|Early morning at the Lawrence Hall|
Anyway, today was the first of the shows under the new arrangements and there was nothing to suggerst that anything was different. I got to the hall in good time for a committee meeting, arriving early enough to find them almost empty save for the judging parties and a few other committee members, also taking advantage of the easy viewing. With many of country's senior plantspeople gathering together, the February show is a very social occasion and there's a lot of catching-up to do. This is perhaps fortunate, as the quality of the show itself has diminished over the years and there seem to be fewer and fewer exhibits of note each year.
|Helleborus 'Anna's Red'|
There were, however, some excellent stands and exciting plants to see. Ashwood Nurseries' large display of hellebores was outstanding, and outstanding on it was a mass of a wonderful new cultivar, 'Anna's Red', bred by Linda and Rodney Davey and named for Anna Pavord. I do not know what the breeding is, but it would appear to be complex: my guess is that H. lividus is involved somewhere in the ancestry, contributing the beautiful foliage mottling and large bracts.
|Snowdrops on Avon Bulbs' stand: another Gold Medal for Alan Street, who has spent much of the past month bemoaning the shortage of good plants...|
|Maianthemum amoenum B&SWJ 10390, from Guatemala|
|Oreopanax floribundus B&SWJ 10669 from Colombia.|