Thursday, 28 July 2011

EEE 2011 is a resounding success

On the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd of July the Carnivorous Plant Society hosted the EEE 2011 at Chester Zoo in a blaze of sunshine, with hardly a cloud to be seen all weekend. As a top public attraction Chester Zoo was the perfect location to showpiece carnivorous plants.

With the great weather, the presence of a dinosaur exhibition, and superb local and national media interest, the Zoo was filled to the rafters with around 20,000 visitors over the weekend, a large number of which made their way to the EEE Village. Tim Bailey, Chairman of the CPS recalls: "Fixed in my memory is a little boy practically dragging his dad towards the Exhibition! 

Tim also comments: "The quality and range of plants displayed and traded was exceptional! Not surprising given the talented growers we are blessed with in the UK and on the Continent."

Visitors gather around the trade stands
National Collections of Drosera and Heliamphora (Langford Williams), Sarracenia and Dionaea (Mike King), Nepenthes (Derek-Clavell-Bate) and a display of Pinguicula (Dennis Balsdon) where highlights in the main marquee. 

National Collection of Drosera
Another highlight was the CPS display, which formed the centerpiece attraction. To the side was the CPS Hydroponic and Peat-free display, showing that there is life after peat and new ways to grow these amazing plants! 

Hydroponic and Peat-free Display
Complimenting the main marquee was the wonderful artwork of James O’Neill, and the CPS promotions stand and kids corner, which proved extremely popular, so much so that some of the adults shook of the years to join in the activities!

The trader stands were stacked to the rafters with an amazing array of genera, species, forms and varieties to suit all appetites and tastes.  Trading were Mike King (Shropshire Sarracenias), Derek Clavell-Bate, Phil Wilson/Alex Abrams, Frank Almedenni (Euroflora), Andreas Wistuba (The Nepenthes Nursery), Gert Hoogenstrijd (Araflora/Extreme Plants), Langford Williams/Becky Gardner (PJ Plants), Steve Taverner, Simon Lumb, Phil Green and Chris Crowe (Sarracenia Nurseries) and Andy Smith representing Hampshire Carnivorous Plants. 

Mike King - Shropshire Sarracenias
Stationed at the CPS History and World of Carnivorous Plant Stand was actor and botanist Chris Bailey who played the part of Charles Darwin. From the same display the CPS also held a number of very well attended and received cultivation workshops: Dionaea/Sarracenia (Tim Bailey), Nepenthes (Derek Clavell-Bate), Pinguicula (Dennis Balsdon) and Drosera (Langford Williams). Also provided was a full
lecture programme, with superbly delivered talks by Gert Hoogenstrijd (General Carnivorous Plant Cultivation), Andreas Wistuba (Nepenthes and Ant Plants of Sulawesi), Rob Cantley (Nepenthes – New Ecological Discoveries), Diana Williams (Life with Nepenthes) and Mike King (NCCPG – Plant Heritage). 

Dennis Balsdon says: 'EEE 2011 exceeded our expectations thanks to the dedicated CPS Committee, traders, exhibitors, lecturers, helpers and of course the visitors who made the event such an amazing success." 

Dennis Balsdon - CPS Membership Secretary and EEE Organiser