South West Growers hear horticulture vision

The South West Growers show heard the HTA's horticulture vision and awarded a swathe of exhibitors last month.

South West Growers Show
South West Growers Show
Curtis-Machin said of Brexit: "It’s a once in a life time opportunity and a once in a life time risk. I am frustrated that when I meet politicians, I have to spend half an hour what horticulture is – from production to landscaping. Without that knowledge how can civil servants represent us.

"We are seen as a small part of the process. At the moment seen as a land-based system but a new way will be to look at the benefits.

He said the biggest issues he has been talking about are labour, planning and bio-security.

Curtis-Machin said: "One thing is clear, if we are going to have a credible voice, going to have to be a credible industry.

"We talk about health benefits, which sounds great, but what is it worth? We need to nail the statistics.

"The problem is complex but we have lots of potential. We are developing new markets, new skills and new jobs, such as vertical gardening.

"We have exciting tools to help evaluate the figures. Like i-Tree, which puts £ s d value on money saved and reduction in pollution. That’s when we start to get attention, for instance the of importing oak – several hundreds of thousands of pounds are imported. The Government wants bio-security and we want to grow business.

"It’s down to analysis and ultimately down to use working together. We can all down our thing and have our differences but if we join up, it starts to become bigger numbers. It's all about the importance of data."

He said the National Minimum Wage is "a real challenge for agriculture and horticulture" and once no one wants to go back, but the industry can lobby on the amount.

SWGS Awards

BEST NEW PLANT

Winner: Begonia ‘Summerwings’ series from Kernock Park Plants. Elegant, stylish and vibrant flowering begonia with dragon wing-shaped foliage. These flower right through summer with little maintenance needed. A constant delight, ‘Ebony and Orange’ has beautiful bright orange flowers that contrast with the dark, waxy foliage on this well-behaved plant.
Runner Up: Tiarella ‘Angel Wings’ from Seiont Nurseries (pictured below).


BEST NEW PRODUCT

Winner: Evolution polytunnel cover from XL Horticulture (pictured below).
A seven layer material with shiny outer surface to repel dust, stay cleaner for longer and attract less algae. Remarkably strong, with 120g puncture resistance. There is a layer on inside that is anti condensation and anti-mist – should last for the life of the film – and has the greatest light transmission of any film on the market – 92 per cent. (Glass is 92 per cent). 12m euros has been invested in the factory in Greece in order to make it and there are 42 worldwide patents on the products, chemistry and machines that make it.
Runner Up: Cross Bar Tree Tie from Tyne Moulds and Machinery.
Judges said: ‘Has simplicity and longevity, is adjustable and sturdy. It’s a new way of approaching the problem of tying.
BEST STAND
Winner: FJ Jackson & Son


Highly Commended: Woodbeare Nurseries and Rainbow Plants

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