Ouch a bronze medal, that hurt! I have to admit I was suprised and disappointed at the award, I thought it was good enough for a silver. But stoical as ever, I ventured out of the pavillion to see how the other exhibitors had done…it was carnage out there. Bronze medals, a few silvers no-one seems impressed with the judges decisions. I really felt for Hook Green herbs, they were awarded a silver yet the stand to which they lent their left-over plants received a silver-gilt, that’s a puzzle.
It was only whilst talking to another exhibitor that it dawned how ridiculous the whole thing was. The majority of marks are awarded to your ability to stick to your brief, how well you do what you say you will do. For example, if you say you are going to put an apple tree in the centre of a display, putting a standard bay in there instead isn’t going to win you any prizes. Ooops. Those judges must have thought my horticultural knowledge had really taken a dive this year. So stick to your brief, it’s important to make a copy of it and not fill in the form and send it off in the post without a second thought. I am looking forward to tomorrow when the judges give feed back. It will be interesting to find out what it was I was supposed to be doing.
Joking apart awards are important and can help launch a successful business and give existing businesses a vital boost. What the judges do not take into account is that gardens, plants and nature are organic and, as a consequence, subject to change. My apple tree was not looking its best, the weather hasn’t been good and many plants just aren’t thriving. I chose to replace the tree with a bay, it looks stunning. I would much rather put on a good display of fine quality plants for visitors to enjoy than be awarded a medal for words.
Once the show opened I felt considerably better. One of the joys of herbs and herb gardening is the smile that lights up a persons face when they inhale the aroma, lemon verbena and orange thyme are this years favourites closely followed by blackcurrant sage a nd French tarragon.
So well done to all the exhibitors at Tatton, it looks fantastic and I can’t wait for the feedback with the judges in the Fortnum and Mason soiree tomorrow night at 7pm. Better put the ambulance service on standby!