RHS Show, Tatton Park 2007
In contrast to last year's relentless sunshine, this year it was relentless mud; Wellington boots were the fashion item for the week!
Due to the atrocious weather everything was behind schedule and we arrived on Sunday to find that the base of our stand hadn't yet been erected, but we were delighted to find the backdrop had been painted black as requested. This saved a great deal of time as we didn't need to drape our 13 metres of black cloth and once the base had been set up it didn't take too long to prepare the rest of the stand. Needless to say, the rain kept raining, and the entrances to the marquee became muddier and muddier as the day wore on!
On Tuesday we struggled through the mud with the trees, some of them very heavy, with rain still falling. We eventually all agreed with the positioning of each tree and left, hoping that the judges would also like our display - and that the marquee wouldn't sink in the mud!
When we arrived on Wednesday, we found that we had been awarded a Silver-Gilt Medal; we had kept up our standard from last year, even though we hadn't been able to improve it. A talk with one of the judges indicated where we had lost marks - some trees were thought to carry too much foliage for their style and some were not mature enough. As all the trees belong to members of the Society, we were pleased with the result - perhaps next year we might achieve Gold!
The weather didn't change all week, any improvement was offset by more heavy rain, but there were still plenty of visitors inquiring about bonsai and we tried to give helpful advice to those needing it.
Sunday was a mud bath of chaos with exhibitors trying to get their goods off the showground, and vehicles getting stuck and having to be towed onto firmer ground.
Despite the weather, all the members who helped on the stand during the week enjoyed their stint on duty and we felt we had had a successful show.