Hebe News – Article 2
LOPHOMYRTUS DISPLAY AT HAMPTON COURT FLOWER SHOW
Maria and I attended the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show for the first time this year, with the daunting challenge of putting on a display of our National Collection of Myrtles in the Plant Heritage Marquee.
We had opted for one of the largest stands in the marquee, a corner plot 10 ft along one back edge, 14 ft across the other and 6 ft deep. Not having anything like that amount of space free in our heavily over planted garden we had been able to stage a mock-up of only a small corner of the display at home. Hence unlike many of the professional exhibitors who plan their exhibit many months, if not years in advance, much of the detailed planning only took place once we had arrived at the venue on the Saturday prior to the opening on the following Monday evening.
In all we brought 25 large plants to the show (ranging in height from 15 in to over 6 ft tall) and in the end chose to use 24 of those. These ranged across four genera from the Myrtle family: Lophomyrtus, Luma, Myrtus and Ugni. Lophomyrtus from New Zealand represented the largest collection in the display. In addition to the species Lophomyrtus bullata we showed cultivars of the cross between Lophomyrtus bullata and Lophomyrtus obcordata (× ralphii), including ‘Gloriosa’, ‘Kathryn’, ‘Little Star’, ‘Multicolor’, ‘Pixie’, ‘Red Wing’, ‘Black Pearl’ and Logan’s Form.
With the help of Maria’s nephew Paul, and his partner, we were able to complete most of the staging on the Saturday with just a few final touches added on the Monday morning.
Judging took place on the Monday afternoon and we were delighted, if not astonished, to learn that we had been awarded an RHS Silver Medal. RHS judging is now much more transparent than it may have been in the past and the head of the judging team came round to all the exhibitors the following morning to give an honest appraisal of each exhibitor’s efforts. As I had rather anticipated the plant quality had scored highly, but we could obviously do better on the design. I already have ideas on how we can hopefully improve on this if invited back next year.
Gary and Maria Firth
Registered Charity No 801398