Shrewsbury Flower Show

We felt a bit deflated at this year's Shrewsbury Flower Show when the judges awarded us only a silver medal, after our triumphant silver gilt last year.  The three men very kindly came and talked to us, at length, about what they are looking for in a Flower Show display - in particular, lots of drama, strong colours and shapes, and a clear 'story' - so we now have lots of tips to work with for a stronger display next year.... and a plan to win gold.  Happily, the visitors to our stand seemed to love it, and at the end of the show there was a big queue of people waiting to buy all the flowers.  Most commented on were the 'limelight' hydrangeas (something that the judges hadn't liked), the elegant celadon glazed vases from the Marches Pottery in Ludlow, and the beautiful old potato baskets from the Durdys' farm in Tickhill, near to where my parents live in South Yorkshire.  We wanted to show the big baskets filled with individual varieties of flowers and foliage as we pick them in the garden, with small vases of mixed posies above, as we might make them up into informal arrangements for a wedding or party.  There was a very enjoyable camaraderie amongst all the different exhibitors in the marquee, some fascinating businesses and wonderful flowers.  My favourite is the amateur marquee with displays of giant dahlias and begonias, head-sized and gaudy, and clearly very much loved by the passionate people who grow them.