Top-notch daffodils reap rewards as village spring show returns for 2018

Brian Andrews, Frances Leppard and Charles Mobsby with their trophies
Brian Andrews, Frances Leppard and Charles Mobsby with their trophies
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HORTICULTURISTS transformed a village hall as a colourful flower show returned for another year.

Volunteers and green-fingered enthusiasts united for the Purbrook Horticultural Society (PHS) Spring Show on Sunday afternoon.

Scores of keen gardeners braved the wintry weather engulfing the county for the fixture at Deverell Hall in Waterlooville – as the so-called Beast from the East brought joy for fun-loving families across the city, but disruption for others.

The society’s dab-handed members and fans were not put off however, with more than 100 people flocking to the hall for the show.

Lynda Piddington, PHS chairwoman, said: ‘It was amazing to see just how many people turned out to show their support despite the chilly weather.

‘The standard of the displays we saw was fantastic and we’re already thinking ahead to our summer show at Crookhorn College in August.’

Daffodils were the order of the afternoon, as organisers dished out trophies to gardeners competing in a spectrum of different classes.

Among them were prizes for those who best presented their daffodils in vase and pebble and water displays – with an award also recognising the best-bloomed individual flower.

It was PHS expert Mark Ward who took home the latter, for a daffodil which organisers said ‘looked like it could have been a painting’.

Ms Piddington said: ‘Mark is very well respected at the society and the daffodil he brought forward was almost textbook. Judges take a very close look at the flowers, paying attention to their petals and how neat they are – but to see the quality he managed to achieve all-round was just unbelievable.’

But the task of getting daffodils to the show in the first place was not easy for competitors, off the back of a nationwide cold snap.

Charles Mobsby, Spring Show secretary, said: ‘Because of the weather we had a few weeks ago, growers had to wait longer to be able to select their daffodils to enter.

‘Thankfully they managed to do it before the snow came back at the weekend – or else they would have been in trouble.

‘All-in-all, it was a very enjoyable show this year.’

With Charles himself receiving one – alongside growers Frances Leppard and Brian Andrews – other awards were given out for the best displays of three and six daffodils and bulbs in a range of different planting settings.