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The Lonely Begonia Grower

Phil Champion's Diary
2011

INTRODUCTION

 AUGUST
   Towards the end of July my plants were nearly ready for the first show at Titchfield (A) on the south coast. I was looking forward at last to seeing some colour in the shade house, the growth of my plants had been exceptional. Being very happy with the way things were going, pleased with my compost, the growth everything was looking good. As the buds started to  open all was still going in the right direction, even with a couple of weeks still to go. The weather was even going to plan no real heatwaves in the pipeline, cool conditions were on the cards all the way through. Disaster started within the last week once the blooms started to open, (B,C). Something I did not expect, although my plants were looking good and the growth had been exceptional the blooms were falling by the wayside. Some blooms were starting to go out of shape, double centres were appearing. I had grown 10 whispers not 1 was any good, Fred Martin the centres looked more like a fist. More & more were falling by the wayside. By the morning of the show there was only 10 blooms left so these were packed into the car,(D) my hopes were not very high. At the show my blooms were staged although they were of good size I knew they had too many faults, but thought I might squeeze third in the 6 bloom class (E) but it was not to be. Dave Coates walked away with most, only missing out on 1 class to Brian Simmons in the 3 cut bloom. Still I feel that my growing is moving in the right direction. Many of my plants were thrown out for a bit of colour in the garden for a week or so (F). 
   Just for a bit of fun the following week I was off to my 2nd. show, hopefully there would be a few blooms left over from Titchfield that were late in opening.  3 days before the show the temperature had risen to 29
c, 2 days to go even higher 32c. how can I cope when it gets that hot, everything  just melts including me. The afternoon of Thursday 4th. August at around 4-30 I cut 8 blooms, (G,H,I,J) packed them into my boxes & into the car, they were now ready for the journey, we were on our way to AYR a trip of 408 miles taking nearly 8 hours. Arrived at Ayr at about one in the morning, the reason to get there early was to see other growers stage their blooms and to have a good chat. What amazed me most that there was no end of help, everybody was helping each other whether it was helping getting blooms in, or even staging (K). Although my board of 6 came nowhere (L) they were no way out of place against the others. John Hamilton's 6 who came runner up are to the left. I will put together another short piece about Ayr show a bit later.  The only show left for me now is the National, already some of the blooms have been discarded.  I may have also been a bit ambitious with my timing.
  


A


B


C


D


E


F


G


H


I


J


K


L

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