The Yeovil and District Chrysanthemum and Dahlia Society Welcomes Everyone

19 November 2017
Ben Pentreath

If you’d spotted Charlie and me at a little after two o’ clock on Saturday afternoon, you might have been a bit surprised.

This is where we were, in Yeovil.
At the Holy Trinity Scout Group Hut.

There was the smallest clue as to what was going on inside from these people, already leaving.

Or from this box, left outside a red Ford focus.

More people leaving, as we were arriving, all clutching large boxes.

You guessed it. It was the Yeovil & District Chrysanthemum and Dahlia Society annual Chrysanthemum Show and Dahlia tuber sale. The sight of so many huge chrysanthemum was awe-inspiring.

My favourites.  I’d never seen anything like it. 

In the tea corner, it became clear….

…. that Charlie wasn’t quite the youngest person in the room by 40 years, but just about.

I think that possibly my favourite thing of all was the huge banner that gives title to this blog.

Then, of course, there was the tuber sale.  Here, none of the serenely impressive displays over on the other side of the room.

It was a madhouse. 

Of course, very sharp-eyed readers will have just spotted Christine Tompkins, who cleaned up so spectacularly at this year’s Melplash Show;

And who should we spy next but Roger Downting who took all the prizes that Christine didn’t, at Melplash. The array of silverware included the astonishingly beautiful Brigham Cup, with wonderful aesthetic movement chased silver decoration; perhaps the last moment that Chrysanthemums were truly appreciated?
The raffle table,
which sported an amazing poster: Trees of Britain: Look and Learn with Andrex.I wish that a few more companies today would market their products in such a beautiful and improving way.

Success in the tuber sale:
The tea room was also doing roaring trade.

And, as it happens, carried two more posters from Andrex loo roll: Freshwater Fish and Countryside Animals of Britain. Eventually we tore ourselves away. The hall of the Scout hut was lined with photographs of past adventures.

In between hanging pictures and sorting the stuff at Mum & Dad’s flat, we went for a beautiful walk with Mavis this morning.

Yellow-orange autumn has settled across the valley. The evenings are dark so early now; it feels like Christmas is just around the corner. Which I’m excited about!

A date for your diary – our traders’ Christmas event, on the 7th December. It will be a wonderful afternoon and evening, and just like the Yeovil Dahlia Society, all are welcome.

Here’s the poster I’ve just had fun producing!

We look forward to welcoming you in the shop, or – for those that are not able to attend – online.

Please visit and support small independent retailers this Christmas!

14 comments on this post

Iona Lindsaysays:

Marvellous as ever, thank you. We had the Andrex tree poster; appropriately hung in the loo!

marilyn snellsays:

Your blog always makes me smile!! What a wonderful show to attend! I be Charlie came away with lots of tubers!! Will look forward to pictures of the garden next spring and summer!


your posts are so hilarious and brilliant. thank you


nice, nice, so so english, all of it! lovely! thank you dear ben.


Dear Ben & Charlie,
what a great Chrysanthemum and Dahlia show ! A big pleasure to see this photos and all the lovely people, thank you. Also your beautiful autumn walk, the colors are amazing, how spectacular is nature and the change to the next season.
The flat of your parents will be ready for Christmas, it must be wonderful to celebrate this special festive season in this beautiful new home !
Love your poster for the 7th December ( have it now as background on my desktop 🙂 ).
Now I want to buy online your amazing Christmas cards from the shop !
Have a nice week, looking forward the coming Christmas time,
Yours Birgit 🙂


Can you put me in touch with someone there who would be willing to sell and send spider mum starts to the U.S.? Would so appreciate it. Thanks, Ann


You just have to break into a smile. And to think from such really rather ugly tubers such amazing blooms are produced. A real eye-opener of a post. Your neo-Victorian day sounds like a lot of fun too. Best wishes from Nicola.

Diane Williamssays:

Best, most beautiful sign ever!


Thank you for this slice of uniquely British Gardening life. Absolutely loved the juxtaposition of Tigger with all the tubers….. My favorite mum were the gentle lilac hula skirts, but oh those giant globes….. for a second I thought Harpo Marx was in the building! When I was growing up here in the U.S. in the early 60’s, florist used these mums often in arrangements often constructing chrysanthemum poodles! Thank you again for writing this blog for all of us

Deby (in Canada)says:

one of my favourite kinds of posts…a slice of something so real and charming. I love all the serious faces in the crowd. I assume Charlie came away with new tubers!
cheers Deby

Frances Palmersays:

The show looks like pure heaven. I wish that I could come on the 7th!


Marvellous, that’s cheered up Monday morning! Fabulous blooms I have to say.

Diane Keanesays:

Ben, do you mean to say that you and Charlie did NOT walk out of there with your own brimming box of tubers?? I look forward to seeing photos of the Christmas Carol festivities, I hope you will be among the readers. The photo above of the tree with fruit and lichen-covered branches seems most unusual, is that a common site I wonder? Thank you for a very cheering post!



What a lovely surprise to see your blog again with a wonderful splash of bright yellow the chrysanthemums are stunning.Hope one day Charlie might win the cup it would look lovely on your mantlepiece for a while.I really enjoyed your photos the serious expressions on the peoples faces showed just how serious the gardeners are in choosing the best blooms.Thank you for your cheery insight blooming marvelous !!

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