Review 2023 Part 4

Happy New Year to everyone! This is the final part 4 look back on 2023.

As I sit here remembering looking back at the high lights of 2023 I am reminded that we meet many of you at a lot of other shows and plant fairs not mentioned and I would just like to thank all those that came to see us, and all those that organise and support us at these other events, such as the #specialistplantfairs, the Devon Plant Heritage Group, Dorset Plant Heritage Group and Hellens Garden Festival. We enjoyed our time we spent with you.

Back to the review. The next and final big engagement for the year was attending the 3 Counties and RHS Malvern Autumn show. We hadn’t attended any RHS shows before as exhibitors and this was only the second time we had created a 3m x 3m island display, so quite daunting.

We revised our display from Taunton as a result of our feedback and input from several of our fellow exhibitors. We also received a few additional beautiful Alice art pieces from James at the Robert James Workshop to utilise on our stand. Janet had perfected her cup cakes which we shared with the public and encouraged all participants to discover all the characters from Alice on our display!

Luckily we went up on the Monday to start the build as we weren’t confident on how long it would take use to build being so far from Taunton. (By the way we went there and back each day, to the surprise and amusement of our fellow exhibitors) It was lucky we arrived when we did as the base for our display was a bit loose (to the point I could have done dives from some of the boards and possibly even got scored out of ten). The staff at the 3 counties were extremely helpful and we solidified the base and started to build.

There were no other exhibitor’s there on Monday and few there on Tuesday, but everyone started to turn up on the Wednesday.

We built away and try to get everything together, learnt lots of lessons of building displays. Everyone was encouraged to depart Thursday after lunch and I got an early night.

Couldn’t sleep well as I kept on going over all the elements I had missed etc and was sure I was going to get a Bronze.

Came in early as usual on the Friday morning and was very pleasantly surprised to see that we had got a Silver Gilt. Wow, chuffed and could relax and enjoy the coming day, the part I really enjoy which is to meet the public, entertain and educate.

I was asked several times “Did I enjoy the build”. My response was the same “No, I am proud of what we created, but the enjoyment comes when the public come.” We had some beautiful comments. We entertained loads of children, their parents and many more. We gave out a load of small cup cakes(checking before that, that was ok before handing out!)

Janet’s favourite comment was from a pair of ladies who came over and said “Now that’s what I call a show garden”, what more can you ask for.

Loved meeting everyone, a highlight finish for the year and we have a lot more going on and coming in the new year related to both Hostas and other things too. We are hoping to have an open day at our Clayhanger Site in Devon so you can come and see what we are getting up to.