The awards honoured a winner in the following categories :
- Best Nursery Stand - sponsored by IPPS, The International Plant Propagators Society;
- Best New Non-Plant Product or Service – sponsored by The CHA, The Commercial Horticultural Association;
- Best New Plant Introduction – sponsored by Horticulture Week.
Winner Brenda Huggons from winner Albion Plants, being presented with her award by Les Lane from XL Horticulture
Iain Park, University of Exeter Director of Grounds, Chair of The South West Branch of The Institute of Horticulture and judging panel member said : “The South West Growers Show is an excellent showcase for commercial horticulture and we were delighted with the calibre and innovation of all the entries this year. Our job was incredibly challenging as so many of the exhibitors had worked hard to bring the very best of their businesses to the show. Congratulations to them all!”
The other judges were Bob Joy, formerly of Devon-based Rainbow Plants – specialists in the production of hardy nursery stock and established more than 20 years ago - and an industry expert and Sally Drury, Technical Editor at Horticulture Week.
The 2013 winners and runners up were :
Best Nursery Stand
Winner - Albion Plants
Runner up - Cottage Gardens
Best New Non-Plant Product or Service
Winner – F J Jackson & Son Ltd
Runner up – Plant Work Ltd
Best New Plant Introduction
Winner - Ball Colegrave
Runner up – Seiont Nurseries
Winner of the Best New Non-Plant Product or Service was the Powerliner – a groundbreaking new product providing improved and cost effective solutions to growing 2 and 3 litre hardy shrubs, perennials and fuchsias. David Jackson, owner of the company explained : “We are delighted with our award which looks set to confirm the Powerliner as an industry leader in plant optimisation and growth performance. It provides the benefits of a more expensive P9 liner, but in a cost effective and easy to manage x28 tray unit. With its unique air pruning system, the Powerliner develops its root system within the cell tray, creating a fresh, healthy and vigorous rootball. Quick growing perennials can now be potted, grown to flower and despatched within as little as 8 weeks, making it a valuable solution to growers where space is a premium.”
Steve Rudhall, Technical Sales Representative at Ball Colegrave, who was awarded the prize for its new Helleborus ‘Winterbells’ in the Best New Plant Introduction category said: “This is a spectacular first of its kind! The Hellebore originated due to growers’ practice of forcing the plants to flower in December. Our new breeding of Winterbells is unique as it flowers naturally, reliably and consistently from autumn onwards and offers a good 7 months of flowering pleasure. It brings new sales windows, faster flowering and minimum fuss culture. It can also manage hard winters exceptionally well and is less prone to root problems in the summer. We are really pleased it has been recognised as a ‘best in class’ and hope the award will play a part in its success.”
Brenda Huggons, owner from North Devon-based Albion Plants echoed the other winners sentiments; selected as winner for the Best Nursery stand and Overall Winner at the show, Brenda said : “We are absolutely thrilled to bits to be the winner of the Best Stand. All our staff got involved in its design and we had lots of fun creating the colour and look. After a challenging year it is grand to see the fruits of our labour culminating in the display. The award was the icing on the cake of what was a very successful and well attended show, we are delighted to be the winner!”
Each of the winners was presented with their award at a special afternoon ceremony along with sponsors, judges and on-lookers!
Andrew Spilsbury, chairman of the show committee concluded : “We are overwhelmed with the quality of exhibitors this year and this is reflected in the awards. The three different award categories reflect the diverse range on offer and we would like to congratulate all the 2013 winners and wish them continued success in their fields.”
The 2014 show will take place on Wednesday 1 October. For further information about the event for both exhibitors and visitors, please contact Kirsty Lane on 01404 821982 or visit www.swgs.co.uk.