The National Begonia Society


This year’s show, once again incorporated into the local Bideford Show, was a special one for the local society.  Recently renamed, Bideford Gardener’s Club, it marked the Golden Anniversary of the show.   This is remarkable achievement considering how many other shows in North Devon have folded over the years.  Even more remarkable is the fact that Mike Avis has been involved for all the 50 years.

To mark the occasion Toby Buckland, the former Gardner’s World present and well known for other TV appearances, opened the show and presented the prizes. Toby runs a nursery/garden centre in South Devon. 

He spent all afternoon talking to exhibitors and visitors alike.  Unlike another Gardener’s World presenter, who will remain nameless, Toby was well disposed towards begonias and all the other show entries.  He took a great interest in how begonias they were cultivated and presented. Beside the flamboyant double begonias that are always show stoppers he was impressed by the number and varieties of other begonias in the multi flora and foliage classes, many with delicate and unusual colours. 

It was generally agreed that the begonia show was one of the best ever taking into account the number variety of exhibits on display. 

None of this would have been possible of course but for Mike Avis and his dedicated small band of helpers and of course the exhibitors.   Besides the local exhibitors many had travelled some distance and there was a warm welcome for our friends from South Wales.  It was great to welcome Dave Elliott back to the show bench with many entries.

Well done to all concerned.


Class 1 - 3 Pots                               Class 2 - 2 Pots
      1st - W Stone                 2nd. - L Earl             1st. - M Avis       

Class 3 - 1 Pot   Class 4 - 1 Pot Rest.   Class 5 - 1 Pot Rest. no ss

     1st. - W Stone          1st. - W Stone        1st - B Billinger

Class 6 - 1Pot, 1 Cut Bloom  ~   Class 7 - 1 Pot Novice

  1st. - M Avis                           1st. - D Davies

Class 8 - 1 Pot Fibrous          Class 9 - 1 Pot Rex             

 1st - A  Ankers                    1st. - G Dando            
Class 10 - 1 Pot Cane Stemmed
1st - A  Ankers         2nd. - G Dando    
Class 11 - Pot any other type.
1st - A  Ankers               2nd. - D Davies

Class 12 – 1 Pot Flowering and 1 Pot Foliage                          
                                      Class 13 – 1 Pot Foliage
  1st. - G Dando                         1st. - L Earl
Class 14 - 3 Pots Foliage
Mrs D Williams

Class 15 – 3 Pots multi-flowering

1st. - G Dando 

Class 16 – Hanging Basket

1st. - B Billinger                  3rd. - A Ankers

Class 18 – 6 Cut Blooms

1st. - J Chiswell   2nd. - J Chiswell   3rd. - K Davis

Best Cut bloom in Show - J Chiswell               ~             Class 20 - 1 Bloom   1st. - J Chiswell

   Pictures and Report by Basil Billinger