Melplash Revisited

We arrived at the show after a quick pub lunch to be greeted by a wonderful clown on a hobby horse. It was going to be that kind of a day!

First stop was Floral Art.

Everyone got the meaning of Charlie’s ‘A step back in time’ other than the judge, who didn’t quite understand how or why it was a step back in time. Perfect, though!

The winning exhibition of the overall show, ‘Touring the Vineyards of France’. 

For some unfathomable reason Charlie’s arrangement on the same theme of A Traveller’s Tale was un-judged, being ‘Not According to Schedule’ but I loved it and it was clearly a crowd-pleaser. Definitely the most beautiful arrangement I saw all day (Although I am biased). Charlie’s ‘Creative Cubes’ was also completely magical.

Next, Horticulture, everyone’s favourite tent.

It became clear early on that a certain Ashley Ball had done rather brilliantly.

Our dearest friend Caddy had also had great success with certain of her vegetables (such as the longest carrot?  Hello Caddy…. these are INSANE?!?!?!?). 

The dahlia display was amazing.

It also became clear that a certain Christine Tomkins had wiped the board in Dahlias. 

Deservedly, it has to be said, although not everyone’s actual cup of tea.


If the prizes weren’t won by Christine, they were scooped up by Roger Downting. 

Christine had First Second and Third in the pom-pom category.  These were serious exhibition-grown beasts.

Charlie’s beautiful arrangement of mixed dahlias got the third prize.

Ashley Ball had entered this display though in the same category.  Hello!?!?!??!?! Madness. A delight. 

More scenes from the flower tent.

Charlie had first prize in a single rose specimen.

Charlie got second and third in sweet peas, a very tough category. 

The beautiful floating bowl winner.

Caddy – first prize in onions.

(Although not the heaviest onion prize):

But she dd win heaviest Marrow. INSANE.

Charlie – second in courgettes, another highly contested category. 

The following award winning exhibits were all entered  by Ashley Ball. Amazing.


The FB Pocket Orchestra were amazing.  Worth a listen. 

Dog racing.

Morris men and women outside the Melplash Inn.

The grand parade.
We loved the yellow and white tents everywhere.

Rare breeds;

The thoughtful face of the farmer:

The goat tent:



Show jumping:

Bee people:

Charlie and Caddy getting ready to empty out their stuff from the Horticultural tent:

Where we found Christine Tompkins and Roger Downting!

(It turns out these fine exhibitors run the Yeovil Dahlia and Chrysanthemum Society).

Caddy and her carrots:

Inspiring awe and fear in all who passed:

I love the putting away moments.

The heaviest onion going home:

OH GOD. Charlie meets Ashley Ball.  That is the face of respect!

Collecting cherry tomatoes:

And shallots:

Best co-ordinated team costume:

And a final photograph is of our lovely neighbours in Long Bredy, Colin and Sue Dyer, who won the highly prestigious ‘Best Garden’ award in 2017.  Colin and Sue have done the most remarkable job of transforming their little corner of the village. A few years ago, it was neglected place, a once-pretty Georgian cottage despoiled with awful plastic windows and the garden over-grown. When Colin and Sue moved in they put everything back exactly as it should be, and then set about working the most beautiful cottage garden around.  There is a special place in heaven reserved for such good people.

Golly I love the Melplash show.  At the end of the Grand Parade, one of the speakers announced that Country Life Magazine had described the show as one of the twenty things in Britain you MUST do this summer.  We briefly wondered if they’d got the idea from last year’s blog, but either way, I can’t help but agree. And I can’t wait for 2018. Can’t you? Something tells me the shake up in the Floral Art Tent will be on a roll, and that Charlie will somehow have squeezed in space for giant Exhibition Dahlias into a patch in the garden too.

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