Picture of Medwyn Williams

Medwyn Williams

Hello. I'm Medwyn Williams – eleven times Gold medal winner at the Chelsea Flower Show, Past Chairman of the Royal Horticultural Society Fruit Vegetable and Herb Committee and President of the National Vegetable Society.

Medwyns Masterclass Weekend


Medwyns of Anglesey


Friday 1st – Sunday 3rd November 2019



Friday 1st November

16.00 – 18.30 Arrive at The Royal Victoria Hotel to check in and relax before dinner.

18.30 – 19.50 A four course evening meal will be served (you may order wine at your table)

20.00 – 21.15Bees in Business’ by Katie Hayword

The talk will be about Kate’s honeybee business and how it’s grown from 4 hives in a field to the 1,700 hives she has now across two countries and all still based on her little family farm on Anglesey. Kate will go into, not only her history coming from a Project Manager in Construction, also through a long battle after having a major stroke – to risking it all and renovating the farm where her family date back to 1532.

Kate will cover the following:

The family history of the farm, her business, the decline of our bees and how everyone can help (especially growers), Bee therapy, Pollination, honey production, Honey bee communication, Awards and Honey bee Education.

The talk will be inspirational and will give people a lift in their hearts if they need it, it’s also brilliant fun. Rest assured you don’t want to miss this one, just sit back and enjoy!

21.15 – 21.30 Question and Answer session.

21.30 – Time to relax after your long journey and perhaps share your gardening experiences with some of the speakers, fellow growers and exhibitors. Why not even enjoy a night cap at the bar before retiring!

Saturday 3rd November

8.009.00 Cooked Breakfast.

9.00 – 10.15 ‘Growing on Coco – A Peat free alternative’ by Peter Geyelin (Canna) Peter is an Organic Chemist by training and embarked on a Giant Pumpkin project with CANNA in 2014 before joining the team in 2015 as Technical Advisor on their products and indoor cultivation methods.

Coco was initially seen as a replacement for peat in greenhouse production since coco has neither the water repellence of dry peat, nor the potential low pH values. Being more aerated than general potting mixes, coco provides more room for rooting and plants obtain more oxygen. This stimulates growth and bloom and produces more consistent growing in both quality and yield.

Although the coco substrate is not new, more and more growers are starting to achieve superior results when growing in coco.  In general we can divide coco substrate in two types; dry coco (COGr) and wet coco. Two opposite substrates which require totally different treatment during cultivation.

Peter’s talk will explain both those differences and also the technical aspects of growing with Coco.

10.15 – 10.30 Question and Answer session

10.30 – 10.45 Coffee / Tea Break

10.45 – 12.00 Growing Potatoes for Exhibition’ by Owain Roberts Cerrigydrudion.   Owain was born and bred in Cerrigydrudion and went to Cerrig school then on to Brynhfryd School in Ruthin. In 1997 he went to University of Wales Aberystwyth and graduated in 2000 with a degree in Welsh and Welsh History.

When he came home he worked in the family business, Saracens Tyres and took over the running of the business in 2011, expanding it from 2 depots to 4!

2008 was the year it all started, he hadn’t grown anything until this time as he was too busy playing football, but had to give it up because of injury. This was also the year that he married his wife Maria and bought their first house which came with quite a big garden. Having watched his Father grow a lot of veg over the years and show at many local shows Owain decided to give it a go.

By 2011 he had won his first red card at the Nationals in Llangollen with a set of 5 Kestrel potatoes. For the next 5 years he won a class for potatoes in each of the National Championships but as he admits, he has let it slip a bit in the last couple of years. One of his highlights was winning the Best in Show at the Welsh Championship in the Rhondda with a set of Amour. (I judged that class with Roy Tudor and it was the longest shaped Amour I have seen possessing superb quality)

Owain certainly grows a lot more than just potatoes, he particularly enjoys growing blanch Leeks to a high standard coming 2nd on three occasions at the Nationals!

His talk will be a power point of photos of the method that he uses to grow potatoes from receiving the seed to preparation of the bed and planting. He will discuss the cultivars he grows as well as the experimental variety that he grows every year, moving on to watering and storage before the shows. Owain will finish the talk with his views on judging and he will also have a few plates of potatoes for example purposes.

