Thousands of gardening enthusiasts defied the threatened wrath of Storm Kathleen this weekend to experience an abundance of springtime cheer at the Cornwall Garden Society’s 2024 Spring Flower Show.

Staged at The Royal Cornwall Showground near Wadebridge, visitors, exhibitors, traders and organisers declared the event a success with so much to see, do, learn, purchase and enjoy.

Even the weather behaved!

Sponsored by Cornish Lithium and Goonvean Group, this uniquely Cornish celebration of Spring welcomed experienced horticulturists and green-fingered gardeners from Penzance to Port Isaac; as well as from across the Tamar and beyond.

The Exhibition Halls were vibrant with Spring colour and showcased the finest flora and spectacular shrubs in the Competitive Classes, with 158 categories for ornamental trees and shrubs; magnolias, camellias, rhododendrons, and daffodils; herbaceous, rhizomatous and bulbous species, pot plants, alpines and floral art, and 41 coveted trophies for the taking.

The immersive Cornish garden at the main entrance, designed by Show Director, Mark Holman, with its dry stone walls created by CREST (the Cornwall Rural Education and Skills Trust, supported by Cornwall Heritage Trust); sinuous seating and sculptural spikes loaned by Circle Contemporary Gallery, and perfect plants supplied by Bodmin, Hardy Exotics, Strete Gate Camellias and Trevena Cross Nurseries, wowed the crowds and created a focal point for conversation.

Acclaimed garden designer, Manoj Malde, from BBC TV’s Your Garden Made Perfect, declared the event officially open on Saturday morning and treated visitors to a talk about his new book, Your Outdoor Room: How to design a garden you can live in.

Tipi Talks initiated by Mark Holman, curated by Alasdair Moore from The Lost Gardens of Heligan and supported by the Cornwall Community Foundation, inspired and engaged attendees, with national names and local luminaries sharing their knowledge on a range of fascinating topics – from soil health and forest gardening to how to show camellias and the history of the daffodil. Gardeners’ Questions educated and entertained as panellists tackled the audience’s thorny horticultural dilemmas.

The Grow Your Own area offered unusual herbs, wildflower seeds and intriguing chilli plants, and the Plant Pavilion, Horticultural Heaven and Artisan Area included 130+ master growers and nurseries, garden traders, crafters and charities displaying their wares.

Big Pan Parties offered gourmet street food to go and other edible delights across the Showground.

“I would like to thank every single person who contributed to the success of this year’s Show, which provided a special day out for family and friends, and packed the Exhibition Halls with a hum of happy appreciation,” said Show Director, Mark Holman. “From sponsors and supporters to volunteers and visitors, and absolutely everyone else in between who played their part, the Show Committee could not have delivered this Spring Flower Show for Cornwall without you.”

“A week ago, even a month ago, I had feared that the CGS 2024 Spring Flower Show would be a disaster with no flowers to see because they had been hailed on, rained on or blown away,” added Cornwall Garden Society President, Charles Williams VMH, who awarded the trophies to the winners of the Competitive Classes. “That was definitely and unexpectedly not the case, with the best number of entries in living memory in some classes. That does not just happen. It is because we love it and encourage each other to enter, whether we have taken the plunge before or not. It is also why the Show cuts above its status to attract such an esteemed line-up of national judges.

“Cornwall is the last county in England to have its own independent and self-funded garden society with a membership base. As flower tents at county shows and independent flower shows fall by the wayside, the Cornwall Garden Society thrives and remains unique. I thank Mark Holman for transforming our Show space into something startlingly different as well as our Show Committee for their ingenuity and hard work, and sponsors for their generous support. I also congratulate the winners and entrants, CGS members, traders, volunteers and visitors for being part of this wonderful event and for helping to create such a stand-out occasion for Cornwall’s horticultural community.”

Cornwall Garden Society Chairman, Martin Petherick concluded: “At the CGS Spring Flower Show, you see some of the rarest and finest plants that Cornish gardens have to offer and experience one of the best flower shows in the British Isles. We welcome new members to join us and help propel us forward, and now look forward to planning our next Spring Flower Show on 5th and 6th April 2025.”

BBC Radio Cornwall featuring presenter, Daphne Skinnard, and Garden Line regulars, Sharon Moses, Nigel Pascoe and Liam Shoesmith, broadcast live from the event on Sunday 7th April and you can absorb the atmosphere of the Show by tuning into BBC Sounds at https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0hmg6k

To become a member of the Cornwall Garden Society, visit www.cornwallgardensociety.org.uk/join

Sponsored by:

CORNWALL GARDEN SOCIETY 2024 SPRING FLOWER SHOW – WINNERS OF THE COMPETITIVE CLASSES

Section A TREES AND SHRUBS

1 The Rosemary Cobbald-Sawle Cup

Best Exhibit in Ornamental Trees and Shrubs, Class 1, Section A

Trewithen (Truro)
2 The Louis Reid Cup

Most Points in Ornamental Trees and Shrubs, Classes 2-8, Section A

Mrs G Lim (Par)
3 The Moira Reid Memorial Trophy

Best Exhibit of Variegated Foliage in Ornamental Trees and Shrubs, Class 8, Section A

Trewithen (Truro)
4 The R K Harrison Trophy

Best Exhibit in Ornamental Trees and Shrubs, Novice Classes 9 and 10, Section A

Millie Wykes (Trewithen)

