We had a lovely day out today at the Birmingham Gardener's Weekend, organised by Birmingham Council & held at Kings Heath Park.
Most of the sellers had plants for sale (as opposed to the plastic gadgets, wellington boots, ornamental ironwork, benches, wind chimes & all manner of other gardening fripperies), so I bought some winter flowering pansies for my hanging baskets at home & for the front of the plot.
As well as the show gardens, there was a Societies tent in which were wool spinners & weavers, bee keepers, bonsai growers, begonia clubs & fuchsia societies all showing off their skills, & the Allotments tent which had the Show classes all laid out.
Fantastic displays of all sorts of veg, as well as the wonderful 'collection' classes which were entered by the various allotment societies throughout the City.
Mum pointed out the skill of a particular entrant who's name cropped up on many first placed exhibits of both flowers and vegetables saying, "He is so skilled - dahlias, gladioli - and look at that 'foliage arrangement' - it's lovely!"
"I think that whatever the size of your show, the same clever what-nots are going to keep winning the prizes," I mused, "although quite how he's found the time to stage all these entries, I don't know."
The only surprise for me was the lack of seed merchants - in fact Robinson (the mammoth veg people) were the only one I saw. Their onion sets - although undoubted winners - were rather on the dear side, so it's back to Wilko in the week for them, I think.
We popped up to the Hill on the way home, picking a couple of pounds of raspberries from cheery Brian & Pauline's plot, as invited, & a bag full of RUNNER BEANS (essex bb & reg-next-plot) & FRENCH BEANS (barlotti jody & purple giant).
I had to make some running repairs to the bean frame - a slight variation on the design for next year, I think.