North Midlands AGS show 7th April 2001

Two weeks without a show, withdrawal symptoms setting in (or happy just to take it easy). Chesterfield AGS show proved that Spring had really arrived with a bumper turnout of plants.

Fritillaria crassifolia © Jim Almond 2001

Fritillaria crassifolia

Alan Furness scooped most of the honours (Farrer medal, best bulb, best small pan) with large and small pans of this undistinguished sounding (green with brownish tessellation) but actually very attractive Frit!

Andromeda polifolia macrophylla © Jim Almond 2001

Andromeda polifolia "Macrophylla"

Best ericaceous plant on show and with the next picture guaranteed to put a spring in the step of East Lancs Show secretaries Brian and Shelagh Smethurst. Numerous globular pink bells adorning this compact shrub.

Epimedium davidii © Jim Almond 2001

Epimedium davidii

A small portion to show the flower detail of this easy going evergreen species. A super plant for the garden and when presented like this worthy of a Certificate of Merit!

Callianthemum kernerianum © Jim Almond 2001

Calianthemum kernerianum

Probably one of the oldest plants on display. This dwarf VERY slow growing species from Italy was estimated to be 24 years old! If you can't wait that long see C. anemonoides (East Lancs report)

Fritillaria falcata © Jim Almond 2001

Fritillaria falcata

First of three rarely seen Fritillarias on show (numerous species were represented on the day). F falcata is s true dwarf, 5-10 cm tall. The seemingly dull tones white/yellow ground speckled with red brown set off by those gorgeous maroon anthers. Very rare - anyone any spares?

Fritillaria karelinii

Fritillaria karelinii

From Soviet Central Asia, an equally scarce member of the Rhinopetalum group. Several ascending stems to 25cm each bearing a number of flat pink flowers, fainly spotted within, dark nectaries complete the stunning picture.

Fritillaria reuteri © Jim Almond 2001

Fritillaria reuteri

The final offering here, a scarce beauty from Western Iran. Broad bells in deep purple with the tips marked yellow. This species is of medium height 15-20cm tall.

Primula sonchifolia © Jim Almond 2001

Primula sonchifolia

Good as P Netta Dennis is (at least ten plants were on show), it was nice to see a species petiolarid! From China and Bhutan, this beauty will require cool conditions to give of its best and protection from unexpected spring frosts.

Androsace robusta breviscapa © Jim Almond 2001

Androsace robusta breviscapa

Androsaces are now starting to move and a couple of fine pans of this Himalayan species courtesy of Don Peace were present. Softly hairy rosettes covered in near stemless white flowers.

Draba rosularis © Jim Almond 2001

Draba rosularis

A fine cushion of this Turkish species, the foliage barely visible. Large clear yellow flowers in profusion, a 6" pan brim full.

Hepatica nobilis © Jim Almond 2001

Hepatica nobilis

By his own admission, not in the Farrer medal form of the previous year. John Saxtons, Hepatica would still be the plant many people would like to take home with them however!

Six alpine plants © Jim Almond 2001

Six pans rock plants (E.B. Anderson Prize)

This award requires three bulbous plants (and three not!) A good all round collection is required and Geoff Mawson with judicious presentation made the grade. Trillium rivale (two forms - one with queue forming variegated foliage!), Ornithogalum nanum, Primulas Clarence Elliott, allionii "Alexina", plus a late flowering Dionysia tapetodes x curviflora.

Paraquilegia anemonoides © Jim Almond 2001

Paraquilegia anemonoides

With Cyclamen coum on the wane, Mike and Christine Brown turned their attention to Paraquilegia anemonoides, well flowered specimens by any standards and as always attacting "oohs" from the public.

Ipheion Alberto Castillo © Jim Almond 2001

Ipheion "Alberto Castillo"

Yours truly offered this fine plant forward to the Joint Rock committee and an "Award of Merit" was forthcoming. Readily available from bulb dealers, this is a very long lasting floriferous plant, easy going as well, highly recommended.

Erythronium citrinum x hendersonii © Jim Almond 2001

Erythronium citrinum x hendersonii

A very pretty hybrid managing to combine the features of both species without losing the charm and grace of either!

Primula Wharfedale Village © Jim Almond 2001

Primula "Wharfedale Village"

Final offering from your enthusiast, worthy of the prestigious Joint Rock "Award of Merit". Farina dusted foliage disappearing under the numerous crinkled creamy white flowers with pale yellow eye.

There was much much more, especially Fritillarias which will make their way to a gallery (probably after the show season pressures are over!!)

Hope you enjoyed your walk round the "cyber showbench", see you soon.

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