ABBOTS LANGLEY GARDENING SOCIETY
TIPS ON SHOWING AT THE AUTUMN SHOW
Please note that judging is not and cannot be an exact science and so, as a decision must often rest of the judge’s personal knowledge and experience, he must take care that in arriving at his decision he is NOT SWAYED BY HIS PERSONAL DISLIKES OR PREFERENCES, whether for cultivars, colours, formation or for any other reason.
Please name all exhibits as it is useful when judging.
Obviously your blooms must be entered into the correct grouping as per Schedule. Judges are looking for perfection in each bloom, and when assessing its true merits, the quality ie formation, centre, freshness, colour and stem, should be regarded as factors of paramount importance; and then, all imperfections, defects and blemishes, termed as faults should be considered as items detracting from the merits of the exhibit. Colour clear and well defined, and either consistent or evenly shaded or tipped throughout the bloom. No insects! Enter the correct number of blooms. All blooms should be of equal size and identical. Get the tape measure out and measure across the blooms, do not guess the size. Beware the blooms often increase in size after they are picked. At all times the quality of a bloom must be the first and chief consideration, and must override mere size. Arrange your blooms neatly, if there are 3 blooms required put the longer stemmed bloom in the middle. Use oasis especially for dahlias to keep the stems ridged rather than newspaper. Dried moss can be used on top of the oasis. Use only the cream coloured vases provided and make sure you have the correct vase size for your exhibit, not too large, not too small.
PLANTS IN POTS
Judges are looking for perfection in each bloom, and when assessing its true merits, the quality ie formation, centre, freshness, colour and stem, should be regarded as factors of paramount importance; and then, all imperfections, defects and blemishes, termed as faults should be considered as items detracting from the merits of the exhibit. Colour clear and well defined, and either consistent or evenly shaded or tipped throughout the bloom. No insects! Pots or containers should be plain, clean and undamaged and must not exceed 260mm (10.25”). Where staking, tying or wiring is necessary, it should be neatly done in a manner that does not detract from the appearance of the plant.
FLOWERS ON A CARD
As above but the flower heads must be shown with the stems in water so that they do not droop without moisture. Some people use egg cups, old camera film cases etc for each stem or place them on a plant tray containing water.
MIXED VASE OF GARDEN FLOWERS
If you are entering nothing else this is the one everyone can enter. Just pick 1 bloom from every plant you see, whether it be in your garden or not, a garden flower or a weed. They will be judged on how they are arranged, quantity, and quality of blooms (as above) and don’t forget to make a list of the blooms in your vase for the judge to read.
Apples, pears and gooseberries may be shown either ripe or unripe, but preference should be given, all things being equal, to cultivars in season rather than to larger or showier cultivars that have been picked prematurely. Over ripeness, shrivelling, malformations, absence of stalks or eyes, decay, splitting (except figs) blemishes due to pests or diseases, bruises or other injury due to bad packing or any other cause should be regarded as defects. The preservation of the natural bloom on the surface of fruits is greatly desired, not only in grapes and plums but all fruits, including apples and pears. DO NOT POLISH THE FRUIT AND HANDLE WITH CARE All stalks and calyces should be fresh. Sizes – dessert apples should not exceed 75mm but the judge should be aware that some cultivars are inherently small, whereas others are naturally large and should make due allowance for such cultivars.
For the collection of four kinds of fruit, exhibit the fruits with the most individual points rather than the fewer points. See the list at the bottom of page 7.
VEGETABLES (Judge may cut into your exhibit)
and Garlic –
must be shown on cardboard rings (old toilet roll insides cut into rings) or
plastic pipes rings. Seed onions are
sown in this season and usually grow much bigger than set onions, sets are small onions grown by supplier
for you to plant to grow into bigger onions.
Judges are looking for firm, well-ripened bulbs, un-broken skins;
honey-brown in colour, all 6 exhibits must be the same size and type, good
shape, free from disease and damage. Do not remove too many outer skins as you
will get to the white leaves which should not be exhibited. Clean roots and
bottoms and trim roots. Sets usually weigh under 250g - from seed usually
weight over 250g. Onion tops need to be
Beetroot – cylindrical – well proportioned, approx 150mm in length, with tap root and smooth skin of a uniform dark colour, foliage trimmed to approx 75mm. globe – spherical of approx. 60-75mm in diameter with taproot and smooth skin of a uniform dark colour plus foliage of 75mm, long – long, firm, well-shaped roots, even tapered, with clean, broad shoulders, uniform colour, free from side shoots, trimmed foliage to approx 75mm.
Carrot – stump rooted – fresh roots of good colour and shape with a decided stump at the end, skin clear and bright, foliage trimmed to approx.75mm.
Pumpkin – a shapely, firm fruit of good colour and ripeness with stalk attached. No blemishes on skin. Judged for condition, size and colour.
