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                                            NOTTINGHAM AND NOTTS

                                                    FUCHSIA SOCIETY


I have finally been able to spend some time in the garden, and oh boy, did it need doing! After filling my brown wheelie bin and 8 bags full of garden waste and more besides, I was finally able to see a revamped garden. I re-acquainted myself with my Romeo & Juliet statue; I tidied my stumpery, ridding it of that rampant climber and bramble; I cut back my 2 Hazel trees, my Ribes and Kerria Japonica and my Clematis Montana (I can now get to my pond with ease!) I actually pruned my Camellias for the first time in years (probably the wrong time of year to prune and will therefore forfeit flowers next year), but it just had to be done. 

My fuchsias aren’t looking too bad, but I always say that at this time of year and then I must take my eye off the ball and they just bolt! They become all misshapen so suddenly! 

Anyway, I have been very careful during this period of hot weather and remembered to put up my shading, especially on the shelves of those which are in direct sunlight. I have also remembered to water regularly. However, I haven’t always remembered to turn them – that could be where I am going wrong! 

My fish are very hungry at this time of year. I find them fascinating as they dart to the surface flipping their fins and tails in a frenzied attempt to get to the food before any of the others. Frogs are also drawn to the pond and laze around in the sun. 

A few weeks back, I had to borrow a neighbour’s strimmer to cut my lawn as it was so overgrown. I have managed to mow it this weekend as it was now dry enough. I also didn’t want to have to ask my neighbour again to borrow the strimmer! It is still in need of some extra TLC, however, but I am pleased, at least, that it is in a much more manageable state. 

I noticed that my Fuchsia Magellanica Versicolor had quite a few damaged/broken branches recently but couldn’t understand the cause. Well, I now have the answer. It’s that mischievous cat again! Bob and I were setting off one evening when we saw the cat sat on our path watching the sparrows in the shrubbery (where my fuchsia is located!) and suddenly it jumped in the air in an attempt to catch one of the sparrows! I was not best pleased! Not sure how I am going to resolve this one! 


Well… not long to go now before our Annual Show. I hope everyone is busy tending their fuchsias and will at least be able to enter one class. I hope we’ll see an increase not only in the number of entries but also the number of exhibitors again this year! 

Here are a few past articles which you may find interesting and useful as we head on towards ‘D’ Day! Also Sid Garcia will be speaking to us this month and will hopefully be able to share his wealth of knowledge with us and give us some tips. 


By now you should all have an idea which plants you will be showing come 13th August, just a few reminders: - 

  • Refer to the Schedule (read the small print!). 
  • Make sure you know staging time: Friday 12h August, 6pm – 7pm AND Saturday 13th August, 7.15am – 10.15am. 
  • Judging – will commence at 10.30am prompt Saturday 13th August.
  • Entries – Entries must be made on the official entry form. All entries must be received by 10.15am on the Saturday of the show. 
  • Quantity – No limit to the number of entries in each class unless otherwise specified.

If you haven’t shown before, don’t worry, give it a try, the stewards are there to help you. ENJOY!!!!!! 


Fuchsias are essentially plants of the people, the majority of gardeners wishing to enjoy their exotic beauty in house, greenhouse or garden. However, there is a body of enthusiasts who have an inborn competitiveness. Showing fuchsias encourages excellence in cultivation, which is no bad thing, and much of what is written here can help to improve fuchsias in home and garden as well. 


Before entering into the show world it is important to find out at first hand what is involved, not just in the cultivation of the plants, but also the results that are expected. An indication of the standards to be reached can be more quickly and readily appreciated by a visit to a specialist show. 

To find out exactly what a judge looks for, consider being a steward for a day (there are special courses available). Many stewards ask judges if they will give reasons for their decisions, and in a close finish for an award it may be just a small factor like a dirty pot or label that will tip the balance. The top of the pot may be covered with moss or algae, or perhaps have one or two lingering dead leaves or flowers on it – presentation is so very important. All such points will be freely imparted by most judges, giving a real insight into the show world. 

The annual show is the shop window of any local fuchsia society. Speakers have encouraged members to improve their techniques during the winter months, and show day is when their advice is put to the test. It is tremendous fun being involved with the annual show, especially as an exhibitor. Even when the greenhouse looks full of plants that are too far gone or not quite ready, take a chance and exhibit – it is much more satisfying being a participant than a spectator. If your plants are not ready on the day, those of many fellow members are likely to be similarly placed. So, in fact, any well-grown plant should have a chance of a card. Remember, too, that a plant always looks better when properly staged on a show bench rather than when growing in a greenhouse. 


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


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.

Check that labelling is complete and correct  

  • Tease out any leaves or blossoms that have become misplaced on the journey. 
  • Remove any fading leaves and blossoms. 
  • Move each plant around until its best side is facing the judges. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • 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). 
  • 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 


I thought it worthwhile including this article which I wrote back in 2011 (it doesn’t seem that long ago!) and felt it may give our new members more of an insight into what to expect on Show Day: -



  • Staging recommences at 7.15a.m till 10.15a.m and continues in earnest with the Treasurer in situ to accept entries from 7.45a.m. 
  • Show Manager (Mick Leighton), his Assistant (Keith Cocking) & Stewards will be at hand to offer advice and guidance. 
  • Stewards this year are: June Lemon; Lyndon Clements; Pete Harvey 
  • To help you on the day, complete the entry form prior to staging, that way you will know which exhibits belong to which class. 
  • Exhibitors need to go to Treasurer/Show Secretary (Derek Shaw) to register exhibits and for those who have not exhibited before, Derek will explain procedure. 

