Coronavirus (COVID-19)

In view of the government’s continuing measures on social distancing, the committee has regretfully decided to cancel the meeting scheduled for Friday 29 May; all subsequent meetings and events are still being kept under review and advice will be updated as necessary.

Hints

  • Golden rule - read the schedule thoroughly!
  • Look carefully at the info given re timings for entries and staging
  • Read show rules re length of ownership and planting times for displays
  • Select, clean, trim and prepare all exhibits - wise to take a few spares in case of accidents
  • Ensure that all equipment [especially flowerpots] are clean
  • Pick flowers in the early morning and at least one day before the show. Give them a good drink of water in a deep flower bucket
  • Place in a cool, shady and draught free spot. A shed or garage is ideal
  • Prepare packing and transporting arrangements
  • Piccalilli, relishes and fruit curds are not ‘preserves’

Presentation

Vegetables & Fruit
  • Beans [runner and dwarf] - laid out with stems facing same way
  • Broad beans 2.5 cm (1”) stems, feel to check no blanks, wrap in fresh damp cloths
  • Carrots - tie tops with string
  • Lettuces - show off in flower pots with root intact
  • Onions - when yellowing, partly lift for a few days, then lift and store in cool dry place. Remove up to 3 layers of skin, cut foliage 3.8 cm (1½“), fold over and tie tops neatly with raffia. No need to take root off.
  • Peas - hold pods up to the sun to see if any gaps
  • Potatoes - lift, allow to dry, lightly sponge clean, wrap in kitchen paper, then newspaper
  • Rhubarb - neatly trimmed, 10 cm (4”) above stem. Wrap in damp tea towel for straight stems prior to showing
  • Shallots - on dry sand or vermiculite, cat litter or rings [see below] with tops tied neatly with raffia
  • Soft fruit leaves as garnish - no sign of disease or bugs on leaves
  • Tomatoes - add a parsley garnish; possibly stand on rings [see below]
Others
  • Cookery - plate with doily under, cover with transparent food dome [provided] or cling film
  • Pot plants - all dead/tired foliage removed
  • Preserves - labels giving date and contents, polish jars

Tips

  • Is my exhibit as fresh as possible?
  • Are all pots & containers clean?
  • Have I trimmed carrots, beetroot and similar vegetable stems to the accepted length and with a sharp knife?
  • When root vegetables have been washed, wrap in kitchen towel or similar to prevent drying out before staging
  • Have I found some curtain rings or similar of suitable size to keep my onions, tomatoes, etc., in place?
  • Have I provided plates or boards, etc., that will show beans, peas and tomatoes, etc., to advantage?
  • Have I used raffia or garden string for ties?
  • Have I made sure that I have the correct number of components as stated in the schedule?
  • If an exhibit asks for several components [e.g. three parsnips] are they as uniform in size and quality as possible and beautifully cleaned, trimmed and tied?
  • Handle peas, beans, etc., by the stem to retain sheen on the pod
  • Soft fruit staged on stem - handle by stem
  • Preserves in plain jars [jars and lids bearing trade names should not be used for shows as this contravenes the Trade Description Act - shock, horror!]
  • If twist-top lids are used they should be new, as old lids do not always give a good seal.
  • A wax disc placed smooth side down and carefully trimmed to fit the rim of the jar and the surface of the preserve will create an airtight seal when cooled and only needs a cellophane cover to protect from dust, etc.
  • Chutneys do not require a good seal as the vinegar acts as the preservative

  • Cakes, etc.:
    • Follow the Schedule recipe to the letter - no adding toppings
  • Jams:
    • If the Schedule states ‘soft fruit’ try not to use fruit that contains stones
    • Make sure the ‘set’ is a firm one
    • Most important - if re-using jars MAKE SURE they are rinsed out properly!!
  • Flower Art:
    • Petite - should not exceed 25cm (10”) in width, depth or height
    • Miniature - should not exceed 10cm (4”) in width, depth or height
    • [Good idea is to use a card template of the right size to measure by]

Extra Tips from a horticultural show judge

  • Tulips and Daffodils
  • When picking daffodils cut with a sharp knife not scissors or secateurs and cut on a slant. Recommends Felco secateurs no. 2, expensive but every part is replaceable
  • Examine carefully for slugs and other beasties
  • Vegetables
  • Cauliflower and Cabbage - leave a 7.5 cm (3") stalk and all the outer leaves on. Leave cabbage root on
  • Marrow - tap and it should sound hollow
  • Courgette - if the Schedule says a pair then they must be identical. If just 2 then they can be different varieties. Leave flower on if possible
  • Peppers - leave stalk on
  • Leeks - leaves to be left, folded down and tied with raffia, roots left on. Wash by immersing upside down in a bucket
  • Beetroot- trim leaving 7.5 cm (3”) tied with raffia with a bow. Leave tap root on. Wash gently, wrap in cling film, store in fridge. Unwrap on day and apply olive oil lightly with a cotton bud. Judged on uniformity and medium size
  • Onions - tops tied with raffia, check they haven't set seed inside
  • Shallots - check they are single
  • Parsnips - leave top leaves 7.5 cm (3”) and keep the parsnip full length
  • Runner beans - pick the day before, lie in a bowl of cold water for 10 mins. Take out, place in cling film then wrap in newspaper and store in fridge. When showing line up tops and tails and all facing same direction
  • Peas - do not handle pod, just the stalk, leave bloom on if possible, hold up to light to check contents. Ideal 10 peas per pod
  • Carrots - to straighten wrap in cling film and store in fridge
  • Potatoes - ideal weight 5 oz. with deep eyes, no scabs. If white potatoes, then no pink eyes
  • Cucumber - leave flower on if possible, wrap in cling film, store in fridge. Do not handle, hold by stalk otherwise you may damage the bloom
  • Tomatoes - try and make a stand with holes for them so that they do not roll. Stalks on and height level. If Schedule stipulates cherry tomatoes, then only that category. If small tomatoes they can be small plum, etc.
  • Rhubarb - leave white on at the bottom, top cut diamond pattern
  • Strawberries/raspberries - arranged on a plate
  • Apples - uniform size, stalks on

1. All exhibits must be the property of the exhibitor and must have been in his or her possession for at least two months unless some shorter period is specified in the schedule, except in Floral Art classes when they may be obtained from any source unless otherwise stated.
2. There can only be one entry in any one class except classes stating “any other vegetable”, when two are permissible from any one garden.
3. Boniface Memorial entries - the box must be planted and growing for at least 1 [one] month prior to showing.

