A FALL in the number of vegetables entered in this year’s Binfield Heath flower show was blamed on the poor weather in early summer.
About 900 people turned out for the 64th annual flower and dog show at Holmwood on Saturday.
Show chairman Francis Williams said: “The vegetables section was hit hard — I have never seen such a short bunch of runner beans.
“The cabbages were particularly affected and the number of potatoes was also very low.”
There were still more than 670 entries for the show classes, only eight per cent fewer than last year.
Oliver Makower, of Bishopsland, Dunsden, won the Fred Denton Cup for his apples.
He said: “Fred was a wonderful bloke who was very enthusiastic about the flower show. He worked like a tiger and dedicated the last few years of his life to village life.
“I am really proud to win this trophy but it is down to the Lord God above and a little bit of pruning from my wife Pope. She is the gardener of the family.”
David Smith, of Bird Wood Court, Sonning Common, won prizes for his dahlias.
He said: “I have grown them every year for the past 15 years. You don’t want too many on a stem — you need a decent stem and a perfect, unblemished bloom.”
Show stalwart Mick Bradley, who is head gardener at Phyllis Court Club in Henley, entered his leeks and onions.
He said: “They are grown in tunnels with raised beds and an 18in damp-proof course.
“I use extractor fans and a gauge to keep things at the right temperature. The weather has been terrible as it has been cold and then very hot, which has stopped the vegetables from ripening.”
This year’s event saw a rise in the number of entries for the arts and crafts classes.
Wendy Robinson, from Binfield Heath, won the John Cooper Memorial Cup for her “crown” of flowers to mark the Queen’s diamond jubilee.
She said: “I thought a crown would be an appropriate thing.
“I used oasis for the ring and for the centre to keep it together and I used a mixture of white chrysanthemums for the base and green and magenta carnations for the rest.
“For the top of the crown I used gold-covered cardboard and mosaic and mirror tiles for the jewels.”
Her husband Paul said: “I told her that it would be a winner from the start.” Dorothy Walman, who has lived in Binfield Heath since 1977, won the top prize with a knitted woollen cardigan.
She said: “It took me about three weeks and I used multi-coloured wool. I love knitting and I have made all sorts of things, such as jumpers, scarves and cardigans.”
A total of 71 dogs took part in the dog show, which was fewer than last year’s record figure.
Organiser Stella Oliver said: “We had a couple of very beefy showers which could have put people off but the atmosphere was brilliant. It always feels like there are lots of dogs there.”
Pet Country Supplies and Pet Barn, both of Sonning Common, donated the prizes.
There were more than 700 entries to the inter-schools art competition, which was won by Sonning Common Primary School.
The proceeds from the show will be divided between local charities including Bishopswood Special School in Sonning Common and Wyfold Riding for the Disabled.
lThe full results will be published in next week’s Standard.