THE sweet smell of success was in the air as Alnwick Spring Show celebrated its best year on record last weekend.
More than 1,000 visitors were met with the overpowering scent of exhibited flowers and floral displays as they saw the wealth of talents on show in the Pavilion at Alnwick Garden.
The event, which kicks off the show season, has been described as the best yet and one of the best organised of its kind.
And there were exhibitors from as far away as Northern Ireland taking part.
Sections included daffodils, tulips and other flowers, as well as cookery, sugarcraft and children’s sections.
A fantastic floral frieze of Alnwick Castle and Garden, made by members of the Alnwick and District Flower Club, was also on show. The scene showed the castle, the Tenantry Column, the Poison Garden, Cherry Orchard and the Treehouse all made out of flowers and wood.
Jean O’Hanlon, from the club, said: “We wanted something different to go along with the floral exhibits. It is non-competitive and as the Duke and Duchess give us the Pavilion for free we thought we would start it off this year with the castle and garden. We’re really, really pleased with it.”
There was also a photography exhibition from Alnwick and District Camera Club as well as displays of sugarcraft and embroidery.
Ellingham First School had their own table of entries as all 29 children made their own Mr Potato Head.
Six-year-old Ella Nelson-Sergeant and her nine-year-old sister Inga were delighted as they took a heap of prizes in the children’s section.
Ella also came third in the adult novelty cake competition, with the judges not knowing that the chocolate hedgehog cake had been created by someone so young.
Mum Joanne Nelson also came first with her chutney.
She said: “We’re all chuffed to bits. It is just good fun and great for the children to compete and take part. I think it is really important that they do.
“And the good thing about it is if they don’t win at least they can take it home and eat it anyway. They just enjoy taking part in it.”
Rae Beckwith, a Britain in Bloom judge and chairman of the northern group of the National Daffodil Society, judged the event.
He said: “Overall the standard at Alnwick Spring Show has improved year-on-year. What started off as a little show has grown into one with a very high standard.
“It has built its own success. It is a great asset and it is in a fabulous location.
“I judge a lot of places but nowhere else is there a place as good as this.
“It has a great balance. And the standard this year is the highest it’s been.”
Philip Wallace travelled from Lisburn in Northern Ireland to take part for the first time and won the best daffodil bloom in show.
“This is the best organised show I have been to,” he said.
“I’ve never been before but everything here is brilliant. The setting is great and the people are so helpful.
“It has been absolutely fantastic. I would encourage more people to get involved. I couldn’t fault it.
“I also think the children’s end is absolutely brilliant. I have never seen as much enthusiasm in any other show.”
Show co-ordinator David Parker added: “I would like to thank all the sponsors both private and businesses in Alnwick whose donations are essential to the continuing success of the show.
“This year was the best show of the five with excellent entries of a high standard. The weather also helped bring in the visitors.”
Alnwick in Bloom chairman Tom Pattinson also praised the event and congratulated David Parker and the spring show committee for their hard work.
Shield for best floral art exhibit: E Davidson. Daffodil Society diploma, RA Scamp Voucher and best bloom in local residents class: B Stuart. Daffodil Society bronze medal and diploma: P Wallace. Best daffodil bloom in show: P Wallace. Best cookery exhibit: B Graham. Most points in cookery: P Dodd. Most points age 10-16: M Hughes.
Open: 1 E Davidson; 2 V Murphy; 3 F Cook. Novice: 1 The Potting Shed; 2 L MacLennan; 3 B Truman.
Alnwick Garden Club Members
Daffodils, vase: 1 J Givens; 2 D Wilkinson; 3 S McKnight.
Yellow daffodils: 1 B Stuart; 2 J Givens; 3 V Colgan. Orange/red daffodils: 1 J Givens; 2 R Thompson; 3 V Colgan. White daffodil: 1 B Stuart; 2 J Givens; 3 C Turnbull. Tulips: 1 J Givens; 2 B Stuart; 3 R Thompson.
Three vases, three blooms: 1 P Wallace; 2 B Stuart; 3 M Robinson. Six vases: 1 P Wallace; 2 D Wallace; 3 K Blundell. Seven blooms: 1 D Wallace; 2 P Wallace; 3 M Robinson. Cultivar, division one: 1 K Blundell; 2 D Brennan; 3 P Wallace. Cultivar division two: 1 P Wallace; 2 D Wallace; 3 K Blundell. Cultivar, division four: 1 K Blundell; 2 P Wallace; 3 D Wallace.
