I don’t consider gardening to be a competitor sport but when the opportunity arises, it’s nice to see how you’re doing by getting the opinion of those in the know. So I entered the Charlton Kings In Bloom competition for the second time and it will be judged today! Sunday 19 July 2015 It’s 4pm and I am waiting for the judges to appear to inspect and critique my garden in the annual Charlton Kings in Bloom competition. My judging slot is 4.30 – 5.30pm which is the last of the two days and the 30 gardens which have entered. I hope they are not fed up and dying to go home! The weather is beautiful, warm and sunny with a light breeze, perfect for garden visiting. Officially, I am not even supposed to talk to the judges, I don’t even have to be here. They usually just turn up, walk around, take loads of photos, mark the scores on their clipboards and leave. However, I have a cunning plan, I am going to greet them and offer to give them the tour! I have spent the last two days pruning, plumping, propping and preening…….weeding, watering, mulching, deadheading, mowing and edging……weeding, weeding and weeding! It looks good…not perfect but good enough I hope. It has been so warm and dry that many of the plants I hoped would be in peak condition are already over, the delphiniums, knautia macedonica, salvia greggii and microphylla are past their best but balanced by the echinaceas, heleniums and some of the early chrysanths which are out earlier than usual.
4.50pm They have arrived…..six of them! I know three of them including a former nursery owner and a professional gardener. This is going to be difficult. Wish me luck!5.35pm They’ve gone! Phew! Actually it went very well. They loved the design and planting schemes, raved about the Agapanthus africanus lined up in front of the bungalow and looked at everything with experienced and critical eyes. They were keen on finding any rare or unusual plants and were furiously writing notes on anything they found. I suppose there are only so many petunias, begonias and pelargoniums you can take! This worked to my advantage as there are several unusual things around the garden one of them being the Leopard Lily, Belamcanda chinensis, which no-one recognised. Others were Salvia uliginosa and the beautiful but easy white Lysimachia ephemerum which got them talking and writing even more furiously.
Time for a glass of wine and a sit down. No gardening tomorrow!
David, Your gardens are beautiful! Just started following your blog & love everything about it! The judges had to be very impressed! They saved the best till last. Looking forward to your next post with the judging results! Thank you for sharing your gardening world with all of us! Most Sincerely, Janet
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Hello Janet and thank you for your kind comments. Glad you are following my blog which I have re-started after a few months off doing other things. Enjoying sharing my gardening moments and stories with my followers again. Out of interest, where are you based Janet?
Looks fantastic as always David. Looking forward to the tour on Friday. I’ll bring the wine!
Thanks David. Looking forward to showing you round again!
From where I’m sitting it looks absolutely beautiful, perfect, amazing! Your plants are gorgeous and the planting combinations are inspirational. I’d love to ask you endless questions about individuals plants and scribble all the answers down like those judges. A winning garden in anybody’s book – so I’m sure it has been in their’s!
Good luck. I am waiting to read results with bated breath,
Hi Beth. Sadly, they don’t announce the winner until September at a results evening where everybody who entered attends and bite their nails! You can be sure I will post the result, whatever it is.
Hi Alison. Thanks for your kind comments. Ask away…..I’m happy to answer any questions you might have. That’s why I do this blog, to engage with like minded gardeners.
OMG!!!! Wow Looks fantastic David. You must have worked hard. Please let us know the judges result but if you don’t win there should be an inquest! Is it too late to enter our caterpillar ravaged verbascum? It’s in the wrong place in our patio border as well but we love it. I will send you a picture! Best wishes Bob and Mim Ps did you put out the red carpet for the judges or did you use my piece of Axminster?
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Looks incredible, well done, fingers crossed now!
Thanks Gill. Loved your article on Agapanthus. Will post the result in due course.