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Two weeks to grow 11lb marrow
Published 01/09/14

A MARROW weighing 11lb was the star entry at the 20th annual Goring Greenfingers summer show.

The giant vegetable, which won first prize in the heaviest marrow category, was grown by show founder Christie Leary and she believes that it set a record.

Mrs Leary, who grew the marrow in the garden of her home in Spring Hill Road, Goring, said: “I think it’s one of the biggest we’ve had. I had to weigh it on my bathroom scales but it’s about 11lb.

“It only took about two weeks to grow — you could almost see it getting bigger overnight.”

Mrs Leary, who founded the show 20 years ago, added: “I’ve entered every year, although this time I didn’t enter as much as I wanted to in order to give other people a chance.”

There were more than 175 entries in 64 classes at this year’s show, which was held at the village hall.

However, entries were down after the warm weather caused a lot of produce to grow too quickly. Six categories had no entries at all.

Jo Nicolson, of Lycroft Close, Goring, won first prize for her onions, which were also named best vegetables in show.

She said: “I’ve been entering for the last three or four years and I’ve won a few things. This year I’ve won with my chillis and onions and I’ve been encouraging lots of people to enter as many classes as possible.

“I grew the onions at my allotment in Streatley — the soil down there is very good.” Mrs Nicolson, the club’s publicity officer, also entered a chocolate cake in the baking competition — despite it missing a chunk.

She said: “While I was at the hall setting up my husband Andy took a big slice of the cake. I still entered it and had to try to hide the gap.

“Andy did say it was very nice but I told him off and he was banished to the football for the day!”

Club secretary Alexandra Buhagiar, from Whitchurch, won first prize in the dish of seven plums category.

“It’s very nice to win a rosette,” she said. “I’m relatively new to the club but I always try to enter something each year. I grow everything in my garden.”

The show, which also featured a tombola and refreshments, attracted 120 visitors.

Show secretary David Woodage said: “It was a very friendly show and all our members pulled together and helped us stage it. There were people coming in all afternoon so we are very pleased.

“The judges told us in the weeks leading up to the show it had been too hot in the day and sometimes too cold at night so we had things like runner beans curling up rather than growing straight. However, the standard was almost as good as usual despite all this.”

Greenfingers was founded 23 years ago as a gardening club for Goring residents. The first summer show was held three years later and now draws hundreds of entries from local gardeners.

The winners were as follows:

Special class A, Top Vase Cup — David Woodage

Special class B, Top Tray Cup — David Woodage

Flower Section Challenge Cup (most points in this section) — Margaret King

Silver Threads Cup (best hanging basket) — Margaret King

Goring Mill Gallery Cup (best patio container) — Ros Ainsley

Fruit and Vegetable Sections Challenge Cup — Christie Leary

Flower Arranging Section Challenge Cup — Jacqueline Wilkins

Cookery Section Davis Challenge Cup — Margaret King

Photography Section, Goring Horticultural Society Plaque — Jim Thomas

Derek & Christie Entertainers Cup (most points in the show) — Margaret King

Royal Horticultural Society Banksian Medal (most points in horticultural sections) — Jo Nicolson

Captain Miller Cup (best exhibit in show) — Margaret King

Best flowers in show — Margaret King

Best fruit in show — Jim Thomas

Best vegetables in show — Jo Nicholson

Best flower arrangement in show — Jacqueline Wilkins

Best cookery in show — Margaret King

Best photograph in show — Jeanne Davis


Dahlias, cactus or semi-cactus, three blooms — David Woodage

Dahlias, other than cactus or semi-cactus, three blooms — Rodney Davis

Dahlia, one specimen bloom — Margaret King

Pelargonium, any variety — Rodney Davis

Foliage plant in a pot — Alexandra Buhagiar

Fuchsia, one bush in a pot — Phil Robson

Orchid, one plant — Margaret King

Plant in flower — Jo Nicolson

One rose, specimen bloom — Phil Robson

Roses, cycle of three stages — Jenny Emerton

Gladiolus, one specimen bloom — Jim Thomas

Flower, single stem — Margaret King

Blooms, five of any variety — Margaret King

Cactus — Christie Leary

Succulent — Jenny Emerton

Hanging basket, one plant variety, max 12in diameter — Jeanne Davis

Hanging basket, mixture of plants — Margaret King (best exhibit in show)

Patio container, one variety of plant — Ros Ainsley

Vase of mixed flowers and foliage — Ros Ainsley


Dish of three apples (best fruit in the show) — Jim Thomas

Dish of soft fruit — Stephanie Bridle

Dish of seven plums — Alexandra Buhagiar

Dish of any other fruit, seven damsons — David Woodage


Potatoes, five of any white variety — Christie Leary

Potatoes, five of any coloured variety — Jo Nicolson

Onions, three, 250 grams or under, any one variety — Jo Nicolson (best vegetables in show)

Shallots, seven of any one variety — Jo Nicolson

Runner beans — Rodney Davis

French beans — Margaret Robson

Carrots (2nd prize only awarded) — David Woodage

Rhubarb — Jeanne Davis

Beetroot — Christie Leary

Courgettes — Margaret Robson

Cucumber — Stephanie Bridle

Squash — Jim Thomas

Tomatoes, cherry — Jo Nicolson

Tomatoes, other than cherry — Christie Leary

Tomatoes, one ripening truss — Jim Thomas

Heaviest marrow — Christie Leary

Longest runner bean — Christie Leary

Peppers — Jo Nicolson

Any other vegetable not included in the above — David Woodage (three leeks)

Vase of mixed herbs — Margaret King

Trug or other container of garden produce as gathered — Jo Nicolson

Flower arranging

A flower arrangement in a tea cup or egg cup — Jacqueline Wilkins

A table centre arrangement of flowers and foliage (max height 30cm) — Jacqueline Wilkins


Jar of strawberry jam — Margaret King

Jar of lime curd — Patricia Woodage

Jar of courgette relish — Margaret King

Six shortbread fingers — Margaret King

A milk chocolate cake — Margaret King (best cookery in show)

A small loaf of white bread — Jeanne Davis

Six savoury scones — Margaret Robson

Six fruit cookies — Margaret King


The Thames at Goring and Streatley — Jeanne Davis (best photograph in show)

The Colour Red in Nature — Jim Thomas

Spring Has Sprung — Jim Thomas

PUBLISHED 01/09/14

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