Autumn Show



The following notes provide general advice on exhibiting at our shows and an insight into what the judges are looking for. We hope this information will improve your chances of success, but please remember that very few entries are perfect, so don’t be deterred from entering whatever you can. Shows are essentially social events which bring us together in a spirit of friendly rivalry. It’s nice to win but it really is mainly about taking part.

SELECTION All exhibits should be as free as possible from blemishes and damage. In classes which stipulate more than one specimen of the same variety, aim primarily for uniformity of size, shape and colour. Try to select ‘reserves’ which can be used if your first choices are accidentally damaged.

PREPARATION Cut blooms: Cut stems as long as possible: they can be trimmed during staging (see below). Daffodil buds can be picked two to three days in advance and kept in a warm room so they open in time for the show. Pot plants: Ensure pots are clean and undamaged, and remove any debris from the compost. Fruit andvegetables: Leave stalks intact and retain any natural coating of ‘bloom’ where possible. Home-made produce: Plain jam jars (no trade or exhibitors’ names) must be used for preserves, and vinegar-resistant lids for chutneys. Do not use honey jars. Chutney does not contain a thickening agent. Use your own plates for cooked items and cover with clear film. Floral decoration: Background and foot drapes may be used in the 45 cm.


STAGING Arrive at the hall in plenty of time to stage your exhibits  to best effect before the 10.30am deadline. The club provides vases for all cut-blooms classes and plates for all fruit and vegetables unless stated otherwise. Push newspaper into vases to hold stems in place and arrange blooms asymmetrically rather than all at the same height. Stems must not exceed 18” below the bloom (or lowest bloom). Arrange fruit and vegetables as attractively as possible on plates. Place your entry cards (obtained from show secretary on your arrival) alongside your exhibits.

Apples: Stalks and eyes intact and skin unblemished. Culinary varieties should be large and solid; dessert types of optimum size for eating, not too large or too small. Note: Bramley Seedling and Crimson Bramley are distinct varieties.

Pears: Shapely, with stalks and eyes intact. Should be firm but not rock hard.


Blackberries/Raspberries: Large, ripe fruits of good colour, with stalks intact.


Beetroot (round): About 2”-3” diameter with a tap root, smooth skin and uniform colour. Remove  leaves so that 3” of stalk remains, which should be  neatly tied.


Carrots: Prepare stalks as for beetroot.

Courgettes: Tender, shapely, any colour but well-matched. Stalks intact.

Leeks: Stems well-blanched, of uniform length; no bulbousness at base. Roots intact and neatly teased out. Tie leaves together at intervals along their length.


Onions/shallots: Large, firm, with thin necks neatly tied at top. Trim roots to the basal plate. Shallots can be kept upright by standing them in sand or fine grit.


Potatoes: Medium size; uniform. Shapely with clear skin; eyes few and shallow.


Runner beans: Long, slender, straight. No outward sign of seeds. Stalks intact.


Tomatoes: Firm, well coloured. Retain stalk and calyx, which should be fresh.