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But, the knowledge garnered over that time was enough to see him win the champion of champions bloom with his vase of five Mary's Jomanda blooms at the North Otago Horticultural Society's summer show in Oamaru at the weekend.
While entries were slightly down this year, partly due to the difficult growing season, new classes to attract children were well supported. Officially opening the show, Sandra Breen said she was impressed with the entries.
Mr Lawrence said a cold spring and dry summer had made producing a top bloom difficult, ‘‘but, in 20 years I've gained a bit of knowledge''.
Mr Lawrence won the champion of champions trophy ribbons and trophies for most points in dahlia classes, the North Otago Challenge Trophy and the champion vase.