I joined the Society around 1982. I was recruited along with my
brother Alan by
Bill Green who won the National Championship a record 8 times. I was 27
at the time and Alan was 30 so we were the youngest members. My biggest
influence and mentor for many years was Bert Cruikshank who taught me
how to think about growing and also to still enjoy it when I was
I have won the National Cut Bloom Championship 3 times (1995, 2000,
2001) the British Cut Bloom Championship twice (2003 and 2006) and the
British Pot Plant Championship once in 2007. My other successes include
Southport, Leeds and East Midlands. I am an NBS qualified judge. My
nemesis and great debater is Derek Telford, but in the past I was
friendly with the late George McCormick and Dan Ramage. Today a like
soul is Britain's complete grower John Hamilton and also Jack Larter.
I believe in always growing balanced and use Singletons JI No. 2
with no additives. I believe a fabulous root system is essential before
feeding little and often. I feed with Nitrate of Potash and a little Monomonium Phosphate mixed together in water, typically a quarter of a
teaspoon each to 1.5 gallon. I only feed in the 21 days before the show.
The rest is in the pot.
My favourite begonias are Tom Brownlee, Mary Heatley, Sweet Dreams
and Monica Bryce (my mother would have loved it).
I love a challenge and if someone says something is impossible with
begonias I usually try. I love large well grown cut blooms but have also
become quite fond of a well grown multi stem pot plant.