The Flower Show aka Rothesay Horticultural Society Annual Show had to be a bit different this year. After decades of being held in early September in the Pavilion the venue was changed because of the ongoing refurbishment of that iconic building. The Show committee managed to shoe horn all the exhibitors into Trinity Church, its halls and even marquees in the garden.
As well as reduced display space there was also a much tighter fit for viewing visitors – just as well that plant growers and flower lovers are a generally friendly bunch.
The floral artists were quite tightly squeezed for space but still turned out beautiful displays. It was impossible to get far enough back from the big floor standing exhibits to take photographs.
I personally did not like this year’s craft theme of ‘Weddings’ so only entered one black and white photograph of zebras from our recent trip to Namibia (obviously not wedding related!) and was quite chuffed with a Third Prize from an entry of 18.
Inevitably there was much talk of the awful growing conditions we have experienced this ‘summer’ here on Bute and the consensus of opinion was that particularly fruit entries had suffered.
The following photographs of our little ‘orchard’ will create a false impression. In reality some of the trees do not look in the best of health – sadly I suspect canker. Not removing any yet but will do some serious pruning and play a waiting game.
This is the first year that the Conference Pear has had fruit. It looks really impressive in the following photograph but I have to confess that each pear is about two inches long and hard as a brick.
The young rowan tree is laden with scrumptious looking berries – I hope the birds appreciate this feast.
Another first for our orchard this year has been the appearance of two hazelnuts. We have never seen squirrels in our garden so I am hopeful that these nuts will still be there when they are ripe.
I had to do a quick google on hazelnuts because as well as the precious bounty of two nuts the bush is covered with tiny yellow catkins – to my relief this seemingly sometimes happens.
Winter is certainly drawing in – the Waverley has stopped visiting, the farmers are furiously dodging downpours to harvest, the Flower Show is over, leaves are changing colour, the ferries were off yesterday because of the wind. Bute is still the most beautiful place to live.