Daff show tribute to exhibitor Eric

By Chris Cornford Apr 19, 2021

A daffodil show, in memory of one of the Island’s top exhibitors in which his blooms were put on show for the last time, has taken place.

Eric Green, of Freshwater, passed away in October and friend, and fellow Freshwater Horticultural Society exhibitor, Darren Everest, set about finding a way to organise a Spring Flower Show, the only one of its kind in the country.

Darren explained: “I spoke to Eric’s widow, Sheila, and offered to grow the bulbs Eric had ordered for 2021 and exhibit them in his name.
“All the other Spring Flower Shows nationwide had been cancelled, but with the easing of restrictions on the horizon, and the rule of six date pencilled-in for England on March 29, I got to work.
“I was determined to find a way to show off Eric’s blooms for a final time and I also wanted to give other Island daffodil enthusiasts the chance to enter, especially after the disappointment of all of last year’s shows being cancelled at short notice. So myself, and my wife Dawn, quickly produced a schedule and arranged a pop-up show in our front garden in Cranmore.
“With the gazebos up and perfect weather, many of the Island’s daffodil exhibitors descended upon the show. With the rule of six strictly adhered to, it all went incredibly smoothly.”
Darren was thrilled to be able to show off Eric’s blooms, and even more thrilled when the judge awarded one of Eric’s blooms the best bloom award in its category.
Sheila was guest of honour in the afternoon and was overjoyed to see the results in what was an emotional day.

Other notable winners on the day included Andrew Nightingale, who won the best exhibit in show, best vase in show, best bloom in division 2 and best bloom in division 4. Gerry Smith won best bloom in division 3 while Stephen Woods won best vase in divisions 5-13.
Darren had spent much of last year organising a new horticultural area for the Royal Isle of Wight County Show but, due to the pandemic, this was cancelled, and it has suffered the same fate again this year.

Darren said: “We at the Isle of Wight Horticultural Association were really looking forward to creating a wonderful summer flower show and being part of the County Show. We are keeping our fingers crossed that we will be able to celebrate the Island’s rich horticulture next year.

“As for a Summer Show, it looks like my front garden may well be called upon again unless a suitable venue can be found in early July!”