Potatoes - medium sized tubers of approx. 175-225g each, shapely, clean, clear-skinned, few eyes. Do not over scrub as skin could be damaged.
Lettuce – fresh, tender, unbroken
leaves, blemish free heads of appropriate colour. Wash roots, wrap in moist
tissue and place roots into a polythene bag and neatly tied.
Cabbage – fresh, firm, solid heads,
outside leaves a fresh colour, from pests with roots washed. Lease approx 75mm
of stalk and lay on show
Cauliflower –Free from pest damage, symmetrical heads, close, solid curd, free from blemish or stain, approx 75mm of stalk and foliage neatly trimmed. The curd should form a circle when viewed from above and have a medium-shaped dome when viewed from the site.
Tomatoes – well shaped, clear skinned, rounded fruits, ripe but firm, richly coloured with fresh calyces attached. Truss of tomatoes – judged as above but all of them need not be ripe but they must be attached to the stems. Truss of cherry type – as above but should not exceed 35mm in diameter.
Marrow – fresh, young, tender fruits that should be less than 300mm long or 380mm in circumference.
Leeks – firm, solid heavy leeks
with unbroken, clean and unblemished skins. Fresh foliage that is free from
damage, pest or disease, well blanched with sound root plate and roots intact.
Roots are difficult to clean so take time in soaking and cleaning without
damage. The leeks to look alike and uniform in length.
Excessive stripping of outside leaves should be avoided. Lie flat on
Beans – exhibit fresh pods of
uniform colour, straight, shape, and size with no outward signs of seeds. Show
directly on the
Cucumbers – indoor – fresh, young, green, tender, blemish free, straight of uniform thickness with short handles, matched pairs, It is not necessary that the flower remain in tact.
Peppers – sweet and hot – select fruit of the right shape size, clear skins and colour for the cultivar. Maybe shown immature but fully formed, exhibit shown be uniform in colour.
Courgettes – young, tender fruits of good uniform shape and colour, approx.150mm in length and approx. 35mm in diameter. Round cultivars should be approx. 75mm in diameter. Of any colour but matched. Stage flat with or without flowers still adhering.
Sweet corn – cobs of uniform size with fresh green husks should be displayed with approx. one quarter of the grain exposed by pulling down sharply, from the tip to the base, and removing a number of husks. The best cobs are filled to the top with straight rows of undamaged, plump and tender grains. The grains should be well-filled, not shrivelled. The stalks should be trimmed.
Chard – large, very fresh, think, undamaged, well-coloured leaves are required. Defer gathering until the last possible moment to retain turgidity and so that there is a little delay as possible before staging. (Keep in the plastic bag after picking to help with freshness). Leaves should be complete with a neatly trimmed stalk. Present in a flat fan shape overlapping the leaves. Careful handling is essential
Any kind of vegetable – select from the list at the bottom of page 9 for extra points. Exhibit 2 or more exhibits of the same identical kind .
Collection of 4 kinds of Vegetables - exhibit the vegetables with the most individual points rather than the fewer points. See the list at the bottom of page 9.
These are to be shown on the black cards provided. Blue tack your picture to the black card and then place the exhibit under the correct exhibit number on the boards.
Read schedule carefully taking into consideration the size of your exhibit. Double check before leaving your exhibit that the measurements are correct.
HOUSEHOLD (no exhibit must be frozen or warm)
Jars of jam, marmalade, chutney – these must be filled to the top, virtually overflowing when filling with hot material. Make sure jars are clean. Do not use jars which are a recognised brand ie Roses. Use of waxed paper seals are recommended and then put on metal tops. Paint lids if there is writing on the lids. Use wax paper seals and cellophane if you prefer, not cling film. Polish jars when cold and add label of contents.
Jar of pickled vegetables – Make sure jars are clean and not of a recognisable brand. Make sure that the liquid contents do not leak. Polish jars and put on label of contents.
Fruit pie – make sure that the pastry underneath is cooked. Exhibit on a paper plate provided. Use your own recipe but this must be provided with the exhibit.
Pizza – use your own recipe but this must be provided with the exhibit. Show on a paper plate provided
carrot cake, gingerbread, Cornish pasties, fruit cake,
Bread – use your own recipe but this must be provided with the exhibit. No bread making machine must be used. Our paper plates are round so if this does not fit your exhibit bring your own plate/board to put it on.
CHILDREN’S EXHIBITS – we do hope that all parents and grandparents will encourage children to exhibit. It is all for fun and we hope your child will enjoy exhibiting.
We hope to hang the colouring competitions if we can, otherwise they will be laid on tables.
Photographs will be exhibited as per adult photographs.
Cakes will be exhibited on paper plates provided.
MOST IMPORTANT – BEFORE YOU LEAVE YOU EXHIBIT ON THE SHOW BENCH –