Gary, the Area Representative for the South West, has been growing
begonias for some twelve years. Before this he was a well known
chrysanthemum grower and although not growing them any more is still
Chairman of the North Somerset Society and an accredited and active
He is renowned in the South West for his magnificent begonia
exhibits at major shows. Gary commenced showing at the Bristol Flower
show, now discontinued, and then transferred to the National Amateur
Garden Show held at the Bath and West Show Ground at Shepton Mallet and
the Taunton Flower Show on one occasion. Over this time he has been
awarded numerous gold and best in show awards.
All this would not be possible but for the support of his wife,
Joy, who oversees the display of the stand, sometimes up to 20’in
length, and his many friends who assist with the loading and unloading.
2008 saw a dramatic overhaul of his growing facilities. After many
years, out went the two decrepit cedar wood greenhouses of many years
standing (just about!) to be replaced by two new aluminium greenhouses.
Additionally, the shade houses were completely rebuilt using Keeder
plastic as covers. This has given height and light conditions that all
the plants thrive on, particularly the Rex’s. All this would not have
been possible but for the work put in by fellow begonia grower, John
Chiswell, from nearby Midsomer Norton.
We visited the day before the plants were loaded to go the Shepton
Mallet Show held over the first weekend of September. This was a very
difficult event as it coincided with torrential rain which caused the
closure of the floral marquee on one occasion due to flooding. All the
exhibitors had a torrid time but again, Gary was awarded large gold.
These pictures show the range and quality of the plants, some 300,
that Gary selects his display from. It was a truly wonderful sight this