Aug 8 2012 By Sharon Liptrott
DUMFRIES pensioner John Alexander is blooming with success.
The 73-year-old from Kingholm Drive beat off strong competition from both sides of the border on Sunday (August 5) to win the top honour at the 32nd annual Carlisle Fuchsia Show.
He returned home with The President’s Trophy and British Fuchsia Society’s Bronze Medal – awarded to the best exhibit in show – with the aptly named Border Raider.
The coveted trophy takes pride of place among his haul of five awards from the show which is staged by the Solway and Hadrian Fuchsia Group.
He collected trophies for best exhibit in class 8 with 3 x 3 ½ inch pots; best exhibit in a 5/5½ inch pot; and best exhibit in a 3½ inch pot, and for being runner-up to the best exhibit in classes 19 to 25 at the show.
John, secretary of the Dumfries and Galloway Fuchsia Group, said: "I am absolutely delighted.
"I have never won best overall at any show before and it is a good feeling.
"It has been a terrible year for gardeners and growers and fuchsias have really suffered. Although mine are in the greenhouse they still need sunshine and heat and there has not been much of that since May. So, in such a difficult year it is especially an honour to win a trophy like this."
John has been a keen gardener all his life but first began showing fuchias around 10 years ago and says he could not have done it without the support of his wife, Dorothy.
He says he is thrilled that one of the biggest shows for Fuchsia competitors in the UK has been such a happy hunting ground and he is now looking for success at the Dumfries and Galloway Fuchsia Group’s annual show in Georgetown Community Centre on Sunday. (August 12)
There is also the he Border Fuchsias Show in Brampton to look forward to on August 28.
John’s winning plant was raised by him from an original cutting of the hybrid, Border Raider, which was created by a member of Dumfries and Galloway group Jim Gordon who has won the annual Scottish Fuchsia Championship for a record 14 times.
Border Raider is famed for its distinctive pink and white blooms which flower profusely.
Two other members of Dumfries and Galloway Fuchsia the group, which meets on the first Sunday of the month at Georgetown Community Centre also enjoyed success at the Carlisle Show.
William Clingan of New Abbey won the British Fuchsia Society Silver Spoon for best exhibit in classes 26 and 27, and Jim Robson won The Norman Mitchinson Trophy for best exhibit in classes 19 to 25.