ROPLEY Horticultural Society’s annual summer show was deemed a success despite challenging weather conditions, with Jeremy Carruthers taking the Supreme Challenge Cup for the second year running.

Held in Ropley parish hall on August 18, this year’s show was a riot of colour and fragrance, with more entries than last year - and this despite a cold, late spring followed by a long, hot, dry spell of weather that raised concerns that the gardens of Ropley would not be able to produce sufficient entries for the show - but, said Society spokesman Jill Shakespeare, “we were wrong!”.

Mrs Shakespeare continued: “The floral art section was particularly well supported and provided a beautiful and colourful display. There were more cookery entries than ever before and several gentlemen entered the ‘make a loaf of bread’ class.”

In addition, she said, “a diverse selection of art and handicraft was also on display, proving that Ropley has lots of local talent”.

As well as marvelling over the exhibits, visitors were able to enjoy tea and homemade cakes, “and a splendid afternoon was had by all!”.

The Society felt honoured to welcome guest of honour Andrew Bentley, garden manager at Chawton House, who began with a brief update to a packed hall on the progress being made with the development of the Chawton House gardens before presenting the awards and trophies while offering congratulations on “the extremely high standard of the exhibits”.

The Society’s prestigious Henderson Cup was won by Jerry Carruthers with a diverse collection of top quality vegetables and flowers and the two main floral art trophies were won by Ann Hart with her usual immaculate displays.

Individual winners:

* Jeremy Carruthers won the Henderson Cup and also retained the Lyewood Cup, Society Produce Plate and Supreme Challenge Cup for a second year.

* Ann Hart won the Crystal Trophy for the best in show floral art and the Hampshire Chronical Cup for the most points in floral art.

* Rem Moser swept the board with her roses winning the cup for the best rose in show; The Cooper Rose Bowl and also the Floral Challenge Cup.

* Jill Shakespeare won the Summer Challenge Cup for the best pelargonium grown from a plug plant issued to all members in March.

* Gina Rodgers won the Doris Pile Cup for the most points in homecraft.

* Charlotte Clark won the Timm’s Egg Cup for the best exhibit of eggs in any class.

Photography was keenly contested with 10 categories overall:

* Wendy Reeve won the Members Amateur Photography Shield.

* Heidi Henderson and Mike Wilson shared jointly the Open Photography Shield.

* Overall Best in Show Rosette, not including Floral Art, was won by Maurice Shakespeare with Fuchsia ‘Paula Jane’.

Mrs Shakespeare concluded: “Another successful show enjoyed by the village with thanks to the efforts of all the committee plus a number of members and other willing volunteers.”