Public amazed by new daffodils

By Laurel Stowell

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Gordonton's Graham Phillips won the best vase of three blooms. PHOTO/ BEVAN CONLEY.
Gordonton's Graham Phillips won the best vase of three blooms. PHOTO/ BEVAN CONLEY.

All orange, pink on yellow, pink on white - the range of daffodils at Wanganui's Spring Flower Show surprised those who came to wonder at them on Saturday.

"Daffs today aren't just straight-out yellow. The general public was gobsmacked. They've never seen daffodils like it," Wanganui Horticultural Society vice-president Wayne Hughes said.

He has been growing and breeding daffodils for 25 years. He said people like him enjoyed the chance to show off what they grew - because the big national shows he enters are much more serious and competitive.

The Whanganui show had pot plants, shrubs, garden produce and a variety of flowers - but daffodils were the main focus. There were 18 growers with daffs to show - from Waikanae, Ohau, Levin, Palmerston North, Foxton, Marton, Whanganui, Hawera, Normanby, Eltham, New Plymouth, Hamilton, Morrinsville and Te Awamutu.

With 555 blooms it was one of the biggest shows for a while, and Mr Hughes said the amateur classes were brilliantly supported.

It helped that flowering was later than usual this year, with early daffodils still available for showing in what is usually mid-season.

The show also had an exhibition by 12 floral artists in the hall foyer, and displays of card making, knitting, jams and plants. Entry was free, with costs covered by a raffle, donation box and sales of donated flowers.

It's one of two shows a year organised by the Wanganui Horticultural Society, which has been going for 126 years. In earlier days Mr Hughes said it would have run for two days, and filled the whole Whanganui War Memorial Centre.

Numbers attending went uncounted this year, but he said it was a very good day and well supported.

The prize for champion bloom went to Reg and Rita Cull, from Foxton, with Mr Hughes as the reserve champion. Whanganui's Dave Luty won the points prize for daffodils, while Jan Jenkins won points prizes for houseplants and garden flowers, and Lewena McLean won the points prize for garden produce.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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