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This Show was held at the Hillside Events Centre of the Royal Horticultural Society's Garden at Wisley, Surrey on 26th/27th June 2010.

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

Arrangement by Anne Blissett


For this report, Show Classes are grouped as follows:-

CLASSES 1 - 6 , 13, 18, 21 & 22; Delphiniums of any colour.

CLASSES 7 - 12; Flowers of a specific colour.

CLASSES 14 - 17; Seedlings (Un-named Delphiniums), Florets and classes for Novice exhibitors



It is interesting that this Show marked the 25th Anniversary of Delphinium Society Shows in the Hillside Events Centre at Wisley. The Society's Shows prior to 1985 were always held in conjunction with RHS Flower Shows in June and July at the Horticultural Halls at Vincent Square in London. The RHS Flower Shows were then discontinued and the Delphinium Society was offered the chance to hold a Show in 'The Demonstration Building' at Wisley. This building was then used mainly as a 'Potting Shed' by the garden staff and was hardly a desirable venue. However, the Shows were successful and the quality of the venue improved when the RHS carried out a programme of renovation, including the installation of toilets, improvements to roof and lighting etc. During the past few months, it has often seemed as if this period of fruitful collaboration between the Delphinium Society and the RHS was coming to an end. However, we hope that is not the case.

A hard winter meant that delphiniums started into growth much later than in recent years. Development of plants to flower was slow and by mid May it was clear that few members would have any blooms for the first Show planned to be held at Wisley on 5th/6th June. That Show was therefore cancelled. The Yorkshire & Lincolnshire Group of the Society were also forced to postpone their first Show to the same weekend as the Wisley Show, so no blooms were brought to Wisley from the north this year.

Hot, dry weather in late May and June resulted in worries that blooms would be past their best by the Show date. In the end there was a good number of entries in most Classes for visitors to see.

This year we took delphiniums from our garden to the Show, hoping they would add to what we feared might be a rather small entry. Plants in our borders were suffering from the lack of any rain and provided only small blooms suitable for use in floral arrangements. However Shirley's plants growing in 7.5 litre pots had been kept well watered and provided a few blooms of good quality and a selection of lovely florets. The flowers were mainly cut on Thursday afternoon, conditioned by standing overnight in water containing 'Cut flower food' from a Banbury Florist, and taken to Wisley on Friday afternoon for staging during the evening. Thanks to 'air conditioning', our blooms reached Wisley in excellent condition despite a rather slow journey in very hot conditions on the motorway past Heathrow. Both days of the Show were very hot but all our blooms stood up well, as did the majority of the blooms staged by other exhibitors.

The Schedule for this Show contained only a limited number of Classes, so there was a good number of entries in most of these. The exhibition blooms were balanced by a varied selection of entries for the floral arrangement Classes.



CLASSES 1 - 6, also 13, 18 & 21: Delphiniums of any Colour

Class 1: Three spikes. Three entries. The FIRST PRIZE entry from Douglas Pounds consisted of three excellent and very fresh blooms of seedlings that he has raised in recent years, one being a lovely white flower contrasting with two blooms with pink florets. SECOND PRIZE went to Terry Woolley for well matched blooms of 'Purple Haze', a light mauve-purple flower with pronounced colour shading and a darker picottee edging to the florets. The THIRD PRIZE went to blooms of 'Tiger Eye' from Bob Banks that were looking tired on Sunday



Class 2: Two spikes, light excluding white. The FIRST PRIZE went to Alaster Calder for his blooms of light pink 'Darling Sue'. The SECOND PRIZE was won by Graham Austin with neat blooms of 'Walton Benjamin'. THIRD PRIZE went to rather small blooms of 'Min' from Mr D. Hickmott. .



Class 3: Two spikes, dark. FIRST PRIZE went to Graham Austin for blooms of 'Bruce' seen below . Doug Pounds staged smaller and less mature blooms of a purple seedling to take the SECOND PRIZE.

