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This Show was held at the Hillside Events Centre of the Royal Horticultural Society's Garden at Wisley, Surrey on 17th / 18th June 2006.



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



The weather conditions during late winter and spring created many problems for delphinium growers, not least the low rainfall that resulted in bans on garden watering with hosepipes in many areas of southern England. The season was also unusually late, with hardly a delphinium flower to be seen at Wisley Gardens at the beginning of June when normally many plants in the Delphinium Trial would be well out. Even at the weekend preceding the Show, with no delphinium flowers in our own garden, we had serious doubts as to whether there could be a Show at all.

For the new Show Secretary, Keith Boxall, this situation must have been a nightmare. In the end a few members of the Delphinium Society were able to make entries. However, there were no entries at all for a high proportion of the classes in the Show Schedule. There was seldom more than a single entry in any of the classes.

As usual our account is based on visiting the Show on the second day when some blooms normally look decidedly past their best. Most pictures were taken using flash to overcome the lighting conditions in the Hall.

The scene that met the eye for visitors walking into the hall was delightful, with a selection of exhibition blooms on the benches, lovely floral arrangements and a colourful display of photographs on display boards around the walls. Visitors to the Hall seemed to enjoy the flowers and we heard many favourable comments while we there on the second day.




The Jubilee Trophy is for six blooms in two vases which must not extend more than 107cm (3.5 ft) above the bench top. To meet this height restriction properly for the Show vases used, no bloom used should be more than 60cm (2ft) long from the base of the florets to the tip.

The Delphinium Society Secretary, Allan Cook was persuaded by Mark Lyman to stage two vases of blooms of his lovely white cultivar 'Elizabeth Cook' rather than to donate them for the flower arrangements. Mark staged two vases of his own but they gained the SECOND PRIZE as the Judges preferred the white flowers and awarded the FIRST PRIZE to Allan Cook.



Class 1: Four spikes. One entry. FIRST PRIZE went to blooms of light blue 'Gertrude Sahin' staged by Jim Fishenden but unfortunately by Sunday morning the flowers had wilted.
Class 2: Two spikes, light. Two entries. Terry Woolley gained FIRST PRIZE for blooms of 'Min' seen on the left below. These were of excellent quality although not fully developed and one of them was selected as 'Best Bloom in Show'. Jim Fishenden's blooms of 'Gertrude Sahin' had wilted by Sunday.

Class 3: Two spikes, dark. Three entries. A pair of blooms of 'Franjo Sahin' from Jim Fishenden, seen on the right below, gained FIRST PRIZE in competition with two rather irregular blooms of dark blue Fenella from Terry Woolley that gained Second Prize and a pair of blooms of 'Summerfield Oberon' from John Tombleson that were placed third. It was good to see John, formerly the Show Secretary, returning as an exhibitor.

Class 2.

Class 3.

Class 4: One spike, light. Two entries. These are seen on the right hand side of the picture below. Terry Woolley's seedling with a dark eye was awarded a SECOND PRIZE and THIRD PRIZE was awarded to a bloom of 'Spindrift' from John Tombleson

Class5: One spike, dark. Two entries. A large, rather irregular bloom of dark blue 'Fenella' from Stan Ellison won FIRST PRIZE, while the smaller bloom of purple 'Summerfield Oberon' from Keith Boxall had SECOND PRIZE. These blooms are in the middle of the picture below.

Class 8: One spike, cream. One entry. This nice bloom from Mark Lyman was awarded a FIRST PRIZE and is seen on the left of the picture below.

From left: Classes 8; 5(2); 4(2).

There were no entries in Classes 6 & 7 for pink flowers, in Class 9 for three blooms of restricted height in a vase or Class 10 for a spike and six florets of the cultivar.
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Two of the lovely flower arrangements to be seen on the Show Benches




Class 13: One spike. One entry. A rather nice seedling from Terry Woolley with very large dark violet-blue flowers that have pronounced deepening of the colour towards the edge of the sepals was awarded a SECOND PRIZE.