Five blooms: 1 M Cochrane; 2 K Blundell; 3 G Wallace. Miniature daffodils: 1 M Robinsons; 2 P Shaw; 3 R Thompson. Three daffodils: 1 K Blundell; 2 D Brennan; 3 M Robinson. Miniature daffodils, bowl: 1 M Robinson; 2 V Murphy; 3 G Wallace. Daffodils, basket: 1 D Parker; 2 D Wallace; 3 P Wallace.
White tulips: 1 R Thompson; 2 C Cochrane. Red/pink tulips: 1 C Cochrane; 2 R Thompson; 3 S McKnight. Yellow tulips: 1 J Cochrane; 2 C Cochrane; 3 B Stuart. Other tulip: 1 J Cochrane; 2 C Cochrane; 3 S McKnight. Hyacinth: 1 B Stuart; 2 J Givens; 3 J Harper. Spring flowers, basket: 1 V Colgan.
Spring flowers, bowl: 1 C Turnbull; 2 T Allan. Floating flowers, bowl: 1 J Harper; 2 V Colgan; 3 C Turnbull. Cut flowers from shrub: 1 M Robinson; 2 D Watson. Amaryllis: 1 V Colgan; 2 J Givens. Flowering pot plant: 1 V Murphy; 2 C Turnbull; 3 R Barclay-Kim. Rock plant: 1 D Parker; 2 V Murphy. Sempervivum: 1 V Murphy. Primula: 1 V Murphy.
Chocolate cake: 1 J Givens; 2 P Dodd; 3 S Moralee. Victoria sandwich cake: 1 J Givens; 2 P Dodd; 3 N Straughan. Carrot cake: 1 P Dodd; 2 C Clayton. Lemon drizzle cake: 1 J Givens; 2 P Dodd; 3 S Moralee. Date and walnut cake: 1 P Dodd; 2 M Wilkinson; 3 C Turnbull. Gingerbread: 1 C Turbull; 2 J Givens; 3 M Strughan.
Shortbread: 1 P Dodd; 2 V Colgan; 3 J Muter. Border tart: 1 M Wilkinson; 2 P Dodd; 3 J Givens. Novelty cake: 1 B Graham; 2 S Shepherd; 3 E Nelson-Sergeant. Cupcakes: 1 P Dodd; 2 T Allan; 3 K Allan. Fruit scones: 1 P Dodd; 2 V Colgan; 3 C Turnbull. Cheese scones: 1 P Dodd; 2 C Moralee; 3 C Clayton. Quiche: 1 J Givens; 2 P Dodd. Onion peel dyed eggs: 1 C Turnbull; 2 R McKnight; 3 C Colgan. Marmalade: 1 H Wilson; 2 C Turnbull; 3 S Moralee. Lemon curd: 1 V Colgan; 2 N Strughan; 3 S Moralee. Chutney: 1 J Nelson-Sergeant; 2 R McKnight; 3 C Turnbull. Sugarcraft: 1 E Davidson; 2 M Mabon; 3 S Shepherd.
Miniature garden under-8: 1 H Truman; 2 S Oxley; 3 E Nelson-Sergeant. 8-12: 1 C Truman; 2 E Christie; 3 B Truman. Funcky animal: 1 B Truman; 2 E Nelson-Sergeant; 3 J Crosby. Sea Creature: 1 J Crosby; 2 C Truman; 3 E Nelson-Sergeant. Mr Potato Head: 1 A Oxley; 2 C Truman; 3 B Truman. Scarecrow: 1 E Nelson-Sergeant; 2 I Nelson-Sergeant; 3 T Marshall.
Fruit scones: 1 J Huntly; 2 E Allan; 3 H Truman. Gingerbread shapes: 1 E Nelson-Sergeant; 2 E Christie; 3 E Allan. Cupcakes: 1 I Nelson-Sergeant; 2 J Huntly; 3 E Christie. Chocolate cake: 1 B Truman; 2 K Allan; 3 H Hughes. Broken toffee: 1 M Hughes; 2 I Nelson-Sergeant; 3 B Truman. Caramel shortcake: 1 M Hardy; 2 M Hughes; 3 E Allan.