12.00 – 12.15 Question and Answer session

12.15 – 14.15 A buffet lunch after which you have an opportunity to take a walk around the grounds of the Royal Victoria Hotel or perhaps a walk down to the Snowdon Mountain Railway in the village of Llanberis.

14.15 – 15.30Growing Vegetables in Containers’ by Mark Hall BEM FNVS

Mark was introduced to the world of growing vegetables back in 1971 when his parents moved house and acquired a large garden. It was the pips from apples that he first planted that autumn, and yes, they germinated the following spring, he had yet to understand the importance of a root stock and grafting. The following spring he was given some marrow plants along with a few other vegetables. Mark’s grandad, J H Moore, was a well-known exhibitor of vegetables and flowers having started his exhibiting prior to the 2nd world war at Shrewsbury flower show. Later on that year he took a look at the marrows that Mark had been growing and said to him ‘You need to enter them in the local show’, he did winning a second prize – this was the start of his growing and exhibiting of vegetables.

A few years later he was asked what he was going to do for a job after leaving school, the only great interest he had was his vegetable growing of which he was learning fast, so Mark started my working life in a local commercial glasshouse complex of 22 acres growing just Tomatoes lettuce and cucumbers.

A few years later he had the chance to take on full time studies at Nantwich college of horticultural in Cheshire, where the world of horticulture opened up for him. A few years later he started work at the nearby agricultural college of Harper Adams now a University where he holds the position of Grounds Manager with six staff. Mark’s team are responsible for all aspects of grounds work from the university sports grounds, woodlands, hedgerow shrubs flower beds glasshouse apart from the crops that grow in the fields – if it’s green and grows it seems to be his responsibility!

The talk will be via a slide show presentation which will include some practical demonstrations The presentation will cover what vegetables can be successfully grown in containers, it will also look at the benefits of growing some vegetables in containers, along with plenty of tips on what to do and what to avoid.    

15.30 – 15.45 Question and Answer session.

15.45 – 16.00 Coffee / Tea Break

16.00 – 17.15 ‘‘Making Grow Lights work for you: How to maximise your yields’ by Nico Hill from Maxibright lighting systems.

“Nico has been a keen gardener for many moons and has specialised in the hydroponic industry for over 10 years. He has a wealth of experience to draw upon, from managing showcase hydroponic greenhouses to writing/editing international industry publications. He can currently be found working as Technical Advisor for long-standing UK lighting manufacturer Maxibright, creators of the DAYLIGHT range of horticultural lighting.”

An introduction into lighting science and insights into the different lighting technologies on the market. Firstly, understanding how plant light science defines light in terms of both its intensity and spectral distribution, comprising of a walk-through of the current lighting science most directly applicable to practical growing. Followed by a breakdown of how to determine what intensity and spectrum will be most suitable for your crop and how to marry that knowledge to current technologies on the market.

Finally, how to distinguish the benefits across the various platforms, how to use them to your advantage and which would be most beneficial for your prize-winning plants! In a nutshell, an insight into the theories of light, that can benefit you most when put into practice. Nico’s talk will cover the following points –

 First Half – Light Theory

Spectrum – what light is actually useful? Quantifying: Output – How much light do you actually get? Affecting photosynthesis. Combination of Lamp output and Reflector distribution. Calculating requirements: DLI, Spectral output: What light does what? Affecting photo morphology. Implications of environment factors on useable light:

Second Half – Light Practice.

Choosing your Light: General applications of Lighting: Types of Lighting available – Pro’s – Cons: General Guidelines for types: Comparing between Light types: Practical guidelines.

17.15 – 17.30 Question and Answer session.

17.30 – 18.15 Time to relax and do your own thing before your evening meal, you may even feel the need to enjoy a drink at the bar!

 18.15 – 19.30 You can now indulge yourself in a four course evening meal. (you may order your wine at the table from the Victoria’s reasonably priced selection)

19.30 – 20.45 ‘Enjoyment of growing Giant Vegetables’ by Peter Glazebrook.

