Before the awards are announced exhibitors are usually very coy about their prize potential or a bit blasé. Yesterday during set up I found Alistair Pearce of Southwest Carnivorous Plants in a very cool, calm and collected phase. He's built his stand in record time, just four hours compared to the normal sixteen. What's the secret I asked? "Putting plants down in one place and not tweaking them," he said with reference to his absent wife's normal exemplerary attention to detail. (He'll be in trouble for that!)
This is his last show at Tatton Park, " it's partly due to show fatigue and also I've lost my confidence in the judging. At Hampton Court I got a Silver Gilt Medal and one of the judges came back and said that they hadn't liked the Boston Ferns and that they didn't really go with my carnivorous plants. The fact that I'd been using them for 15 years and that they were exactly the same ferns I used on my stand at Chelsea and got a gold, puzzled me."
"I haven't gone all out to get a gold here, so I won't be too disappointed if I don't. But I'd really like not to get a Bronze Medal because I've never had one."
Good news for Alistair is that his display was awarded a Silver Gilt Medal. Just think if he'd spent a little bit longer on it and more attention to detail it would have been a gold!