Holding my own horticultural show

It’s sad to read that the West End and Windlesham District Agricultural and Hotricultural Society’s annual show is cancelled for this year.

It does mean that I’ll be holding, for one more year, onto the Silver Perpetual Cup I won last year for cacti and succulents. So, with the cup in my possession for one more year, I’ve decided to hold my own competition. The details are yet to be worked out, probably a lucky dip approach to choosing the date, this makes sure I look after all my little ‘babies’.

Meanwhile, a few of them are in flower. The flowers are very small, but none the less attractive for that. Here’s a reminder of my collecting the cup, and a couple of my cacti in flower.

The pleasures on my latest short walk

The government recommends I should take daily short walk for fitness. I know I should. Can’t say that I do. Am currently cleaning our conservatory gutters, and generally titivating it, inside and out – which involves lots of stopping for cups of tea.

I did take a short walk a day or two ago, and was delighted to see lots of rhododendrons and azaleas in full bloom. I’m sure you’ll have worked out that I’m mildly addicted to them. The purple one is in our garden, therefore, I know it’s name – Purple Passion.

Good news, wild orchids are showing themselves alongside the heathland track on Hangmoor Hill. Some of the London skyscrapers can now be seen fro Hangmoor Hill through the improvement in air quality.

That’s enough for now. A few of my cacti have come into flower, meaning lots my titivating to do. [click on images to expand]

Today, it’s a holiday in the sun for our cacti

Crumbs, it’s a gorgeous sunny day. What better than to give our cacti a day’s holiday in the sun, away from their home on the windowsills of our conservatory.

They’ve been watered, fed and titivated. All are, happily, healthy, and some are in flower or are soon to flower. We’ve a succulent, with fleshy leaves, that we’ve ….. I really should say I, have tended over the years and is showing sign that it’s about to flower for the first time. It’s an Adromischus cooperi, which is slow growing, and I mean slow growing, it’s got to this size, as shown in the photo below, after 7 or 8 years, maybe longer.

The other photo is of part of our collection, one of which will say to me, I’m the one you should take to the West End, Windlesham and District Agricultural and Horticultual Show in September. Remember, I’m the the holder of the Silver Perpetual Cup for cacti and succulents – proud photo below.

Sun, fun, flowers, produce, and crafts at West End Ag & Hort Show

Last Saturday, 15th September, it was sun, fun, flowers, produce, and crafts at West End, Windlesham and District Agricultural & Horticulture Annual Show.

From here on in it’s simply the Ag & Hort. My report on this year’s smashing show is sadly short as I spent most of my time in amongst the show entries in Tringham Hall and the Marquee. Why, well, my dear wife and I submitted numerous entries. We both had successes in our respective categories. Me, I couldn’t help telling everyone I met that I’d won first prize and a cup.

I was successful in Cacti and Succulents, winning first prize and a third prize, and to my astonishment the first prize came with a Silver Perpetual Cup – see photo below. Dear wife was successful with cheese straws [the straws weren’t the most attractive, but I guess won on taste. Use of very strong Cheddar Cheese the probable reason], and in handmade card in the crafts, although her artisan bread failed to be placed.

Oh, wasn’t the show lucky with the weather – lovely warm sunshine which brought out the crowds. The show ran out of draught beer, an indication of the warmth and crowds.

The show is beautifully organised, and is a highlight of the West End cultural activity. I’ve posted a few photos, and a short video [PS The cup is proudly on display in our lounge].

Cosseting my cacti for the West End & Windlesham Agricultural & Horticultural Show

No too long to go till the West End, Windlesham and District Agricultural and Horticultural Society annual show [WEWDAHS for short].

Last year I submitted two cacti with one winning a third prize. I can’t submit either again, even though they have both responded wonderfully to my cosseting with healthy growth in the last year.

My small cacti collection had a couple of days holiday outdoors in the sun over a week ago. Some have, pleasingly, put on a spurt of growth. What I hope for now is another sunny spell when I can give them a final watering and feeding. Then I can make my choice.

Last year was my first experience of exhibiting and the tension waiting to see the judges verdict.

A scary night for my cacti

My, much loved, small collection of cacti were left out last night – there was no escape for them from lightning, thunder, and rain.

I’d given the cacti a day out in the sun, with a generous feeding and watering. I hadn’t expected the night to be so scary for them – though enjoyable for my wife and I watching the lightning.

Here they are this morning enjoying the sunshine.

Adding to our cacti collection

Last weekend we visited the open day of Ottershaw Cacti near Woking.

They are not open to the public, and so an open day is one of the few opportunities to see their cacti collection., apart from when they exhibit at gardening shows. Growing and exhibiting cacti is Daniel Jackson’s hobby. That’s quite some hobby when you have 9 commercial-sized greenhouses full of cacti and succulents. And yes, there is a difference between cacti and succulents. Generally, and I am no expert, cacti have spikes, while succulents are more fleshy.

Naturally, I took some photos, which you might like to see. I’ll not show photos of what we bought for fear of losing them through my negligent care. I bought four and dearest wife two. Maybe next spring I’ll show you.

No shortage of exhibits at the West End Ag & Hort

Our hot summer caused concern for the organisers of the West End, Windlesham and District Agricultural and Horticultural Society’s annual show [WEWDAHS for short] that there’d be a shortage of produce exhibits – vegetables and things having ripened weeks ago.

The hot summer will have had an effect on exhibits, but not so you’d notice. The flowers were spectacular, the tomatoes looked luscious, the wine, sloe gin, and fruit gin looked quaff-able, and the preserves suitable for my breakfast toast.

Elsewhere in the show the craft exhibits, photographs, paintings, and children’s work were gazed at by the visitors. You might want to know how my cacti performed in Class 33. Well, not too badly, one was given third prize. It now gets a prized position on the dining room window sill.

Events diary: 8th September: West End Ag & Hort Show

To give the West End Ag & Hort Show it’s full title,  it’s the West End, Windlesham & District Agricultural & Horticultural Society Annual Show. To locals it’s the Ag & Hort.

We’re members. My dear wife is a regular exhibitor, winning, on occasion, first prize for her bread. Me, as I’ve said here recently, I’m, nervously, exhibiting my favourite cacti. Anyway. it’s a lovely traditional show with plenty to do and see.

Five of my babies in fine fettle

Cacti, naturally, have enjoyed the recent hot weather. Our small collection, well mine really as it’s one of my hobbies, spent the time in the hot weather outside on our patio table.

I’ve pruned, preened, and generally titivated a number of them, and brought them inside to sit on our dining room window sill. Here they are collected together for a group photo.

I should tell you I’m no cacti expert. I’m not good at watering them, which I suppose is not too harmful for them. I’ve had a few failures, and am quite brutal with them, if they don’t respond to my somewhat neglectful treatment, out they go.

Cacti varieties I’m happy to recommend are Haworthia – in all their varieties – and Echinocactus grusonii. In the photo [click on image to expand] from left to right they are: Euphorbia globosa, Echinocacti grusonii, Haworthia reinwardtii, Pilosocereus pachycladus, and another Echinocacti grusonii.