 Peter, with help of wife Mary, have been growing and showing giant vegetables nationally for over 25 years, achieving many winning cards, 15 World Records plus 2 United Kingdom records for the heaviest and longest vegetables during this time. In the very competitive world of giant veg. four of these are currently held.

The enjoyment comes from trying to grow a vegetable larger than it’s been grown before, with all that this requires in terms of – preparation, seed, plant selection, time period, growing medium, lighting, temperature, disease, pests and weather protection. The illustrated talk will try and cover the basics of this.

The media like giant vegetables and Peter’s garden has received visits from TV crews from around the world – Australia, Europe and America. Time consuming but also enjoyable.

While perhaps most success has been with Onions he has always focused on many other kinds of vegetables and is currently growing 16 different kinds for the shows this year. While this makes it a full time retirement occupation, producing a winner will make it even more enjoyable.

20.45 – 21.00 Question and Answer session.

21.00 – By Popular request after last year we will again be entertained by Howard Hughes a Magician and a member of the Magic Circle

Sunday 4th November

8.00 – 9.00 Cooked breakfast

9.00 – 9.15 Photo Call, bring your camera along and take a group photo as a memento of the occasion.

9.15 – 10.45“Vegetables for RHS Show Gardens” by Terry Porter. Terry is an Electrical Power Engineer by profession, but shortly after he got married in 1966, he started growing Exhibition Vegetables for local shows. After a few years he changed to Exhibition Dahlias, winning The Terry Clark Trophy at the dahlia National in 1976. He is an RHS floral Judge at shows such as Chelsea, Hampton Court, Cardiff etc. Terry is also a South West in Bloom judge, their financial Manager and produces their newsletters as well as organising their presentation day. He is a District Councilor with North Somerset Council, a member of the village Parish Council and involved in many village activities.

 1976 was the year Terry last grew Dahlias and then changed to Late Chrysanthemums which he grew right up until 2006. Success came at many NCS National shows and he was fortunate to be Chairman and President of the Society. Terry still organizes the two National shows for the NCS, although he hasn’t been able to grow Chrysanthemums since 2006.

Together with Jon Wheatley they used to put up the NCS display of Chrysanthemums at Chelsea, eventually winning 10 Gold medals. It was in 2006 when the Daily Mail asked Jon Wheatley to do one of their show gardens in their Pavilion at Hampton Court, and Jon asked me to grow the vegetables for it.

That was certainly a success winning them a Gold Medal, and a request to follow on the next year to do their Thatched Cottage Garden. In the meantime, the RHS invited them both to do a garden in the Pavilion at Chelsea, and since then they have done gardens every year at a number of RHS Shows.

Terry’s talk will cover the period from their first show garden for the Daily Mail in 2007 called “The Darling buds of May”. It will show the difference between gardens in the Great Pavilion at Chelsea to outside gardens, at Chelsea, Hampton Court, Gardeners world etc. It will show the type of vegetables that fit best in a show garden, and getting them out of season.

10.45 – 11.00 Question and Answer session.

11.00 – 11.15 Coffee / Tea Break

11.15 – 12.30 ‘Gardeners Question time with the Speakers’. A roundup of the weekend. It doesn’t matter how well you listened to the talks, there’s always that gardening problem or question that you forgot to ask that may be still bothering you. It allows you the opportunity to ask the speakers further questions on vegetable growing that may not even be related to any subject discussed during the seminar – why not challenge them with a problem that’s been a source of worry to you for so long.

12.30 – Traditional Welsh Sunday Lunch before departing.

*Will all speakers note that the time limit allowed will have to be adhered to and will only vary to suit circumstances outside my control*

The 2020 Seminar will be held from the 6th to the 8th November.



Growing Parsnips

25th July 2007 I am often asked what is the best method of growing both long carrots and parsnips for the show

Read More »

2 thoughts on “Medwyns Masterclass Weekend

  1. Hi Medwyn
    Having retired to my allotment and spent 2 years trying to grow show standard veggies
    I would like to attend your seminar this year.
    How do I go about booking?
    best wishes

    1. Dear Peter,

      Can you please let me have your postal address and I will send out the full details to you within a week or so. It’s best to email me direct on medwyn@whh.2fb.myftpupload.com



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *