Page 55 - ALG Issue 1 2022
P. 55

                                   In 2013 when this class was first introduced, I was the first winner of the Winter de Gruchy Perpetual trophy, and also gained the best in show award. I have been lucky to win this trophy every year except one.
The 2020 August show was cancelled, but the Society held a virtual show, and I won the class. No trophy was awarded.
2021 saw the return of the ‘real’ shows. The Society held its first show in June, followed by the summer show in August.
After lots of work tending my produce, preparation for the show and staging my exhibit on the day, I was delighted
to have again been awarded the trophy for my table display. I was even more shocked when the Chairman informed me that I had won best in show, and I had also been awarded the Worshipful Company of Gardeners Diploma for Excellence in Horticulture. I felt really proud of what I had achieved in showing my produce.
In September the Society held the annual plot competition (postponed from July). I was also very surprised and pleased to win the team St Lawrence shield for the best allotment in the competition.
There are different classes in the competition; best small plot, best large plot, best newcomer, and best double plot, with the overall winner being awarded the shield. We do have a rule that the winner of the trophy cannot enter the following year, so everyone gets a chance.
Although I have now scaled down my showing, I have taken a leaf from Mr de Gruchy and now enjoy encouraging new members and helping with their
exhibits. I help with setting up, judging, stewarding and helping at the shows. The Society holds four shows a year
at the Royal Jersey Showground – a purpose-built events centre in the parish of Trinity, in the centre of the island.
I have also been privileged to have been invited to judge the annual RJA&HS All Island Garden Competition, sponsored by a local garden centre, visiting fantastic private gardens, large and small, hotels and restaurants, care homes, parish halls and allotments. 2021 saw the highest number of entries, with 58 entries judged over three days in July.
I have also had the very difficult task of judging entries in the Island Primary Schools Garden competition, sponsored by the Society. This is always a most difficult task as the enthusiasm is fantastic and the standards are often very high.
I am also involved in the Cultivate Young Minds Project; this initiative was set
up in 2019 by the Society to encourage young people into agriculture and horticulture and to help learn where their food comes from and the importance of buying locally. Part of this project involved mentoring a student
on work experience on my allotment. Alongside this, I regularly contribute to the Society Facebook page, Cultivate Garden Club, set up to offer help and advice and show what’s being grown on allotments and gardens.
I regularly volunteer with The National Trust for Jersey and the Jersey Conservation Volunteers and help on conservation projects across the island.
And in all this, I’m still in my same job in the St Helier Parks Department, a job I
We do have a rule that the winner of the trophy cannot enter the following year, so everyone gets a chance
really enjoy, having now completed my 28th year.
I really enjoy being a member of the RJA&HS and supporting its work and being around members and like- minded people who have a passionate interest in horticulture and the countryside.
To find out more about all the work of the Royal Jersey Agricultural and Horticultural Society, please visit our new website
Also follow our Facebook page - RJA/ HS cultivate garden club.
       Allotment and Leisure Gardener 55

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