Biggleswade and District Gardening Club

PUBLISHED: 12:40 28 July 2006 | UPDATED: 10:34 06 May 2010

At the club s meeting in July the speaker was home grown in more ways than one. Norman Lincoln has been a member for many years and for the last 16 or so of them has been the Autumn Show secretary. His particular love is growing vegetables, although he is

At the club's meeting in July the speaker was home grown in more ways than one. Norman Lincoln has been a member for many years and for the last 16 or so of them has been the Autumn Show secretary. His particular love is growing vegetables, although he is a keen daffodil fan, being a judge and exhibiting at shows around the south. His talk was entitled Preparing for Showing, how to make the most of your exhibits. Onions are his particular favourite and the show opened with Norman, 15 years ago, at the St Neots Onion Show with a plate of huge, well-matched, perfect onions neatly tied with raffia (not elastic bands or string). Since then he has exhibited the fruits of his labours on his allotment and in his back garden and encouraging others to strive for perfection. Presentation is most important if you want a judge to give you the coveted winner's card. Forward thinking is the key and setting up your exhibits at home before the big day will save a lot of anguish when you get there early in the morning. Leeks grown in tubes and carrots brought along in pipes after a hole has been made in the soil, so they grow long and straight. Norman washes his potatoes with the sponge side of a scouring pad, dries them on kitchen paper and carefully puts them in a tin bath overnight, they are grown in well rotovated soil with a handful each of potato feed and slug pellets and grass cuttings to hold the moisture, so they can get on with growing by themselves. You might think that this is perfectionism taken to extremes, but those who attend Horticultural shows will know that the pleasure that tables of beautifully prepared exhibits will bring. The Garden Club's Autumn Show is on Saturday, September 2 at Stratton School, Biggleswade starting at 2 and finishing with presentation of awards at 4.45pm. There are nearly 170 classes, most of them open to the public. Schedules are available from Goldthorpe's, Biggleswade and Sandy Libraries, Beds Growers or Langford Nurseries. There are several junior sections and the classes range from flowers, fruit and pot plants to photography, cookery, needlecraft and art. There will also be displays from local groups and refreshments with home made cakes all afternoon. Ring Norman on 01767 3122979 or Dave on 01767 314612 if you need information. The monthly competition which could be any class in the show schedule was won by Kate Dilley (hydrangea) with Frances Whitfield (flower heads floating on water) second and Pam Nuttall (three kinds of herbs) being third. The next meeting is on September 20 - Geoff Hodge on Plants for free

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