Class 4: Two spikes, one dark, one light excluding white. No first prize was awarded but Bob Banks was given SECOND PRIZE. On Sunday one bloom had dropped to pieces and the THIRD PRIZE entry of small blooms of Walton Gemstone and Fenella from Graham Austin then looked superior.



Class5: One spike, light, excluding white. FIRST PRIZE was won by a very nice fresh looking bloom of 'Tiger Eye' from Terry Blissett. SECOND PRIZE went to Graham Austin for a short bloom of 'Gillian Dalllas' and THIRD PRIZE was awarded to a bloom of 'Min' from Mr D. Hickmott.



Class 6: One spike, dark. FIRST PRIZE went to a bloom of 'Bruce' from Terry Blissett and a rather squat bloom of 'Lucia Sahin' staged by Graham Austin was awarded SECOND PRIZE .

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

The FIRST PRIZE card was awarded to a bloom and set of florets of 'Lucia Sahin', a deep dusky pink staged by Terry Woolley. SECOND PRIZE went to Warwick Brench and THIRD PRIZE to Stan Ellison.

Terry Woolley's wining bloom was particularly nice, with regularly spaced flowers open right to the top and this bloom won the Mary Pope Trophy for the best bloom at this Show.

Class 18: One spike, multi-coloured or double flowers. This class again attracted questioning as to what constitutes a 'multi-coloured flower'. This time, the FIRST PRIZE was won by Doug Pounds with a very large bloom with flowers that open white but develop large areas of brown pigmentation around the edge of the sepals as the bloom ages, as seen more clearly in the close-up picture of another bloom below. THIRD PRIZE went to a small bloom of 'Tiddles' from Warwick Brench..





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

FIRST PRIZE went to Bob Banks for a set of three blooms seen below of an un-named purple flower open right to the top of the spikes. A set of neat blooms in different colours from David Bassett was awarded SECOND PRIZE and THIRD PRIZE went to a vase of small but fresh blooms from Terry Blissett. Another vase of three large blooms of excellent quality was present on the bench but was not considered because the exhibit was considerably oversize.



Class 22: Vase of six laterals, any cultivar or cultivars. The FIRST PRIZE was won by Mark Lyman with pale blue flowers and SECOND PRIZE went to Jean Woolley for her dark blue flowers.

Class 22 (L) FIRST PRIZE

A brown-tinged white from Doug Pounds

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CLASSES 7 - 12: Flowers of a Specific Colour


Class7: Two spikes, white or cream. From the six entries here, the two large but loosely-packed blooms of a selected seedling from John Flowerday took FIRST PRIZE. Doug Pounds staged blooms of a white seedling with lovely clean white florets for SECOND PRIZE and THIRD PRIZE went to Graham Austin for broad tapering blooms of 'Elisabeth Cook' .

Class 8: One spike, white or cream. FIRST PRIZE was awarded to a nice tapered bloom of an un-named white with a honey brown eye from Doug Pounds. A small but fresh bloom of cream-flowered 'Sunkissed' from Terry Blissett won SECOND PRIZE and THIRD PRIZE went to Alaster Calder's entry.


Class 8. (Centre) FIRST PRIZE


Class 9: Two spikes, any blue cutivars. No first prize was awarded but Doug Pounds added to his points total with SECOND PRIZE for blooms of two gentian blue seedlings that were not well matched. Graham Austin took THIRD PRIZE for two small and rather crowded blooms of 'Margaret'.



Class 10: One spike, blue. Terry Woolley won FIRST PRIZE with a good large bloom of 'Carol Fishenden'. SECOND PRIZE was awarded to a gentian blue seedling of similar style to 'Galileo', seen on the right below, which was staged by Doug Pounds. THIRD PRIZE went to Graham Austin for a bloom of 'Fenella'.

Class 10.

David Basssett's Blues


Class 11: Two spikes, any pink cultivar. There were six entries and the Judges gave the FIRST PRIZE to the neat and broad-based blooms of 'Darling Sue' staged by Graham Austin. This cultivar raised by the late Jim Cooke has a pretty brown eye. SECOND PRIZE was awarded to Bob Banks and the THIRD PRIZE went to small blooms of 'Lucia Sahin' staged by Stan Ellison.