Meanwhile…. In the Kitchen

Ruth and Jenny will be busy preparing the salads etc, not just for us but for the public, cutlery and plates will be spotless. 

  • Salads are prepared for the Judges, Stewards, President, Vice President & helpers etc. 
  • Tables and chairs will need to be arranged outside, with tablecloths, sugar bowls etc. 

Meanwhile… On the Plant Tombola

  • Staging to be erected. 
  • A proportion of the bought plants will be set aside for both days. 
  • Raffle tickets need to be put on the pots and then duplicates plus additional ones folded up and put in the bucket. 

Meanwhile… On the Plant Stall

The remaining plants are arranged on the tables, usually by cultivar and whether they are hardy, upright, trailing etc. 

Meanwhile… On the Tombola

All prizes arrive and are displayed on the table – tickets will already have been attached and duplicates folded up in readiness prior to opening. 

Meanwhile… On the Cake Stall

Cakes donated by our members start appearing and are priced up. 

Meanwhile… On the Demonstration Table

Compost, grit and fuchsias at different stages of growth are put on display in readiness so that our enthusiasts can offer advice to the public. 

Meanwhile… Miscellaneous tasks

Floats are distributed to the stallholders (actually, if the stallholders could obtain the float from the Treasurer/Show Secretary (Derek) that would be better). 

  • Staging is erected to display Cups and Trophies. 
  • Banners are erected on Stage and on the Gazebo outside. 
  • Signs are erected outside to help bring in the crowds – this is usually done whilst judging is taking place. 
  • Ensure Entrance table is equipped with monitoring forms, pens, details of speakers and flyers. 
  • Ensure copy of timetable is given to everyone, if not distributed sooner. 
  • Relevant signage is erected to ensure that the public are aware of the various stalls as well as the exhibits. 
  • All stallholders need to be in position to welcome the public when the doors open at 1.30p.m. 
  • Helpers who have ordered salads need to make sure that they have eaten and are ready to man stalls in readiness for our show being open to the public. 


All exhibits must be registered and on the show bench by 10.15a.m.

Everyone except the Treasurer/Show Secretary, Judges and Stewards need to leave the hall once judging commences at 10.30a.m prompt. 

I am sure that I have missed innumerable tasks and for that, I apologise, but hopefully, if you have not been involved before, this has helped in some way. 


Finally, after Provado had been taken off the shelves, there is an alternative: - 


Look out for it at your local Garden Centre.


Trophies – Reminder!

Hopefully everyone has returned them in readiness for the show. 

Cakes & Pastries

Also, all those cooks amongst us please bring any homemade goodies with you on the day. 


All donations welcome, as long as they are in decent condition and in good working order, bring to any meeting leading up to the show, or on the day. 

Support wanted!

Anyone able to spare a few hours or a whole day, please let me know, if you can man a stall for a few hours; man the entrance table; wash up a few dishes in the kitchen, help get the room ready Friday afternoon and to tidy up at the end of the show – the more helpers we can get the better the show we can put on!



Kitchen – washing up (on call)

Plant Stall

Entrance Attendant


Plant Stall.

Entrance Attendant

**If anyone can spare an hour or two over the weekend, it will be really appreciated as they can stand in, whilst others take a break.** 

Flyers, if you belong to another club, is it possible you can advertise our show at one of their meetings, by putting flyers on the seats or by posting one up on a notice board? At a local Post Office? Or Newsagent or Supermarket? Mail shots will also be taking place to spread the word around the Attenborough area. 

Adverts in Local Magazines – I have submitted articles in all local free magazines and Bob has very kindly scanned and submitted the poster on line to various ‘spotted sites’ on Facebook. Yet another way of reaching the public to let them know that we are out there and that we have a show which will be well worth coming to see! 

Promote! Promote! Promote!

Let’s make sure we reach every corner of the county this year! Word of mouth goes a long way, so tell all your friends and family about our show. If you know of an ideal spot for a poster, I have some spare – make sure there’s one there! Hopefully there will be posters in all local Garden Centres. I also put one in the back of my car. Also very useful this year, as I’m parked in Timmermans Garden Centre 5 days a week! Stapleford & Beeston Councils will be given posters to put up in their free-standing notice boards in the Town Centres 


DATE FOR YOUR DIARIES – We are looking at holding another social evening to celebrate (hopefully!) another successful Annual Show. The Provisional date is 6th October. We are, however, considering a change of venue, so at the moment, this is to be decided. 


Bob has found another way to try to raise funds for the society. If you have any unwanted CD’s or DVD’s he can put them together in one package and send to either Musicmagpie or Zapper to raise funds. If you have any, please pass to me at any meeting and I will pass on to Bob. 

Bob would also like to ask for any used stamps you may have (GB and/or overseas), he sends these to the RSPB for one of their appeals (Save the Albatross). Thank you!


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 .


13th – 14th August

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


20th August

Derby Fuchsia Society ANNUAL SHOW held at Swarkestone Nursery – 1.30p.m – 4.30p.m.


23rd August

Nottingham & Notts Fuchsia Society Monthly Meeting – Alan Soloman – Triphylla Fuchsias - Meeting starts at 7.45p.m


10th – 11th 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.


27th September

Nottingham & Notts Fuchsia Society Monthly Meeting – John Gibson – Daffodils - Meeting starts at 7.45p.m (Joint Meeting with Derby Fuchsia Society)


6th October

Social Evening – Meal – Venue to be decided


25th October

Nottingham & Notts Fuchsia Society Monthly Meeting – Fred Hunderhay – Overwintering Fuchsias - Meeting starts at 7.45p.m


22nd November

AGM & Christmas Buffet – starting at 7.45p.m