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After my annual excursion to Rowberrys Nurseries (Lower Chaddesley Corbett, Kidderminster), I now have a greenhouse full of young fuchsia plants. I am also pleased that around two thirds of my fuchsias from last year are showing real signs of growth. This is a relief because, as I must have said previously, I only have very basic mini greenhouses with no heating, and little ventilation, I have to accept that I will inevitably have casualties. However, at least two of my bonsai fuchsias are doing well and which I hope will make it to the show bench. I also started a small bonsai specimen about a month ago and that has taken hold, so, you never know I might even have a third! 

I am also hoping to enter the Ladies Class (Class 18) this year, and ladies, I would seriously encourage you all to enter this class, mainly because June has donated a new trophy especially for this class, and as I have seen it already, it is well worth winning!!! (Thanks June!) 

I do take time to look at the schedule quite early on and consider which classes I want to enter.  This gives me something to aim for and to plan.  Another class which I enter is Class 24, Patio Container.  As long as you have planted at least one fuchsia, this to me is a must and I would encourage all of you new to showing to support your society and enter a container into this year’s show. 

However, if you really want to start showing for the first time, then the classes that I’d encourage you to enter are Classes 16 and 17 (Beginners & Novices). The definitions are as follows: 

Beginners: A Beginner is a competitor who has not won a First, Second or Third Prize at any B.F.S Affiliated show. 

Novices: A Novice is a competitor who has not won a First Prize, with the exception of a Beginners class at any B.F.S Affiliated show. 

As we had very few (in fact just the one entry!) last year across both classes, it would be great to see more exhibits this year.  

Here are some simple reminders to help you on your way:  



  • Plants should be 96.99% ready to be put on the show bench when you arrive at the show
  • They should be dressed
  • Used to have to show the plant in the pot it was grown in, now you can replace (as long as it is same size)
  • You can’t show in black pots
  • Go somewhere quiet to dress your plants, where you won’t be disturbed
  • A projector table is ideal for when you want to dress a plant. It is level, you have all round view
  • Ensure you have all your tools at hand: tape; string; wires; scissors; tweezers
  • Ensure you cover up any gaps if possible – judges will spot gaps
  • Clean your pots
  • Clean surface – no moss; twigs; weeds; leaves & Top dress
  • Use florist wire to ‘shape’ plant
  • Give plants a light spray before going on the bench
  • Make sure the saucer is clean, from a judge’s perspective, it does matter!
  • Labels – ensure they are sufficiently hidden
  • A judge may take the type of cultivar into consideration if it is a close contest i.e. if it is a difficult cultivar that may just sway the judge’s decision
  • Shake plant upside down, this will help remove debris
  • Start in the centre teasing out the flowers, turning the pot as you go and working downwards in a spiral motion
  • Remove all spent flowers
  • It is now ready to put on the bench
  • Write your show card
  • Best Advice: Make sure you’ve read the schedule properly
  • Do most of the dressing at home which will relieve some of the pressure on show day. Only final preparations need to be done on the day. 

Before Show Day

  • Always study the schedule – there could always be a change to any class specification
  • No black pots allowed on the show bench
  • No ½ Pots allowed on the show bench.
  • Always ensure pots are clean.
    • Clear surface of debris – You can put fresh dressing on top
    • Remove any seed pods and dead flowers
    • Labels are acceptable, but best kept out of sight (i.e. below level of pot)  

    What Judges pick up on

    • Flower Classes – Immature flowers are top fails!
    • Beginners/Novices – primarily checks that the plants are clean and bug-free
    • Pests – Judge will be looking out for an infestation of white fly or Red Spider mite – if found, Judge will alert Show Secretary.
    • Rust – if found, Show Secretary will make the decision to remove from show bench. To help prevent Rust, Geoff uses milk and also recommends Rose Clear 3, spray again after 3 or 4 days.
    • Encliandras – leave seed pods on.
    • Species – also leave seed pods on.
    • Hanging Baskets & Pots – Judge will be looking for a profusion of flowers that cover the basket. 


    1. Make sure that all plants are free from pests and diseases.
    2. Remove all spotted, yellow or discoloured leaves.
    3. Remove any marked or faded blossoms.
    4. Remove seed pods or berries, except on species and those referred to as species types.
    5. Make sure that pots are clean and not cracked, chipped or split (use new pots).
    6. Scrape stale compost and debris from the pot surface. Replace with fresh compost.
    7. Adjust any branches that are out of place. Tie them in discreetly with green twine and stake carefully if necessary.
    8. Lift out any blooms and buds that are hidden by foliage.
    9. Water well on the morning of the show, wetting only the compost, never the flowers or foliage.
    10. Provide a new, clear, well-written label. 


