George Forrest Memorial Medal Winners - 2008
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Blackpool 2008

The Best Plant in the 2008 Blackpool Show was Corydalis popovii exhibited by Ian & Carole Bainbridge. The show is a joint show and is held under AGS and SRGC rules in alternate years. This is an AGS rules year so Ian & Carole won a Farrer Medal' the AGS equivalent of a Forrest Medal. Everyone who saw he winner agreed that they had never seen a finer specimen. It must have had at least 30 vertical flower spikes. It was fantastic to see all the stems tightly packed and upright in the centre of the pan. Corydalis popovii usually sends it flowering spikes out sideways and when they reach the pot side they turn upwards. Ian & Carole must have a trick to keep the flowers in the centre. I wonder if they leave the top of the corm uncovered as you can do with cyclamen?

Corydalis popovii is native to the western Pamir-Altai mountains in W. Tadjikistan, SE Turkmenistan and SE Usbekistan. These central Asian mountains are home to many species which do well in British gardens. The winning plant had perfect Eau de nil slightly glaucus foliage. It has the biggest flowers in the genus and according to Hendrik Zetterlund it is unique in flowering from the top of the stem downwards. The flowers are two toned with the dark purple noses and long pale spurs. Plants with almost white spurs were introduced by Norman Stevens but are rarely seen. Luckily is grows well in northern alpine houses but not as well as in Easter Howgate. It's good to take part and it feels good to win against such top class opposition but when you win with a spectacularly good specimen it makes all the effort worthwhile! Well done Ian & Carole.

Stirling Show in Dunblane 2008

Trillium rivale ‘Purple Heart’ won the Forrest medal here for the second successive time. Perhaps bigger and better than last year - you judge. Magnificent? - yes. Beautiful? -yes. Desirable - yes. Cyril’s? -YES. Who else grows this and countless other plants to such perfection?

Cyril celebrated his win with a cup of tea, which I really hope was Gold Medal Tea. This year instead of asking him to hold the plant we let him sit down for the picture. Well done Cyril for keeping the standard high.

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