Section B MAGNOLIAS

5 The George Johnstone Perpetual Trophy

Most Points in Magnolias, Classes 11-14, Section B

Caerhays Castle Gardens (St Austell)
6 The Treve Holman Memorial Cup

Best Exhibit in Magnolias, Classes 11-14, Section B

Caerhays Castle Gardens (St Austell)
7 The Patience Barnes Challenge Cup

Best Exhibit in Magnolias, Novice Classes 15 and 16, Section B

Alison Taylor (Lostwithiel)

Section C CAMELLIAS

8 The Norman Colville Bowl

Best Exhibit in Camellias, Class 17,

Section C

(12 different specimen Camellia blooms)

Botallick (Looe)
9 The Viscountess Boyd of Merton Cup

Best Exhibit in Camellias, Class 39,

Section C

Trewithen (Truro)

 

 

10 The Camellia Cup

Most Points in Camellias, Classes 17-37 and 39-41, Section C

Porthpean House (St Austell)
11 The Coode Camellia Cup

Best Exhibit in Camellias, Class 18, Section C

(6 specimen Camellia blooms)

Botallick (Looe)
12 The Mount Edgcumbe Cup

Best Exhibit in Camellias, Novice Classes 38 and 42, Section C

Millie Wykes (Trewithen)

Section D RHODODENDRONS 

13 The Mrs Charles Williams Rhododendron Cup

Most Points in Rhododendrons, Classes 43-54 and 56-62, Section D

Werrington Park (Launceston)
14 The E J P Magor Memorial Cup

Best Vase or Exhibit in Rhododendrons, Classes 43-54 and 56-62, Section D

Werrington Park (Launceston)
15 The Elmgate Cup

Best Exhibit in Rhododendrons, Novice Classes 55 and 63, Section D

Millie Wykes (Trewithen)
16 The Abiss Memorial Trophy

Best Vase in Section A, B, C and D

Werrington Park (Launceston)

 Section E DAFFODILS

17 The T.B.W.A Cup

Best Exhibit in Daffodils, Novice Classes 100, 101 and 102, Section E

Michele Richards (Fowey)
18 The Andrew Leslie Trophy

Winner of Daffodils, Class 64, Section E

Danny Glew (St Austell)
19 The Charles Le Grice Cup

Most Points in Daffodils, Classes 66-94 (even numbers, three stem), Section E

Marie Bersey (Looe)

 

 

20 The John Levitt Memorial Cup

Most Points in Daffodils, Classes 69-95 (odd numbers, single bloom), Section E

Shirley Cardus (Mylor)
21 The Edward Pedlar Cup

Best Exhibit in Daffodils (except Class 65, which is the third leg of The Daffodil Society’s South West Competition), Section E

Shirley Cardus (Mylor)
22 The Alec Gray Perpetual Memorial Cup

Most Points in Daffodils, Classes 67, 96, 97 and 98, Section E

Danny Glew (St Austell)
23 The Rosemary White Cup

Best Heritage Daffodil in Class 99,

Section E

The Lost Gardens of Heligan (St Austell)
24 The Secrett Cup

Most Points in Daffodils, Classes 64-99, Section E

Danny Glew (St Austell)
25 The Daffodil Society Medal

Best Bloom in Daffodils, Class 65,

Section E

Shirley Cardus (Mylor)

 

26 The Banksian Medal

Granted by the RHS for Most Points in Horticultural Classes (winners from past two years not eligible)

Danny Glew (St Austell)

 Section F HERBACEOUS, RHIZOMATOUS AND BULBOUS PLANTS

27 The Mulock Cup

Most Points in Herbaceous, Rhizomatous & Other Bulbous Plants, Classes 103-121, Section F

Mrs G Lim (Par)
28 The Norman Knibbs Memorial Trophy Best Exhibit in Herbaceous, Novice Classes 122-123, Section F Suzie Gilchrist (Fowey)

Section G POT PLANTS

29 Pat’s Indoor Plant Trophy

Best Exhibit in Pot Plants, Classes 124-137, Section G

David Ennals (Toller Porcorum, Dorset)
30 The Hodgson Challenge Cup

Most Points in Pot Plants, Classes 124-137, Section G

Trevor Wiltshire (Wadebridge)

 Section H ALPINES

31 The Cornwall Alpine Garden Society Trophy

Best Exhibit in Alpines, Classes 139-149, Section H

Mrs G Lim (Par)
32 The Bristol & West Trophy

Most Outstanding Vase or Growing Plant in Daffodils, Herbaceous, Rhizomatous & Other Bulbous Plants, Pot Plants and Alpines, Sections E, F, G and H

Mrs G Lim (Par)

Section I – FLORAL ART

33 The Margaret Shepherd Cup

Best Exhibit by a WI Member in Floral Art, Section I

Mandy Nicholson (Saltash)
34 The Kitson Cup

Most Points in Floral Art Classes 151-158, Section I

Pat Knight (Pelynt)
35 The Baseden Trophy

Best Exhibit (two pieces) in Floral Art Class 150, Section I

Cornish Dahlia Society
36 The H & M Libby Memorial Cup

Best Exhibit in Floral Art Novice Classes 151-158, Section I

Carole Budge (Launceston)
37 Constance Spry Memorial Cup

Best Exhibit in Floral Art Class 156,

Section I

Carole Budge (Launceston)
38 The Cornwall Theatre of Flowers Trophy

Best Exhibit in Floral Art Classes 151-158, Section I

Fiona Hammond (Bodmin)

TRADE CLASSES 

39 The Banham Cup

Best Plant Display in Trade Stands

Kits Nursery (Bodmin)
40 The Kilmarth Trophy

Best Newcomer in Trade Stands

The Little Flower Box (St Austell)
41 The Bickford-Smith Trophy

Best Trade Exhibit

Burncoose Nurseries (Gwennap)

 

 

 

 

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