4. Entries should, where possible, reach the show secretary not later than 3 days before a show. Late entries on the day may be accepted at a fee of 20p per entry.
5. Judges will be asked to recognise correct naming as telling in favour of a competitor in a close finish. If the name is not known the exhibit should be so marked.
6. Any prize may be withheld or modified if the exhibits are considered unworthy of the prize offered.
7. On the relative merits of exhibits the decision of the judges shall be final but the decision of the Committee shall be final on any other points in dispute.

8. The judge's decision is final.
9. Produce is to be staged on the day of the show and must not be cleared or altered before prize giving is completed, except by special permission of the Show Secretary.
10. All exhibits, personal property, etc., shall be at the risk of exhibitors.
11. Matters not already covered in these rules will be decided in accordance with the RHS Show Handbook. The Handbook is available on application to the Secretary or Show Secretary.


For the purpose of entries to the shows the following definitions apply:

[a] A vase is any container of which the height is greater than the diameter of the top.

[b] An Exhibit is plant material with or without accessories contained within a space as specified in the Show Schedule. The Show Schedule should state clearly if accessories are not permitted, or if one placement only is required. Bases, drapes, backgrounds and title cards may also be included in an exhibit unless otherwise stated.

[c] An Arrangement cannot use accessories [bases and drapes are not accessories].

[d] Cookery items are in first instance judged on taste and consistency. Where “decorated” is stated, this comes into focus as well.

[e] Number of specimens constituting dishes:

For the purpose of entries to the shows the following definitions apply:

[a] A vase is any container of which the height is greater than the diameter of the top.

[b] An Exhibit is plant material with or without accessories contained within a space as specified in the Show Schedule. The Show Schedule should state clearly if accessories are not permitted, or if one placement only is required. Bases, drapes, backgrounds and title cards may also be included in an exhibit unless otherwise stated.

[c] An Arrangement cannot use accessories [bases and drapes are not accessories].

[d] Cookery items are in first instance judged on taste and consistency. Where “decorated” is stated, this comes into focus as well.

[e] Number of specimens constituting dishes:




Specimens*Points**
Beans, Broad
6
15
Beans, Runner
6
18
Beans, Dwarf French
6
15
Beet, Globe
3
15
Beet, Long
3
20
Brussels sprouts
9
15
Cabbages, Green/Savoy/Red
2
15
Calabrese
2
15
Carrots, Long, pointed
3
20
Carrots, Short
3
18
Cauliflower
2
20
Celery, Trench or Blanched
2
20
Celery, Self-blanching or Green
2
18
Cucumbers, Frame
2
18
Cucumbers, Ridge, Outdoor
2
15
Garlic
3
15
Leeks
2
20




Specimens*Points**
Lettuce
2
15
Marrows
1
15
Onions - over 250g
3
20
Onions - 250g and under
3
15
Onions, Green salad/Spring
9
12
Parsnips
2
20
Peas
6
20
Potatoes
3
20
Radishes
9
12
Rhubarb
3
15
Shallots
9
18
Shallots, Picking
9
12
Sweetcorn
2
18
Tomatoes
5
20
Turnips
3
15
Soft fruit
12
N/a

*Number of specimens to constitute dishes unless otherwise stated

**Maximum points for a dish in collections

Beans, Broad

6

15

For the purpose of entries to the shows the following definitions apply:

[a] A vase is any container of which the height is greater than the diameter of the top.

[b] An Exhibit is plant material with or without accessories contained within a space as specified in the Show Schedule. The Show Schedule should state clearly if accessories are not permitted, or if one placement only is required. Bases, drapes, backgrounds and title cards may also be included in an exhibit unless otherwise stated.

[c] An Arrangement cannot use accessories [bases and drapes are not accessories].

[d] Cookery items are in first instance judged on taste and consistency. Where “decorated” is stated, this comes into focus as well.

[e] Number of specimens constituting dishes:




Specimens*Points**
Beans, Broad
6
15
Beans, Runner
6
18
Beans, Dwarf French
6
15
Beet, Globe
3
15
Beet, Long
3
20
Brussels sprouts
9
15
Cabbages, Green/Savoy/Red
2
15
Calabrese
2
15
Carrots, Long, pointed
3
20
Carrots, Short
3
18
Cauliflower
2
20
Celery, Trench or Blanched
2
20
Celery, Self-blanching or Green
2
18
Cucumbers, Frame
2
18
Cucumbers, Ridge, Outdoor
2
15
Garlic
3
15
Leeks
2
20




Specimens*Points**
Lettuce
2
15
Marrows
1
15
Onions - over 250g
3
20
Onions - 250g and under
3
15
Onions, Green salad/Spring
9
12
Parsnips
2
20
Peas
6
20
Potatoes
3
20
Radishes
9
12
Rhubarb
3
15
Shallots
9
18
Shallots, Picking
9
12
Sweetcorn
2
18
Tomatoes
5
20
Turnips
3
15
Soft fruit
12
N/a


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