January 2014

BFS Far South West Show to Return

I am pleased to start the new year by sharing with you some great news, and that is that the British Fuchsia Society (BFS) have confirmed that after a year of absence their Far South West show will return in August, on Tuesday 5th.

There was some controversy and a little indignation about the show being rested last year, but with no-one able or willing to propose an economically viable venue, the BFS were left with a little choice. The new venue is Otter Nurseries, near Plymouth (PL8 2BH) which could be the future for shows as it cost-effective and should put the show in front of the general public.

Definitely a date for the diary!  Meanwhile while I was looking for photographs from past Far South West shows, I came across this picture from 2007:

In the foreground is the Society's winning entry in the inter-society class (35) comprising two plants of Border Raider and one of Maria Landy.

And the CRFS team left right at the back are Pat James, Horace James, Alan Richards and Ric Reilly, while at the front are Alec Bond, Mary Bond, Carol Richards and Yvonne Barlow.

November 2013

Wheal Jane - Past, Present and Future

The following report about our meeting on Thursday 7th November, complete with photographs, was provided by our President, Yvonne Barlow.

Bernard Ballard, Wheal Jane's Marketing Director, gave us an extremely interesting talk about the Wheal Jane Mine, its past, present and future. Wheal Jane reopened in 1971 and stopped most tin production in 1992, finally closing in 1998. After agreement with the Canadian Company who owned it, Mr Ballard took over all outstanding debts and Wheel Jane Group was formed.

At the moment it consists of five interrelated businesses, under the control of Wheal Jane Ltd: Carnon Construction; Wheal Jane Laboratory which handles mine samples from across the world; Wheal Jane Consultancy; and South Crofty Collection, which makes when beautiful jewellery and gifts from the last tin collected and preserved when the Wheal Jane mine was closed. They also supplied the tin for the bronze medals at the Olympic Games.

The very old workings have been preserved and are now a sanctuary for wild life. Most of the old buildings have been demolished and are being replaced with new ones, mostly with money generated by the company, although they have just been allocated a grant too. Wheal Jane had the first planning permission in the UK for a solar panel farm and was the first in the South West to build one. They now have a number of businesses willing to come and rent space on the site. The future is seen in providing Earth Science businesses, especially they hope in the future to be self sufficient, generating their own power, water, etc from renewable sources on site. They are very keen on involving local communities having already at two clubs using their grounds at weekends.

October 2013

Celebrating Our Silver Anniversary

2014 will be the Society's twenty-fifth year and we plan to celebrate and mark the occasion in equal measure.

On the left is the first picture of the blooms of a new cultivar "Silver Surfer" hybridised by our friend Sid Garcia from Slough.  It is a single from a cross between Border Queen and Wigan Peer, two popular Fuchsias that are regularly exhibited at our annual shows, and with this parentage there are high hopes that Silver Surfer will also become a star at our shows.

The "stock plant" of Silver Surfer presented by Sid to the Society at the BBQ in September is being nurtured by Alan and Carol, and the Committee are planning how to distribute rooted cuttings to the Membership in the spring. It is a real privilege to have this plant for limited release to CRFS Members ahead of its commercial release in 2015.   

The Committee would welcome any suggestions you may have on how we can celebrate and mark the auspicious occasion of our twenty-fifth year.

Over-Wintering and Autumn Cuttings

The following report about our meeting on Thursday 3rd October, complete with photographs, was provided by our President, Yvonne Barlow.

Alan started the meeting with a demonstration of how to cut your pot plants back to get them through the winter, reminding us not to cut the ones growing in the garden back until spring.  Marie then took over and showed how she cuts her standards back.

Alec returned with gusto to cut back and take cuttings of a triphylla using ‘Firecracker’ as his example, we then of course had Carol with her bonsais.  Marie had brought some plug pots and said anyone was welcome to take cuttings and use them, Alan during the other demonstrations had been taking and potting cuttings for anyone who like to one or two away. The meeting was a great success with many Members joining in.

September 2013

Annual Barbecue

The following report about our barbecue on Sunday 22nd September, complete with photographs, was provided by our President, Yvonne Barlow.  

And onto the barbi, weren't we lucky with the weather, Great Chef Horace kept us in excellent food with Helen keeping us supplied with tea and coffee, and Ric wandering about entertaining us and making us very welcome as always.  I raided the garden for some flowers (with permission!) and scrumped an apple.  Ric and Helen's garden is a real treat and a lot of hard work has gone into it since I was there last.  I think we all enjoyed ourselves very much, thanks to Helen and Ric.  I really can't wait for the next one.

And perhaps the best news to round off memories of a great afternoon is that once again we made a surplus on the event, and £124 will go to charity split between the Alzheimer's Society and Truro Homeless Action Group (THAG).

