Autumn Show celebrates Hillingdon's horticultural heroes
Friday 22 September, 2023: The horticultural heroes of Hillingdon were celebrating last weekend when the winners of this year's Autumn Show were announced.
An impressive 459 exhibits were submitted from residents across 57 categories, ranging from best turnips to vegetable or fruit-themed works of art.
Entries were judged by a panel led by RHS and Middlesex Guild Judge, Gerry Edwards and included the Mayor of Hillingdon, Cllr Shehryar Ahmad-Wallana, Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Jonathan Bianco and members of the council's green spaces team, which runs the show.
The judges deliberated over three hours in the Great Barn at Manor Farm, Ruislip, on Saturday 16 September before announcing the lucky winners.
Scooping one of the two 'Best in Show' awards given on the day was stalwart competitor, Peter Bird, of Harefield Road, Uxbridge, for his 'Two matching cucumbers grown under glass'.
Speaking of his success, he rather modestly said: "It feels very surprising actually to get 'best in show', because they [cucumbers] just grow very nicely in our greenhouse.
"We have quite a large vegetable garden and grow all our own produce, it's just a bit of fun and I just like to enter the show."
Peter has entered the past six Autumn Shows always entering across multiple categories and believes a secret to his success is avoiding insecticides and keeping it all organic.
As well as Best in Show, Peter also scooped prizes in numerous other categories, including first prizes for both his carrots and onions.
Another prize winner was Susan Munro, from Ickenham, whose incredibly detailed drawing of a cabbage was awarded second prize in the 'Art (Adult), with a fruit or vegetable theme' category.
She said: "It was a bit of a spur of the moment thing as I'd got other pictures but none with a fruit of vegetable theme, so I decided to draw a cabbage and used black paper with white pencil.
"It took a few hours, maybe five or six, but it was fabulous, I loved drawing it and enjoyed the whole process, going to the show and meeting the Mayor."
Panel judge, Cllr Jonathan Bianco, said: "The quality of entries this year was of the incredibly high standard we've come to expect from this competition.
"It was a pleasure to judge them and get a real appreciation for the time, talent and great endeavour residents have put into their efforts.
"I commend all the winners and entrants for making our decisions so difficult and look forward already to seeing their entries next year."