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Cambridge produces champion daffodil

COSMIC Ice won champion bloom, the top award at the North Island-National Daffodil Show held in Gisborne over the weekend.

The single stem, white, geometric bloom was grown by Ian Fisher and Rob Hill of Fisher Nurseries in Cambridge.

It was hosted by the Poverty Bay Horticultural Society.

No major awards went to Gisborne or East Coast growers, but the National Daffodil Society of New Zealand awarded Poverty Bay Horticultural Society president Gillian Coates and Anne Pole special certificates.

The certificates acknowledged the women’s long-standing dedication to the society and for their work in hosting well-received shows in Gisborne.

Between them the two daffodil enthusiasts distributed 1100 bulbs to 11 Gisborne schools to promote interest in the flowers.

Among the 1200 blooms at the national event were trumpets, large cups, small cups and doubles.

The jonquil was instantly recognisable to the untrained eye but entries such as the split-corona, multi-flowering reverse daffodil, and the cyclamineus with its blown-back petals, pushed the boundaries of daffodil-ness.

In a short “sex lesson” Christchurch grower, breeder and judge David Adams described how cross-pollination between a wild native flower known as Narcissus cyclamineus found in two mountainous regions in Spain and other daffodils could create variations in cyclamen-flowered daffodils.

“A lot of these flowers have been bred by people who take pollen from one flower and put it in another. From that seed the hybrid takes five years to flower and another five years to see if you want to continue with it.

“Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes not.”

Gordonton daffodil grower and judge Graham Phillips said he always enjoyed coming to Gisborne for flower shows.

“It’s a long way to travel but worth it when you get here. It’s a very hospitable time, and Gill and Anne and the Poverty Bay Horticultural Society make you feel most welcome.”

Although many entries appeared to share the same geometric perfection as the Cosmic Ice, judges examined the flowers closely for imperfections, Mr Phillips said.

“Unlike dog shows, daffodil people do not look like their flowers.”



BLOOMERS: A single-stem, white, geometric daffodil known as Cosmic Ice (above) grown by Ian Fisher (left) and Rob Hill of Fisher Nurseries in Cambridge won the top award at the North Island-National Daffodil Show in Gisborne over the weekend. Pictures by Rebecca Grunwell
A Lily among the daffodils. Lily Allen takes her place among the circle of premium daffodils.
Desrae Allen shows off her unique design, the only headwear in the floral art category of the national event.
Verlie Shepherd won the Novice section with her Pinsey Daffodil.