Show Presentation Evening

The following report on our meeting on Thursday 5th September, complete with photographs, was provided by our President, Yvonne Barlow.  A selection of Yvonne's photographs can be found on the separate page Presentation Evening under the 2013 section, just click here.

The presentation evening was its usual success, all winners delighted to receive their trophies, many collecting more than one!

We were delighted to welcome Ron Scamp to present the prizes.  Ron is a renowned local daffodil grower and hybridiser, winner of all the major national daffodil prizes, has been a Chelsea judge and was Chairman of the RHS Judges for 10 years. He grows 3,000 different daffodil species and cultivars.

After the presentation of the trophies, he entertained us with some excellent slides of very different daffodils to my yellow and pheasant eye ones!  Alan Richards again won Best in Show with a lovely Paula Jane, but he must watch his back as Marie Hall is now galloping along at his heels!  Marie told us she first won an award, best basket, in 1990 then stopped growing fuchsias, started again, and was delighted to win it back this year.

As I took the photo’s every one seemed excited either waving their trophy around or smiling and moving so if you are a bit wobbly sorry!  Yvonne.

August 2013

British Fuchsia Society South-Western Show

The BFS' South-Western Show was held in Portishead, Bristol on Sunday 25th August and John Nicholass, the organiser and show manager, has kindly provided photographs of the most notable entries from CRFS Members.  These photographs can be found on the separate page BFS SW Show, as well as details of all the results and awards.  Just click here.

Here is a report on the day from Carol Richards, our Secretary which appears in September's newsletter -

The alarm went off at 4.30 am and just after 5 we were on our way, car loaded with our precious plants.  It was still dark and as we travelled up through Cornwall, a bright light appeared on the horizon which gradually lit up the whole sky and another day was born. Most places, we had the road to ourselves, and I was thinking how the city folk would have loved to see a clear road ahead. Arrived safely, parked the car. Dave and Marie Hall already there with plants on the show bench.  Trundled in with ours and found spaces, titivated them up a bit and left them in the capable hands of the judge, Mr John Porter, who had travelled from Lancashire.

Breakfast was next on the agenda and we were pre-booked into a nearby café.   Now fed and watered we wended our way down through Portishead.  They had recently won a ‘Britain in Bloom’ award and it was easy to see why.  Their hanging pots and pavement planters were awash with cascades of colour.  I asked someone about the watering of them and he said every morning at 5 am.   We made our way back to the venue where other fuchsia folk (and would be’s) were congregating.

David Hall was awarded Best Beginner and Best Novice; Alan Richards was awarded a trophy for the best plant in a 9cm pot with a new cultivar June Marie Shaw.  For her hanging pots, Marie Hall was awarded 2nd and 3rd, I was awarded 3rd for my bonsai of David in the class with ten entries.  We entered the three pot Society Class with a quarter standard of Jennifer Anne  and 15 cm pots of Fairy Blue  and Good Girl and were awarded First Prize.  We were, however the only Society which entered, think on!!

I then hovered around the bonsai class and talked to folk who took an interest, giving out literature about how I created bonsai plants to four people.  Meanwhile, Alan drank tea!

It was a good show with lots of beautiful plants, all of which, were to a high standard. Best in Show was awarded to a pot plant of David in the hardy class and the runner-up was a half standard of Frank Saunders.

What a day! I just love to be out and about talking Fuchsias.


Pictures of all the exhibits can be found on the BFS Facebook page.  Just Click here.

Pre-Show Preparation

The following report on our meeting on Thursday 1st August, complete with photographs, was provided by our President, Yvonne Barlow.

Our pre-show meeting was opened by Jan, reminding us to donate cakes, raffle and tombola prizes.

Liz gave us an excellent demonstration on how to make a corsage, generously offering any of her wire, tape, ribbon etc to anyone who would like to try one for the show. She then managed to 'press gang' some of us into 'helping' with Maggie taking the flowers off John's plant, and Sheila and Rodney wiring the blooms!. When wired together with the foliage and ribbon they looked superb, the foliage could be anything from the hedgerows, fern, or ivy leaves. Liz said we could make them the evening before, put them in a plastic box with lid and keep them in the fridge.

Rodney followed Liz with a demonstration of the bloom board class, explaining we must only use the boards belonging to the Society, he emphasised you must put water in the bloom boards and pick the blooms the last thing before leaving for the show not; the night before, yes you can use both single and double blooms on the same board. Carol gave her usual explicit demonstration on how to dress your plants, with a few helpful remarks from Alan - what would we do without this duo! John then went through the show schedule,answering; any queries that arose.