Class 15: One spike, pink. One entry. A very small light pink with a white eye from Terry Blissett was also rewarded with a SECOND PRIZE.

Classes 14 & 15.

There were no entries in the other four classes for seedlings


Class 17: Two spikes, blue. One entry. The two quite good blooms from Stan Ellison of 'Florestan', with blue flushed lavender flowers, might have been disqualified under other circumstances as the flower is not blue but were awarded a FIRST PRIZE.

Class 19: One spike, dark blue. One entry. A FIRST PRIZE also went to the small spike of a dark blue with white eye from Terry Blissett.

Class 19 & Class 18 (2 blues)


Class 21: One spike white,with white eye. Three entries. FIRST PRIZE went to a broad tapering bloom of 'Jill Curley' from Jim Fishenden, seen at the centre of the picture below and the blooms of 'Elizabeth Cook' to the right from Stan Ellison and Terry Blissett respectively gained SECOND PRIZE and THIRD PRIZE.

Class 22: One spike white, with dark eye. Two entries. FIRST PRIZE went to Terry Blissett's bloom of 'Sandpiper', which is second from the left in the picture below, with Keith Boxall's bloom, also of 'Sandpiper', gaining SECOND PRIZE.

Class 22 (dark eye) & Class 21.

Note the display boards on the bench along the wall that attracted much attention.


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No record was kept of any entries in the classes for florets in Section E.

SECTION F: INTERMEDIATE CLASSES (for exhibitors who have not won a first prize in classes 1 - 32)

Class 28: two spikes; Two entries. Stan Ellison won FIRST PRIZE for blooms of dusky pink 'Jenny Agutter' and Zara Evans gained SECOND PRIZE with a bloom of 'Spindrift' and a seedling.

Class 29: one spike, light. Three entries. Stan Ellison won FIRST PRIZE for a long bloom of white 'Elizabeth Cook', Grahame Case's shorter 'Spindrift' gained SECOND PRIZE and Zara Evans gained THIRD PRIZE for a very tall bloom of 'Kennington Carousel'.

Class 30: One spike, dark. Two entries. A SECOND PRIZE went to Stan Ellison for a broad bloom of a dark violet seedling and a THIRD PRIZE to Jan Waterhouse, the Society's Year Book Editor, for a bloom of 'Summerfield Oberon'.

From Left: Classes 30 (2); 29 (3); 28(2)

Note the display of delphinium blooms in the background. These are on plants growing in pots that were kindly supplied by the RHS Wisley Garden staff.
Class 31: Six florets, all same cultivar. Three entries. FIRST PRIZE went to a fine set of dark purple florets from Stan Ellison, seen below, SECOND PRIZE to huge florets of Vanessa Mae', staged by Ray Cook and THIRD PRIZE went to Zara Evans for a set of 'Summerfield Oberon' florets. A Highly Commended was awarded to Jan Waterhouse for another set of florets from 'Summerfield Oberon'.
Class 32: Six florets, not less than two distinct cultivars. FIRST PRIZE went to Stan Ellison for a set containing florets of 'Florestan' and seedlings. SECOND PRIZE went to Ray Cook, THIRD PRIZE to Zara Evans and Jan Waterhouse was given a Highly Commended for a set including her favourite delphinium 'Emily Hawkins' with 'Summerfield Oberon'.

Class 33: Two Spikes; Class 34: One spike, light, Class 35: one spike, dark. Entries of neat, fresh blooms of white 'Elizabeth Cook' ,seedling and 'Summerfield Oberon' were staged in these classes by Steve Dorey, with each being awarded a SECOND PRIZE, but he was sufficiently encouraged to enter more blooms in the second Show, two weeks later.



We would like to end this report on the Show by thanking the Show Secretary, Keith Boxall for taking the entries, setting out the benches and sorting out the problems that arose. Thanks are also due to Duncan & Ursula Hagan for organising all the other exhibits in the Hall.

The Show could not have been so successful without the cooperation of the Staff of the Royal Horticultural Society's Garden, who we thank.

Outside in the Trials field there were also some nice delphiniums to be seen.

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