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Sorry – this simply doesn’t do justice to the spectacular exhibit that is the HW Hyde & Son lily display in the Great Pavilion, winner not only of a Gold but also of the coveted award for the best exhibit in the show.

It’s a walk-through stand – this is one of two paths around a central island. There are more walk-through displays than I’ve seen for a long time this year: Hardy’s, both David Austin and Peter Beales’ Roses, and Hyde’s allow you to wander through the plants, immersing yourself in them and surrounding yourself with them.

Massive-flowered oriental lilies are almost impossible to place in a garden: they’re just too big, too blowsy, too ‘look at me’. I don’t care: I love them anyway.

I have several in containers around the place: they get very little care, far less than they should have I expect, but they come back year after year. As long as I can defend them from the horrors of the lily beetle (can there be any larvae more disgusting than those of the lily beetle, I wonder?) they’re incredibly easy, yet incredibly breathtaking when those long fat buds finally break.

Not one of them, though, is a patch on the sensational glamourpusses on Hyde’s, though. Here are just a few.

 ‘Choco’
 ‘Big Brother’
‘Nymph’
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