Flower show comes up roses

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How do you make a rock look like a toad? Or Lego like an insect? Or bake a cake celebrating women’s suffrage?

All these answers, and a great many more to questions you’d never thought to ask before, were on display at the North Connel and District Horticultural Show in the Victory Hall in Benderloch on Saturday.

This is the event’s 59th year, and chairperson Jane Eccles said she was ‘delighted by the turn-out, and delighted by the number of entries’.

She added: ‘We are a bit down on flowers because of the weather, but we have more potted plants. We aim to be a friendly community show. We get tremendous support from the schools. There is something for everybody.’

Intermingling the usual magnificent begonias, chocolate crispies, asters, mini quiches, cacti, pickles, flower arrangements in a cup and saucer, pea pods, marmalade and marrows, were the more eccentric entries for Lego insects and – new this year – wonky vegetables, which were given a dimension of character by googly eyes.

Sponge cakes were decorated on a musical instrument theme, featuring a fine set of tartan bagpipes and a squeezebox, while four cakes marked the centenary of voting rights for women. The first prize sported the suffragettes’ rosette, placards imploring ‘As long as we have not votes, we must be disorderly’, an Edwardian hat, railings and handcuffs.

Ingenuity was also detectable in the decorated stones, a flower arrangement based on Star Wars, cress growing in an egg shell, and a tableful of dough pooches in many shapes, inspired by the Chinese year of the dog.

All the while, bustling volunteers whizzed trays of delicious fancies past punters’ noses, who often followed them to a table and a cup of tea. This year the show’s small committee, which meets four times a year, is needing more people to join it, or as Friends of the Show to help at the annual plant sale and show.

North Connel and District Horticultural Show trophy winners

Championship Cup for most points classes 1-52 (flowers & vegetables): Fiona Shaw

McLeod Sheild for runner-up the champion classes 1-52: Hugh MacLeod

Lees Milne Cup for best exhibit classes 1-52 (flowers & vegetables): Hugh MacLeod

Oban Times Cup for most points classes 1-19 (flowers): Heather MacPherson

Campbell Godley Quaich for most points classes 20-25 (pot plants): Hugh MacLeod Dundonald Vase for winner class: Marian Steeman

Agnes MacKay Quaich for winner class 17 or 18 or (violas or pansies): Jim MacKie

Tensfeldt Cup for most points classes 26-52 (vegetables): Fiona Shaw

Silver Baking Cup for most points classes 53-56 (children’s baking 7’s and under): Euan Campbell

Silver Rose Bowl for most points classes 57-60 (children’s baking 8-14 years): Sophie Stewart

An Claddich Quaich for most points classes 61-73 (baking): Suzanne Hill

Best Eggs Trophy for winner class 74: Laurie Shaw

Achnacreebeag Cup for most points classes 75-80 (floral art): Morag Allward

Graham Stooke Photography Cup for most points classes 81-85 (adult’s photography): Amber Richards

Silver Photography Shield for most points classes 86-90 (under 15’s photography): Rachael Steward

Silver Vase for most points classes 91-96 (children’s 9s and under): Finlay Wilson

Donald Morrison Cup for most points classes 97-102 (children’s 10-14 years): Rachel Carré

Jean Campbel Cup for best exhibit classes 91-102 (children’s section): Ruby Heritage-Crabb

Schools’ Challenge Cup: Barcaldine School

Best Wonky Vegetable: Gemma Bruce