    1. Check that entries are correct: single-flowered plants in single classes, semi-double in single or multi-pot classes, double-flowered plants in double classes.
    2. Check that labelling is complete and correct.
    3. Tease out any leaves or blossoms that have become misplaced on the journey.
    4. Remove any fading leaves and blossoms.
    5. Move each plant around until its best side is facing the judges.
      1. In classes for multiport entries, raise the rear plants up slightly by placing an upturned saucer under them. Never balance plants upon an upturned plant pot; this is too precarious.
      2. When an odd plant in multiport entries is smaller than the rest, place it at the front of the exhibit. Those behind do not then require raising at all.
      3. Do not water plants before judging takes place. It does not endear the judge to your exhibit if she or he gets soaked when examining a plant, and if you use a saucer this often sticks to the pot and can cause damage when it drops off, as well as splashing water everywhere to the general detriment of the exhibit. (When the show is longer than a single day, saucers are usually placed beneath each plant by a member of the show committee to permit watering).
      4. When you think that you have finished staging your exhibits, look around at the competition. Will your plants compete satisfactorily? If not, is there anything else that you can do by way of presentation to ensure that they do? 

      Extract from ‘The Fuchsia Book’ by Allan Waddington & Philip Swindells. 


      It seems apt at this point to remind everyone who went away from the show last year with a trophy to bring them back at either the June or July meeting (at the latest) in readiness for this year’s show. 

      Many Thanks

      This seems to cover actions which need to be undertaken just prior to show day, but… I hear you cry, how do we get the plant to look good prior to this.  Well, here are a few tips which I have picked up over the years from our learned speakers: -


      • Check schedule so that you have some idea which classes you are aiming for. 
      • Check the size of the pot relevant for specific class.
      • Regularly check for any signs of pests and diseases and spray accordingly
      • Regularly turn your plant to ensure even growth
      • Pinch out evenly, perhaps every six weeks for a single (please refer to the schedule in February’s newsletter), to encourage more buds.
      • Choose a popular flowering cultivar to start with – check the Top Ten show plants or ask advice from a committee member.
      • Regular feed with a potassium feed, early in the season
      • In July, consider changing to a Potash feed.
      • Remember six weeks before the show to stop pinching out singles, to ensure that plant is in bloom on show day.


      Sow a Seed or Plant a Plant for Your Society

      This year we intend to hold 3 plant sales in the hope of not only boosting our funds but also to promote our society. Please note the following dates: -

      Plant Sales

      Friday 15 May

      Wollaton Park Community Centre – 10.00a.m – 1.00p.m

      Sunday 17 May

      Beechdale Pub – 10.00a.m – 2.00p.m

      Sunday 31 May**

      Autokarna, Wollaton Park – ALL DAY


      **Please note change of date for Autokarna ***


      Promotional Events 


      Woodthorpe Grange Park

      9th May – possible hands on demonstrations and distribution of flyers

      Moores Nurseries

      To be confirmed. Provisionally looking at 23 May or 24 May

      Reuben Shaws

      To be confirmed – no date proposed as yet




      The mouse you are most likely to see in the garden is a pretty little creature, golden brown in colour with a pinkish underside. It is the Wood Mouse and its favourite diet is garden produce.  The wood mouse shuns daylight – it doesn’t even like a full moon when it is foraging for food.  It is just as well that you are not likely to come across it when gardening – this mouse has the disturbing habit of leaping about a metre into the air when disturbed.

      Other species of mice do invade gardens but the wood mouse is the commonest.  It is not a solitary creature – each one belongs to a super-family which extends over several acres and is ruled by a male leader.

      How can I get rid of mice?

      An active cat is, of course, an effective mouse controller, but you cannot expect it to eradicate a large outdoor population of wood mice.  You can use traps indoors, placed close to and

      at right angles to skirting boards, but you may find this control method unpleasant.  Several proprietary mouse baits are available, and these newer poisons are much safer than the chemicals which used to be sold.  But you must still read the label carefully and follow both the instructions and the precautions.

      The prevention of damage without killing the mice is difficult.  Delay planting peas or beans or place prickly twigs over them, put mothballs around the crocuses and make your fruit store is mouse-proof…if you can!

      Which mice live in the garden?

      The Wood mouse is the basic garden type but you will occasionally find its close relative, the Yellow-necked Field mouse.  This species has a bright yellow patch on its chest and doesn’t burrow into the ground like the wood mouse.  The only other type you are likely to see in the garden is the ordinary House Mouse – mousey grey in colour and with a shorter tail than its outdoor-living cousins.  It is never really at home in such an exposed situation where its natural enemies abound.

