After the searing heat of the previous week it was with some relief that the day of the Show started cloudy with a light drizzle. On other occasions members might have been disappointed with the weather but all were relieved that the staging of the exhibits could be done in cooler temperatures. As the day progressed the Sun came out and encouraged members and the residents of Ruislip to come out and visit the Barn. As one visitor said it was a miracle that so many plants had survived and that the Show was a great success.

The effects of the hot spell could be seen in the low number of entries in the Rose section. The exhibitors told of roses being over very early this year and how it had been a struggle to get good specimens. As ever our members rose to the occasion! The Sweet Peas were a delight for the eyes as well as the nose. As usual the General Flora demonstrated the wide diversity of plants that are grown in the gardens and allotments around Ruislip.

There was a large entry in the Pot Plants category – one of these days the tables might not be able to stand the weight of such large and luxurious vegetation but the contrast in colour and form resulted in many animated conversations during the afternoon. While the Autumn Show tends to have more Fruit and Vegetables there was a nice selection of gooseberries and strawberries and one perk of being Show Manager is that at the end some exhibitors give me a taste of their exhibit and the strawberries had a superb flavour!

it was disappointing the entries for the Floral Art were down from the Spring Show. However I am sure that the numbers will climb up again at the Autumn Show. In contrast the number of photographic entries increased and there were some impressive images of clouds, Squares, Silhouettes and Ruislip High Street – so for the next Show even more entries please.

Handicraft and Domestic exhibits really demonstrate the fantastic ability of our members. The hours of work that have gone in to the production of paintings, knitted garments, patchwork and all kinds of stitch work must mean that some of our members are very calm and relaxed. Special praise must go to all those who braved the heat of the kitchen and baked in the dying days of the heat wave.

There are some people who believe that Cacti never flower. If they had come along to the show they would have been amazed at the number that were displaying flowers. The best exhibit in the entire show was to be found in this section. It really is worth visiting the Cacti and Succulents section of the Show as the exhibitors are always willing to explain the difference between a Cacti and Succulent and dispel any myths.

The Schools Competition is proving a success and we are very grateful for the grant from Hillingdon Council. All the teachers involved have remarked on the enthusiasm of the pupils who have taken part and what is an unexpected outcome is that the schools are now sharing information and ideas. The overall winner was Ruislip Garden Primary School.

The RCHS was pleased to have Cllr John Hensley present the awards and prizes and the Society is grateful to him and his wife for giving the time in support of a local organisation.

For all those who have read to the end of this report Ruislip Garden Primary School provided us with 2 recipes which are printed below.
Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon, 400g of caster sugar, 500ml water, 500ml lemon juice (approx. 12 lemons) or you can cheat using a bottle of PLJ for the lemon juice, 50g of clean fragrant rose petals. This will make 1 litre (though it can be diluted to suit your taste).

Put zest, sugar and water in pan, bring to the boil. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Add lemon juice and bring to the boil again. Remove from heat.
Put rose petals in to a large bowl. Pour the liquid over the petals, cover with clean tea cloth and let it steep overnight.
Strain through sieve in to sterilised bottle. store in a cool dark place for up to 2 months. Serve with soda for a long drink.

250g SR flour, 1tsp baking powder, 50g butter, 2 tblsp fresh herbs, finely chopped (tender lavender leaves can be used adding 25g caster sugar also). 120ml of milk and milk to glaze.
Sift flour and baking powder in to bowl, rub in butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in herbs and add milk – mix to a soft dough.
Roll out on floured surface to 2 cm thick, cut in to 5 cm rounds. Place on floured baking sheet, brush with milk. Bake in preheated oven 220*C Gas 7 for 12 – 15 minutes. (makes 12 to 14)


Photos courtesy of John Swindells