A very cold Sunday 6th May saw the annual St John Garden Fair held for the first time at Wintershill Hall, near Durley after many years of being amongst the ruins of the Bishop’s Palace at Bishop’s Waltham. This being a local event and one at which we usually sell a lot of plants, we take two van loads, one on the Saturday afternoon and another on the morning of the fair. The snag this year was that the wet weather through April meant that the ground was pretty damp and the owners very reasonably didn’t want their grass churned up, so vans were banned. Suffice it to say that Tristan and Rob had plenty of opportunities to flex their muscles as they carried stands, tables and tray upon heavy tray of plants from the van to our pitch. And a long and picturesque walk it was too!
The day of the fair proved to be very very cold for early May, Whether it was just that, or that combined with the change of venue, we don’t know, but footfall seemed definitely down on previous years, and this was echoed in a reduction in the number of plants sold on the day. That said, it was a lovely event as always, with lots of nice people to meet and talk to.
And one very special surprise – this year Paddock Plants took the prize for the best-presented plant stall! Andy McIndoe, Managing Director of Hilliers, who judged the award, put it down to our showing an interesting range of plant material, beautifully presented and well labelled. All of which is pretty ironic in view of the fact that Rob had been going round after setting up boasting about how little thought he put into the process compared to colleagues from other nurseries. But talent will out, we suppose ……
Luckily there was a lot less to carry off the site than there had been to carry on, but nevertheless the arms gained a few more millimetres in length. Let’s hope conditions are drier next year, when we will enjoy the benefit of a free pitch, thanks to our win this year.
Rob & Joanna – June 2012