An Unexpected Journey

Now, this was something I never expected to do….and that was to judge a Rose and Flower show.

Between May Ball and Graduation day, I had an unexpected phone call from my Dad saying that my Uncle wanted to speak to me about judging a Rose and Flower show. I was taken back at first, only because I had never thought of being a judge, I’m not your typical garden type judge. After a phone call to my Uncle, it was all arranged that I would go and judge a garden club flower show.

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Now the flower show was going to be held by the ‘Bourn Garden Club’ at their local village hall. Bourn, is a small village in South Cambridgeshire and only about five miles from where I live, so not too far to travel; a very beautiful and picturesque village that I know very well.

The weather hadn’t been too bad all day, but when I got to the village hall it had started to rain.

I was met by my Uncle Mick, who then introduced me to some of the other members of the gardening club. As I walked into the hall, I was met by a wonderful display of colours, smells and a warm greeting from the people who were there.

Seeing the display in front of me and knowing all of the care, effort, time and pride that has been put into getting all this ready, right from the garden to the table gave me a wonderful feeling. For the past few weeks my time has been taken up by the May Ball, battling the weather and then preparing the gardens  ready for Graduation Day, this was just what the doctor had ordered.

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It was at this point, I also found out that I was the only judge. Thinking I would be able to hide behind someone else (not that I can easily do that, being 6’4 tall, full of tattoos, long hair and hat always on back to front), I had thought I could always blame someone else if it all went wrong.

So while I was looking for all the exits (just in case), everyone started to leave around 6pm, ready to come back at  8pm to see how the judging had gone. So there I was with two remaining garden club members, who were there to do the marking while I choose the winners. I was allowed to choose a 1st, 2nd and as many highly commended ones as I liked in each category.

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There were twelve categories in all, the first few categories being Roses. With me, scent is the winner then colour. But, I was hit by an excellent standard and knew that too pick at least three worthy winners…this was not going to be easy.

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Now, I’m not going to go through all the categories one by one, listing 1st, 2nd and 3rd, because as far as I am concerned, every single entry was a worthy winner. So here is a collection of photos of some of the entries.

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So there you have it. It was a wonderful experience, one that I had never even thought of, but one I really enjoyed and something I am very proud to have done.

Some may think that it is just only a small village garden club and there are hundreds of these across the country, but they are just as important as the larger shows if not, more important. The bringing of people together, the passion in what we do and the happiness it brings, as I have said before….nuff said.

I would like to thank all the members of the Bourn Garden Club, especially those who made the evening so enjoyable. A big thank you must go to my Uncle Mick, thanks for getting me in as a judge.

The club is now in it’s fortieth year, so hear’s to another forty years.

And just think, the mad buggers want me back for a talk…they’d better read my blog first.


I will leave you with one last category and for me, it is the most important one….the under elevens. Only two entries but both were worthy winners. My interest in horticulture started off at an early age and I think we should encourage as many kids today as we can, that gardening is a great path to take.

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Fiona G
    Jun 30, 2013 @ 16:07:09

    How lovely. Thanks for sharing this glimpse of horticultural village life.


  2. Libby
    Jul 02, 2013 @ 19:33:55

    Awesome! Good for you for taking part and also encouraging the young ‘uns. I’d have no idea where to start – they all look gorgeous to me.


  3. Paul Williams
    Sep 11, 2013 @ 19:58:20

    This was a heart warming read. I have been asked to judge judge one or two local shows and it is a privilege. Everyone is friendly and the standard is very high and and choosing one above another is very difficult at times – you want to give them all a prize.The children’s section is always good fun. I posted some pictures of their efforts a few blogs ago – you cant help but smile.


  4. Hannah
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 08:22:11

    What a lovely think to do. I had to giggle at the idea of you and your hat treading through the roses but I am also sure that you were a tonic to the average flower judge. The flowers are beautiful, I hope all your own garden preparations went well!


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