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Time to show off skills

Judging at the Manea School of gardening hortic show
Judging at the Manea School of gardening hortic show

July – the time for Horticultural Shows; large and small.

Some are taken very seriously, others a bit of fun. But, all exhibitors take part because they are proud of their achievements.

A couple of weeks ago we judged at the Wimblington Horticultural Show; myself on the fruit & veg classes, whilst Alan appraised the honey section. Despite the changeable weather this year, and after a very wet week, the standard was very high. Well done all.

A few days later we held a mini show with our RHS Level 1 students from the Thomas Clarkson Academy, who we teach at Delamores. They only have a few hours a week with us, but all have their own plots in which to toil.

For the vast majority, this has been their first experience of gardening, let alone being in charge of their own piece of land. They have sowed seeds –in the glasshouse and directly in their plots – and produced some quite creditable produce.

The displays they made were a real credit to them, and the marks were very close. Highly commended for the standard of their plots were Povilas and Edward, both scoring 9 out of 10.

The standard of the exhibits was admirable and they all have every right to be proud of their achievements.

However, first prize with an excellent 86% was Antony, followed closely by Jack, Ben and Edward all with 80% and Samanta with 78%.

I can’t wait until next year to see how they can improve. I am sure the competition will be even stronger, now they know what to aim for.

I think they can really see the joys of grow-your-own – the ‘fruits’ of their labours. We don’t necessarily expect any of these young people to enter into horticulture as a career – but if they leave us with a good understanding and knowledge of gardening, especially being able to put fresh and healthy food on the table, we can also be proud of their achievements.

n Manea School of Gardening (RHS Approved Centre) RHS Courses taught at all levels. Applications now being taken for September. Now open for plant sales on Saturdays.

www.maneaschoolofgardening.org email: msog@btinternet.com

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