Steamy orchids and scary monsters take centre stage at horticultural shows

Avid horticulturalists were spoilt for choice last weekend with flower shows in Hampstead Garden Suburb and Hornsey.

Hampstead Garden Suburb Horticultural Society’s 272nd show at the Free Church Hall, Northway, was a “very villagey” affair and “great fun” said Marjorie Harris, a longstanding member of the society.

The Grimsdyke Brass Band helped to swell crowds, with double last year’s numbers turning out, and a particularly high number of young entrants.

Mrs Harris was herself “delighted” to win the Best Pot Plant category for the first time.

She said: “This is the very first orchid I’ve ever had and the best one.”

The “prolific” orchid has flowered for four or five years in a row, which Mrs Harris puts down to being kept in steamy conditions in the bathroom.

The show included classes for flowers, vegetables, cookery and preserves, children’s classes and photography.

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Over at the Central Hornsey And District Allotments And Horticultural Society Show at the Moravian Church Hall in Priory Road, Hornsey, entries in the children’s classes stood out.

Juliet Mann, joint show secretary, said: “We always get very inventive and charming things in the children’s section.”

This year a “scary monster” by Matthew Walker made with a skull and vegetables was “particularly brilliant” she said.

The show which “has probably not changed in a hundred years” also included a quiz to guess the weight of a cake, a raffle, a tombola and delicious homemade cakes donated by allotment holders.

Katherine Toy, who has grown the heaviest pumpkin for two years in a row, said: “It was obvious it was the biggest one.”

She put her success down to growing the pumpkins on top of an old compost heap which has “lots of magic still in it!”.

Both shows took place on Saturday, September 10.