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On Saturday 11 March, the Verwood and District Horticultural Society opened their 76th Annual Spring Show. Despite the recent cold snap, there were plenty of floral delights arranged on the show benches. Rows and rows of beautiful daffodils, all expertly arranged in their vases lined one long table, with a variety of spring blooms, pot plants and orchids in the middle.

Both the Ted Batten Memorial Cup and Dorothy Hardy Memorial Platter were won by Bill Howarth, with John Manston taking the VDHS cup for best Daffodil exhibit. Other entries were in the homecraft, handicraft and children’s classes, displaying local skills and talents. The Best Exhibit for Homecraft went to Laura Jerome for her light fruit loaf, and Best Exhibit cup for Handicraft went to Allison Dilley for a very colourful painting with garden birds.

There were some beautiful and striking flower arrangement entries assembled by some very talented Verwoodians, with two submissions in the Men Only Flower Arranging class. Norman Castro entered a charming arrangement of daffodils, pussy willow and pittosporum set in hollowed out branches which won a trophy. Diane Ponting and Margaret Wilkes took away cups for their flower arrangements. Margaret won the class for Novice Flower Arranging with her take on ‘Yellow/Gold Delight’, whilst Diane won for combined points with creations under the brief ‘Life is just a Bowl of…’ and a petite arrangement entitled ‘A Touch of Pink’.

The photography class attracted more entries than recent years with some interesting shots covering subjects ranging from ‘Clouds’ to ‘Early Transport’ and ‘Any Type of Tower’. The Best Exhibit was awarded to Jason Shrubb for a landscape view of St Mary’s church tower in Kidderminster.

The junior certificate was awarded to Felicity Habgood (3) who entered two of the children’s classes with her colourful drawing and an entry in the ‘Vegetable Vehicle’ class. New VDHS Chairman, Ollie Greensmith was impressed by all the entries. The Society was close to winding up at their February AGM due to a lack of volunteers to lead the group. Ollie raised his hand at the last minute to volunteer to take on the Chairman role.

“Although I already have a lot of commitments, I couldn’t let this Verwood group close. There’s a lot of tradition wrapped up in this 76 year old Society, and I think that’s worth taking forwards. I hope to encourage new membership and inspire younger people to join the group – you don’t have to be greenfingered to appreciate gardens!”.

Check out their brand new website for more information.

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