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Leading the way with Dianthus

British National Carnation Society


Another year is just coming to an end and yet we are already planning for next year. Next year will see the RHS Banksian medal being awarded to the genus Border Carnation, the Banksian Medal winner will be the exhibitor who has won most prize money in the two National shows at Derby and at Chesterfield combined. The medal is named after Joseph Banks who was one of the founders of the RHS and also sailed with Captain James Cook on HMS Endeavour. The prestigious Banksian Medal is only awarded by societies affiliated to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). It has been that many Border and P/F members have lamented over the early dates of the shows and it has shown that such shows have only attracted Pinks and it has sadly been the case over the last two years that Borders have only seen one exhibitor per year. Such has been by the dearth of both exhibitors and blooms staged in the Border section of the shows that it was felt by Council that such a prestigious medal should be awarded at a time when growers of Borders can compete and it is with this in mind that the Summer show at Chesterfield has been moved to a later date; this has to be expressed as an experiment in the hope of attracting exhibitors to compete for the Banksian medal. Council have through the responses from questionnaires increased prize money and altered the show schedules to attract exhibitors, so make a note in your diary of next year’s shows and please support them. If you want to exhibit but feel you cannot make it, then please contact a member of the Council and we will make every effort to ensure your blooms are exhibited. Mark the date Dobbies Chesterfield July 23rd.

Plans are afoot for next year, no time for apathy or taking it easy; it’s all hands to the pumps. The lads have been mixing the compost (thanks lads, by the way Sunday dinner was payment) I found taking later cuttings due to the very hot weather in late July early August paid off and I can proudly say that losses were down to less than 5%. The cuttings rooted in record time and have all been potted up and with this warmer than normal start to autumn some have made tremendous strides and for the first time since I have grown Border Carnations some have been potted into their final pots. It was I have to say a case of either leaving them pot bound or potting on and I felt there is nothing to lose having some farther forward as the extra compost around the roots will act as a buffer when the freeze does come and no doubt that will be soon. I am also sure that once temperatures do plummet the growth will slow down to a form of hibernation, will early potting on into finals make better plants, who knows but one can only try. I have also limited how many plants are being grown on as second year plants, the idea is to try and have early blooms for Derby but I do feel that will be pushing it as the earliest I have ever had blooms has been the first week in July. I have kept most of the seedling Mother plants,this is just a precaution in case any of the seedling cuttings fail to make it through the winter, but so far the seedling cuttings are doing very nicely and I hope to show them next year. This will be the last of the seedlings for now, space being the main problem and growing seedlings does distract one form the exhibiting as out of 100 seedlings if you are lucky you might have 5 good new cultivars but that is just the start of  years of  gruelling trials; remember 5 plants soon multiply each year and time, care, patience and most important space is needed.


Some of the new seedlings, hopefully to be shown next year.