      Man and his combine harvester have been the greatest enemy of the Harvest Mouse and this species has started to move into the allotment for refuge.  The Dormouse, beloved by Victorian children, is now rare. 

      Where do Garden Mice live?

      The home of the wood mice is a series of underground tunnels which they burrow below hedges or under outdoor buildings.  These tunnels may be 60 cm below the surface, and here they breed (up to 4 litters during the summer months), sleep and store their food.  Unlike dormice they do not hibernate, and your house may be used as their winter quarters.  The usual points of entry are the eaves which they reach by climbing up shrubs and trellis on the walls of the house.  You can’t keep them out but they will not enter if a family of house mice is already in residence. 

      Do Mice do any harm?

      Stored vegetables, fruit and bulbs are the prime targets.  The smell of apples neatly wrapped and boxed is irresistible to the wood mouse, and all the produce may be fouled even though little is eaten. 

      Stored potatoes and carrots are nibbled, crocus and hyacinth bulbs are damaged and large seeds are scraped out of their drills and devoured.  Strawberries are pulled off the plants and both trees and bushes are scaled in the quest for fruit and nuts.  Wood mice must therefore be regarded as serious garden pests, although most people are prepared to live with them provided they stay out of the house. 


      If anyone wants any item included in the Newsletter, please let me know, either at a meeting, or phone me on Tel: 0115 8758928, or email:  I will gladly include any article or event in the Newsletter.  

      Also, if anyone would rather I send them an electronic copy, please let me know.  

      Remember: It is YOUR newsletter.

      1 - 3 May

      Cardiff Flower Show

      7 – 10 May

      RHS Malvern Spring Festival

      16 May

      Long Eaton & District Horticultural Society PLANT SALE **NEW VENUE**

      Opens to the public at 9.00a.m.  This year, for the 1st time it is being held at: -




      19 – 23 May

      Chelsea Flower Show

      26 May

      Nottingham & Notts Fuchsia Society Monthly Meeting – Eddie Munro -  FUCHSIAS

      Meeting starts at 7.45p.m

      11 – 14 June

      BBC Gardeners’ World Live

      23 June

      Nottingham & Notts Fuchsia Society Monthly Meeting – Eddie Munro – PELARGONIUMS

      Meeting starts at 7.45p.m

      30 June – 5 July

      RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

      11 July

      Long Eaton & District Horticultural Society SUMMER Show - held at the United Reformed Church, Midland Street, Long Eaton.  10.00a.m to 4.00p.m.  ADMISSION FREE

      22 – 26 July

      RHS Flower Show Tatton Park

      28 July

      Nottingham & Notts Fuchsia Society Monthly Meeting – Arthur Phillips – SHOW TALK

      Meeting starts at 7.45p.m

      8 – 9 August

      Nottingham & Notts Fuchsia Show – ANNUAL SHOW at Attenborough Village Hall, Attenborough.

      25 August

      Nottingham & Notts Fuchsia Society Monthly Meeting – Fred Hunderhay – FUCHSIAS

      Meeting starts at 7.45p.m

      12 – 13 September

      Long Eaton & District Horticultural Society AUTUMN Show - held at the Coronation Hall, Toton, 2.00p.m to 5.00p.m on the Saturday and 10.0am to 3.45pm Sunday.


      22 September

      Nottingham & Notts Fuchsia Society Monthly Meeting – Tony Taylor – ORCHIDS

      Meeting starts at 7.45p.m

      27 October

      Nottingham & Notts Fuchsia Society Monthly Meeting – Geoff Smith –OVERWINTERING FUCHSIAS

      Meeting starts at 7.45p.m

      24 November

      Nottingham & Notts Fuchsia Society Monthly Meeting – AGM and Christmas Buffet

      Meeting starts at 7.30p.m








      The easiest way for all internet users to help raise funds for our Society is simply by every time you search the Web you use easysearch. Easysearch combines results from Yahoo!, Windows MSN Live Search and in one simple search, the address is  Please try it and encourage others too. Don’t forget if you make any purchases on the internet, to go through our webshop to make sure we receive commission from the retailers (currently over 2000 well known retailers), the address is . 

        ‘There is no gardening without humility. Nature is constantly sending even its oldest scholars to the bottom of the class for some egregious blunder.’

      Alfred Austin


      Remember our next meeting

      Will be

      Tuesday 26th May 2015

      And our speaker


      Eddie Munro

      Talking on



      1 - 3 May

      Cardiff Flower Show