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Floral arrangements above by Anne Blissett

This Show was held on 5th/6th July 2008 at the Hillside Events Centre of the Royal Horticultural Society's Garden at Wisley, Surrey.


For this report, the Show Classes are separated into the groups:-

CLASSES 1 - 6; Flower colour not specified .

CLASSES 7 - 13; Flowers of a specific colour

CLASS 14 - 25; Un-named cultivars (seedlings), Florets and classes for Novice exhibitors

Click on the appropriate section IN THIS LIST for pictures of some prize-winning entries.


There were some nice blooms to be seen in the main borders at Wisley but most of the delphiniums in the Trials Field had already been cut down, emphasising that this Show was rather late in the flowering season for delphinium growers in the South of England. Consequently, as in 2007, there was a rather small entry of blooms on show. The entries were predominantly blooms of late-flowering delphiniums.

This account is based on visiting the Show on the second day. A dismal weather forecast had obviously discouraged visitors to the Wisley Gardens, as we have rarely seen so few cars in the Visitors Car Park by mid morning on an early July Sunday. Even so, there was a steady stream of visitors passing through the Show, who seemed very appreciative of the efforts of the exhibitors to stage flowers and prepare some attractive floral arrangements

We took no flowers to this Show because none of the delphiniums in our garden were of real Show quality and plants that provided blooms for floral display last year were not sufficiently far out.


CLASSES 1 - 6 Flower Colour not specified

Class 1: Three spikes. The FIRST PRIZE entry from Roy Redman consisted of three blooms of 'Summerfield Viking', a light violet cultivar introduced more than twenty years ago but now rarely seen. Two of the blooms are seen below. SECOND PRIZE went to theShow Secretary, Keith Boxall, for his three blooms of a dark violet 'My Dark'. The THIRD PRIZE went to blooms grown by Fred Hirst from Leeds and brought to the Show by Gordon West of the Society's Yorkshire and Lincs Group but unfortunately these were not in good condition on the second day.



There were no entries in Class 2: Two spikes, light excluding white.

Class 3: Two spikes, dark. FIRST PRIZE went to Roy Redman for blooms of 'Cassius' and 'After Midnight'. Gordon West staged two blooms of a blue with a white eye to take the SECOND PRIZE.

There were no entries in Class 4: Two spikes, one dark, one light excluding white.

Class5: One spike, light, excluding white. FIRST PRIZE went to Keith Boxall for a neat bloom of pale pink 'Foxhill Nina', seen in the picture below, but only a THIRD PRIZE card was given for the other entry staged by Gordon West.

Class 6: One spike, dark, attracted three entries, with FIRST PRIZE going to 'Mighty Atom' from Roy Redman, seen on the left in the picture below. SECOND PRIZE went to a bloom of 'My Dark', from Keith Boxall that was past it's peak, showing seed pods and dropping petals on Sunday, while Gordon West had another THIRD PRIZE for a little bloom of a blue with a white eye.

Class 5.

Class 6.

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CLASSES 7 - 13 Flowers of a Specific Colour

Class7: Two spikes, white or cream, Two very small blooms of 'Kennington Classic' from F. Hirst were staged but in Class 8: One spike, white or cream, the only bloom had wilted by Sunday and no prizes were awarded.

Class 7.

Class 10.

Class 10: One spike, blue. FIRST PRIZE went to Roy Redman for a bloom of 'Carol Fishenden', seeen on the right in the picture above. SECOND PRIZE went to a bloom of dark blue 'Fenella' from Fred Hirst, while Gordon West staged a bloom of 'Alice Artindale' with tiny florets for another THIRD PRIZE.

There were no entries in Class 9 for blue flowers and the only entry of pink flowers in Class 11 had wilted.

Class 12: One spike, pink. FIRST PRIZE went to Keith Boxall for a lovely bloom of 'Foxhill Nina', seen in the left hand picture below. This bloom was also selected as being BEST IN SHOW!!! and was another reward for a delphinium that had just been recommended for an Award of Garden Merit. The quality of this bloom confounded those who considered that the blooms of this cultivar are rather too short in relation to the height of the plant.

F. Hirst's SECOND PRIZE bloom was in ruins on the second day.

Class 12.

Class 13.

Class 13: One spike, any cultivar and six florets of the cultivar.

A FIRST PRIZE card was awarded to a dark violet purple bloom of 'My Dark', a cultivar with with beautifully formed florets raised and staged by the Show Secretary, Keith Boxall. SECOND PRIZE went to Roy Redman for a bloom of 'Walton Beauty', another violet cultivar with a white eye that is seldom seen, and THIRD PRIZE went to a bloom and six florets of 'Mighty Atom' from F. Hirst

Class 12, Winner: 'Foxhill Nina'

Class 13, Winner: 'Walton Beauty'

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CLASSES 14 - 25 Seedlings, Florets and Novices

Class 14: Two spikes, seedlings, any cultivar or cultivars.

FIRST PRIZE went to Keith Boxall's two blooms of 'My Dark', on the left in the picture below. You could be forgiven for thinking that to bring so many entries of this lovely cultivar, Keith must have completed stripped his plants : next year it will have a registered name and so will no longer qualify for Seedling Classes! No prize was given to the other entry. Gordon West's entry in Class 15: One spike, seedling excluding white or pink, was awarded a SECOND PRIZE but his bloom in Class 16: One spike, seedling, white, gained no award.

Class 14.

Class 22

Class 17: One spike, seedling, pink. A SECOND PRIZE was awarded to Alaster Calder for a pink seedling, like that used in his entry for Class 22 shown in the picture above.
Class 19: Six florets, all the same cultivar.

FIRST PRIZE was awarded set of purple florets staged by Kate Brooks, and SECOND PRIZE went to Steve Dorey for florets of 'Florestan'.

Class 20 Six florets, not less than two cultivars.

FIRST PRIZE again went to Kate Brooks for another set of purple and white florets, with Steve Dorey taking the SECOND PRIZE for a set consisting of blue florets of 'Leonora' with a pink seedling.

Class 19

Class 20

Class 21: Three spikes in one vase, in a space less than 76cm wide and less than 107cm in height above the table.

Amazingly, there were four entries in this Class, with FIRST PRIZE going to Terry Blissett for a set of three blues, SECOND PRIZE toSteve Dorey for pink, blue, and purple flowers and THIRD PRIZE to Fred Hirst's pink flowers.


A. Calder staged a pink seedling bloom in Class 22, that was given a FIRST PRIZE and his bowl of pink seedling florets in Class 25 was given a SECOND PRIZE
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Arrangement by Kate Brooks

The few DelphiniumSociety members who raided their gardens for blooms to stage at this Show or for the attractive flower arrangements deserve congratulations for their efforts.

Thanks are due to Keith Boxall, the Show Secretary, who had the unenviable task of trying to organise a Show when most member's delphiniums were already over, as well as entering several excellent blooms himself. Winning the Best in Show Award for his lovely bloom of 'Foxhill Nina' was a well-deserved reward .

Thanks are also due to the Staff of the Royal Horticultural Society's Garden for their cooperation and assistance


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