Class 12: One spike, pink. FIRST PRIZE went to Doug Pounds for a lovely bloom of one of his many seedlings. SECOND PRIZE went to a large immature bloom from Bob Banks and Graham Austin's pretty bloom of 'Foxhill Nina' was awarded THIRD PRIZE.

Class 11

Class 12. First Prize

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CLASSES 14 - 17; SEEDLINGS (Un-named Cultivars)

Class 14: Two spikes, seedlings, any cultivar or cultivars. As might be expected from other results described already, where seedlings from Doug Pounds won prizes, FIRST PRIZE here went to Doug for a very nice white seedling paired with a pink bloom. A THIRD PRIZE went toBob Banks for his blooms of a purple seedlings rather similar to 'Bruce' and two small blooms from David Bassett were HIGHLY COMMENDED.


Class 14. Highly Commended

Class 15: One spike, seedling excluding white or pink. An immature bloom of a lovely deep purple seedling from John Flowerday was awarded FIRST PRIZE. A light pinky violet flower with white eye from one of Shirley Bassett's pot-grown seedlings took the SECOND PRIZE and Mark Lyman's loosely packed blue mauve bloom gained the THIRD PRIZE.


Class 15.

Class 16: One spike, seedling, white. A large well-packed spike of a seedling having white florets with a light brown eye was rewarded with another FIRST PRIZE for Doug Pounds. David Bassett's small bloom of one of Shirley's 'Snow-Bird' seedlings was given a SECOND PRIZE.

Class 17: One spike, seedling, pink. A FIRST PRIZE was awarded to Doug Pounds for another of his nice selected seedlings and a THIRD PRIZE went to Mark Lyman for a small, neat bloom of light pink flowers.




Class 23: Two spikes, any cultivar or cultivars.

Large but rather untidy blooms from Peter Pearce were rewarded with a FIRST PRIZE.



Class 19: Six florets, all the same cultivar.

Bob Banks gained the FIRST PRIZE for an excellent set of very large light pink florets with a neat eye. Shirley Bassett gained SECOND PRIZE for a set of attractive bright mid pink florets set off by a good white eye. THIRD PRIZE went to Terry Woolley for his set of pale violet florets with dark eyes.

Class 19: 1st Prize

Class 19: 2nd Prize

Class 19. 3rd Prize

Class 20 Six florets, not less than two cultivars.

FIRST PRIZE went to David Bassett for a set of seedling florets in pale pink and violet/mauve shades and Shirley Bassett's set of seedling florets in more intense colours took the SECOND PRIZE. Unfortunately by Sunday they looked to have been displaced from their original arrangement, possibly due to the way the leaves forming the background change as they take up water overnight....a hazard of not being able to check exhibits immediately before judging if you stage flowers on Friday evening! A set of florets of two blue cultivars from Mark Lyman took the THIRD PRIZE.

Class 20: 1st Prize

Class 20: 2nd Prize

Class 20: 3rd Prize


Classes 30 - 34: Delphiniums as Floral Art. Fewer Flower Arrangements were staged than last year but the varied selection of dislplays around the Hall complemented the single bloom exhibits well and are shown below and elsewhere in this report with the names of their creators. The Delphinium Society members who produced these attractive flower arrangements deserve congratulations for their efforts.

Duncan Hagan

Warwick Brench

Carolyn Clarke

Carolyn Clarke

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Anne Blissett

Thanks are due to Keith Boxall, the Show Secretary, who had the unenviable task of trying to organise a Show when more exhibits than he expected turned up on Saturday morning. Keith ensured that all were found places on the Show bench to produce a colourful display of blooms.

In a Year when Staff Shortages and changes in personnel have afflicted the RHS at Wisley, special thanks are due to the Staff of the Royal Horticultural Society's Garden for their cooperation and assistance in making this Show a reality.


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