July 25th and 26th    Sweet Pea at Malahide Annual Show

Entries were not bad considering the season had turned wet, with a total of 45, consisting of 33 in the open section and 12 in the section for novices.  The Ardee grower Maria Melvin won the Malahide Sweet Pea Championship, the class for Irish-bred varieties, and came first in four other classes. Our NSPS District Representative from Coolock, Tony Boston, won the two remaining classes, in which Maria came second.  Where she was first, Tony, Ollie Clarke of Rush and John Warren on home ground each twice took second place.  John Markham from Greystones took a share of the third prizes: as at Marlay Park, that was a disappointing showing for the winner of this year’s Rush Sweet Pea Championship.

July 18th and 19th   RHSI Sweet Pea and Rose Display

Five of the top Sweet Pea growers in Ireland exhibited in the Orangery in the Regency Walled Garden, Marlay Park, Rathfarnham, which looked truly magnificent in July for the Display held in association with The Parks Department, Dunlaoghaire-Rathdown County Council. The Sweet Pea were judged by Thomas Butterly of Rush Horticultural Society.  For the second year running, most congratulations were due to Maria Melvin, Rush Horticultural Society, exhibiting in the open section where most of the vases were of six stems.  She was awarded the cup for the best exhibit (three vases with Valerie Harrod, Zillah Harrod and Gwendoline) and the cup for the most first awards. Maria’s other first awards were in the two-vase class (Chris Harrod, Gwendoline), the single-vase class (Mrs Bernard Jones) and in the class for a Bowl of Sweet Pea (an RHSI Medal winner).

The cup for the best vase exhibited went to a vase of Glasnevin, exhibited by Ollie Clarke, Rush Horticultural Society. It was one of his trio where his exhibit was second with Gwendoline and Titan making up the threesome. Ollie also had success in the single bloom class with Gwendoline (an RHSI Medal). John Warren, Malahide Horticultural Society, recorded second in the bowl and three thirds, in single vase and both mixed vases (6 and 12 stems). Tony Boston, Dublin 5 Horticultural Society had three thirds (single stem, 3-vase and 2-vase) and a VHC in the mixed vase (6) and John Markham, Delgany & District Horticultural Society, had a VHC in the 3-vase classes.

In the classes confined to those who grow 80 plants or less Niall Coveney, Delgany and District Horticultural Society, was awarded the cup for the best exhibit (Gwendoline) with close competition from Yan Fang Zhang, Rush Horticultural Society (first in single bloom), and from Mary McDaid, Delgany & District Horticultural Society, Ignatius O’Brien, St. Brigid’s Horticultural Society and Council Member, Denise Gill.

John Markham compiled the reports to the RHSI from which these are extracted.  From his records it appears that  the number of vases or part-vases of the varieties in the open classes’ first four placings were as follows: Gwendoline 12;  Glasnevin 7, Valerie Harrod, Titan and White Frills each 4, Zillah Harrod 3, Mrs Bernard Jones 2, and one each of Anniversary, Brian Clough, Chris Harrod, Hannah Beth, Jilly, Leamington, Pink Panther and Windsor.

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