The National Begonia Society



North Somerset

   With the demise of the Bristol Flower Show 2007 on alleged “health and safety grounds” this major local show took increased significance. Probably one of the largest “local shows” it has historically been one of the few for begonia growers to exhibit blooms. So much so that Lakin Earl donated the L N Earl Trophy a few years ago to the best six board.
   Held over the August Bank Holiday and sited on the sea front it does attract good attendances, especially this year, being blessed with good weather. While overall entries were up, regrettably begonias entries were poor to be polite. Only one 6 board, two 3 boards and one entry each in the 1 and 3 pot sections. However, the foliage sections were well supported. NBS members, Bert Filer, Des Hopes and of course Lakin Earl were to the fore.
   Tony Willoughby, another NBS member picked up from the schedule that there was a class for Societies and Clubs to put on a display 6’ x 4’ and decided to enter on behalf of the NBS. He constructed a tiered display stand, that was substantial, but he assured everyone that it was held together with just 8 screws.
   A problem Tony had was that the majority of his plants were past their best and he looked to me for help. One problem was how to transport them. Tony came up with a carrying rack for myvehicle. This gave me an opportunity to decant my grossly overstocked greenhouse.
   There were many trials and tribulations along the way, too numerous to detail, but we got there. The display finally held 21 different show varieties and 7 ancillary display plants. At one stage it was likely to be NAS’d as it was oversize. However, we squashed it in and so did not get disqualified.
   This was Tony’s first attempt at anything like this and lessons were learnt for the future. How did it get on? It came a very creditable second. Beaten by vegetables! Must say that the winning exhibit was a class act and was worthy of all the plaudits and best in overall show.
   Although the exhibit was not manned it gave an opportunity to advertise the NBS and membership applications forms were on display. At least 10 forms were taken and it is to be hoped that some, at least, turn into actual members.

Section of Show marquee

3 Pot entry

The display entries

B. Sal's Moondust

Tony Willoughby with display

Foliage display plants

B. Little Brother Montgomery
and B Bowerii Tiger

Join the NBS?
B.Firedance B.Tiger Paws

The display exhibit
Staged by Tony Willoughby

Display bench. NBS exhibit in background

Sugar Candy

Coppelia on display stand

Report & pictures by Basil Billinger