Show time! The annual Bibury Flower Show

If you had been standing in my front garden at about 9am yesterday morning, you would have seen a small procession of villagers bearing jars of jam, or vases of flowers, or cakes of one sort or another. as they carefully made their way to the village hall.
For the previous week, those who bake, or preserve, or garden, could be seen in earnest discussion. Snatches of conversation went something like: "Well, I think I've got a couple of cucumbers, but my carrots are a disaster." Or, in the case of the more creative flower arrangers: "Well, I've got an idea, but I'm not sure if it will work."
The Bibury Flower Show, as you can see from the poster below, has been going since 1891. We don't have skittles or "cocoanut" bowling any more (although there was a brass band up at the cricket field yesterday for their fun day), but the levels of skill and artistry, not to mention horticultural and culinary expertise, never fail to amaze me.


2016 has been a challenging year for gardeners in the UK, with a long cool spring, and a cool rainy summer so far. It's been the sort of year that makes me glad I don't grow vegetables, yet the village hall was full of wonderful produce, including the prize-winning trug below, grown by my bee-keeping buddy Alan Franklin (who made the trug as well).



Half the fun of the show is going round seeing who won what. My friend Beverly won first prize for her marmalade, and her partner Andy won first prize for his aerial picture of the village



I didn't win anything for my cut flowers from the garden, because stupidly I'd stuck to a colour scheme, instead of chucking everything that was in flower into a bucket. The point of the class is variety, to see how many different flowers you have available. (Mine is the cream jug in the front row.) However, that's one of the great things about the flower show - you learn from it.


I did win first prize for my foliage-only arrangement (below) so I was very pleased with that.


It costs 20p to enter each class, and classes include photography, handicrafts and a children's section, so there really is a chance for everyone to get involved.
At the end of a week that has been full of horrific news, the show seemed to underline for me the importance of community, of creativity, of maintaining a way of life that is productive and positive.
My next-door neighbour Neil came up with a a great description of Bibury this morning as we were walking our dogs. He said: "It's the sort of place that we thought only existed in our imaginations, in some nostalgic vision of England. But it's real."

Comments

  1. I love Neil's comment. Perhaps we need to get our imaginations working more... and exercising more kindness. At the end of the day, the one place where we can all make a difference is in our own communities. Hurrah for places like Bibury.

    Our local show's not until September - I hope to enter this year having missed the last few as I've been on holiday on setup day.

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  2. Love these little shows, and as you say it's really amazing what fantastic things people grow and make. Sadly nothing award winning around here though, it's all slightly battered or lightly nibbled. Maybe one day...

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  3. Beating the mainly foliage gardener that you were in your London garden, it's no surprise you won on this category! Congratulations!

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  4. You are also the ideal villagey person. Ever read Susan Hill's Magic Apple Tree?

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  5. Both David and I left Bibury wishing that we lived there. I still hanker after that village life that is so often portrayed on television and my parents knew long ago. It is wonderful to see that is still exists although I feel it must be rare.You lucky people. And congratulations on your foliage arrangement.

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