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As I was walking past the local church hall I noticed a bustle of activity – a local gardener’s society was having an early summer show. The tables were displaying fruits, vegetables, flowers, and cakes. I’m not sure how universal this practice is, it certainly happens in many English villages and towns I have lived in. The flowers, fruit and vegetables are all displayed very carefully, sometimes in ways that look curious to the uneducated eye (that’s me), but I expect there’s a traditional or expected way to show your beetroot in garden societies. Please enlighten me if you can! As well as the beauty of the fruits and vegetables in themselves, I found it fascinating that the entries had to be so arranged – see the pea pods in a row and the bound-up onions.

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My seven-year old found it fascinating, particularly the section where you can vote for the rose that you think smells the loveliest. This, I overheard one lady say, is a new class in the show – only just introduced this year.

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At Polegate Gardener’s Society Early Summer Show you can finish off your afternoon viewing with a cup of tea and homemade cakes served by lovely ladies in pinnies. Tea is poured into Woodsware vintage tea cups in ‘Iris’ and ‘Beryl’ (no longer in production). Interestingly this crockery is used in many scenes from television shows as it was made since the 1940’s up until quite recently and features in many a church hall kitchen so is likely to be in keeping with recent history.

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