The rarest of flowers, dazzling floral art, the scent of tiers of daffodils and flowering shrubs, greeted visitors at the Falmouth Spring Flower Show at the weekend.

At the two day event at Gyllyngdune Gardens and the Princess Pavilion hundreds of people enjoyed the finest of Cornwall’s spring gardens including huge sprays of magnolias, camellias and azeleas. There were entries for all 117 classes and among the 663 individual exhibits were cacti and succulents, orchids, potted and cut flowers and foliage, photography and children’s classes.

Before the mayor, John Body, presented the prizes the show president Ron Scamp pinpointed highlights, which included two football size samples of the world’s rarest rhododendrons, one from Trebah and other from the Meudon Hotel.

"There are only three known survivors of this variety in the whole of Europe and two of them are here today," he said. "The judges had never seen both of these rare flowers in one show and on the same bench side by side.

Among the classes which have grown in number and quality were the flowering shrubs which were heavily contested this year by individual gardeners, Falmouth’s Cormac gardening team, the Meudon Hotel, Trebah, and FX Plus.

The judge from the National Association of Flower Arranging Societies praised the "incredible standard" of this year’s floral art. The photography section has grown, along with the children’s section where of particular note were the variety of exhibits from BootUp! Outdoor Learning, who work with vulnerable children.

Thanks went to the many schools and people such as Jacqui Owen and the Cormac gardeners for all their work with children. "What a splendid job the Cormac gardeners do helping us set up the show, taking part themselves, and helping Falmouth win the Britain in Bloom awards with Jacqui Owen chosen as a Community Champion, one of the top Royal Horticultural Society Awards," said Ron.

Among the winners were the show’s veteran exhibitor Walter Williams, 91, from Sennen, whp won the Mr CCD Steel Orchid Cup and first time exhibitors Steve and Phyllis Lloyd from the Friends of Penmere Station, who were awarded a first for their floral art entry, a station master’s glass lamp brimming with spring flowers from the restored garden.

Elizabeth Doidge won the Phillpott's Trophy for most points and the Challenge Cup Floral Art for best exhibit, Hairspray, which was described by the judge as "dramatic, fun, and beautifully arranged" and which also bagged Elizabeth the show’s Champions Cup for the best entry in all sections.

Val Bidgood, from Penryn, who entered for the first time three years ago, fielded a bumper crop of 40 exhibits which won her the Parry Silver Challenge for the most points for cut plants.

The Chamber of Commerce Silver Challenge Cup for shrubs was won by FX Plus, the gardeners at Penryn campus; Jean Cook won the WJ Bull Memorial Cup for her camellias and the Mayor’s cup for her work as the show’s secretary.

The Daffodil Society Medal went to Mary Tarbet with Marie Bersey winning the Carter Memorial Cup with most points for her single bloom daffodils. Reg Sleeman won the Duckham Trophy for the most points for miniature daffodils and Family and Friends class for best exhibit of a planted broken pot.

Alan Trathen won both the Hazel Cox and Andrew Cox Memorial cups for his succulents and cacti. Triple winner Richard Viner carried off the Challenge Cup, Wass Shield, and Andrew Cox Trophy for his photography and Cormac’s gardeners were awarded the Sylvanus Treveal Cup for their pot plants and the RHS Banksian Medal for the most points overall in the show.

In the children’s sections Louie, nine from Marlborough School, won a first for his Incredible Edibles wellington boot planted with herbs, watercress and salad leaves and Nathan from BootUp! was awarded a first for his framed succulent garden.

St Francis School won the Ken Pound Challenge for the Charles Rowe Trophy,with Marlborough School coming second - both had chosen The Secret Garden as their theme. The Fred Jane award for a best exhibit for a child under eight was won by Esme. The Youth Group Challenge for the Princess Pavilion and Gyllyngdune Gardens Cup for 13 to 16 year olds was won by BootUp! for their skateboarders' garden.