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Last Sunday saw the first Flower and Vegetable Show in Bradford on Avon for some considerable time and many of the active growing community proudly displayed the fruits of their labours for all to see and some to pass judgement upon.

One of the apprentice gardeners decided it was time to make her first foray into the world of unusually shaped vegetables, tastiest tomatoes, longest carrots and beautiful dahlias with a minature garden.

For days last week she wandered the garden and allotment searching for suitable specimens to dig up and replant into a thing of beauty and on Saturday assembled her creation with the care of a Gertrude Jekyll. Finally rosemary, parsley, lamium, sempervivum, thyme and an unidentified foliage plant were selected as suitable.

A trip to the garden centre was necessary to buy the right kind of pot saucer to make a pond and her treasure box was raided for some polished gems (to stud the walls of the pond) and a ceramic fairy to relax beside it..

The 12 inch diameter recycled container proved a bit of a problem until I decided now was the time to buy myself a new preserving pan.

That done, the compost was shovelled and the whole creation assembled. But what to do to camouflage the handle and give it the final flourish? Rainbow ribbons worked into an arc? This was deemed ‘obvious’ so instead we settled on weaving virginia creeper and chinese lanterns around. And I have to admit I think the girl was right.

So did the judges ….much to a certain young lady’s obvious delight. A good afternoon’s work and all for less than a fiver – with the exception of a new jam pan of course. And speaking of jam I’m glad I decided not to enter my victoria sandwich for I would hve been reprimanded severely for not using raspberry jam. These shows are serious affairs!