as long as I thought! Thank goodness I don't make a living as a journalist! You know, it would have been just as easy to say I hadn't made the 2nd talk but that would have been dishonest and not quite so funny. Anyhow, I'll bet Sheila and I are not the only ones to have fallen asleep in such circumstances.
There was just enough time to make a final pass of the trade stalls, of course, by this time they were somewhat depleted of their stock. I picked up a rather pretty Hellebore - not something I would have expected to buy at such a show. Here's a preview of it's foliage. As you can see it has some lovely fat buds on it and I'll let it have it's blog debut when those are out.
|Helleborus x sternii Silver Dollar|
Ashwood nurseries describe it as 'Quite outstanding with bright silver serrated leaves and small green cup shaped flowers flushed with pink'. I also took a punt on a couple of Narcissus seedlings - they are very tiny at present - N. jacetanus and N. cyclamineus x asturiensus. They may well find their way into my miniature garden sometime soon.
I hope you have enjoy a look at this show through a newbies eyes - the last part in this series will be about a rather special plant I bought. I hope I haven't bored you too much already and you will come back to read it. Coincidentally, the pink Corydalis I was seeking, has since been purchased - Corydalis solida First Kiss not quite pink but beautiful just the same. Click on the link for a wee sneaky peep.