Rules & Regulations for Show Entries
- Any amateur gardener may enter.
- NEW: A NOVICE is a person who has NOT yet won three first place RED RIBBONS in a design class in one year.
- Exhibitors should fill out their own entry cards for each exhibit.
- Entry cards may be obtained at the shows or in advance from the show chairs.
- The use of scarce, protected or endangered native plants will disqualify the exhibit.
- Designs must be the work of the exhibitor. Only ONE entry per class per exhibitor will be allowed.
- All designs must contain fresh plant material from any source unless otherwise stated. NO artificial plant material may be used. No soil is permitted. Accessories may be used if stated in the schedule but should be subordinate to the design.
- All entries must have been grown by the exhibitor. Potted plants must have been in the possession of the exhibitor for three months.
- The monthly flower shows are limited to TWO exhibits in each class.
- There is no limit to the number of exhibits in the Horticulture classes in the Spring and Summer Flower shows provided that the entries are different cultivar/variety/species. Classes will be subdi-vided on the day of the show depending on the entries received.
- When there is a notation “Exhibit must not exceed 30”, the container AND plant specimen(s) should not exceed 30” in any direction.
- The exhibitor should furnish containers. Narrow necked bottles or jars not over 12 inches high with labels removed are suitable.
- Entries must conform to the show schedule in number or they will be disqualified. Note: a bud showing colour is considered a bloom.
- Specimens will be shown with their own foliage unless otherwise stated.
- Entries should be correctly named on the entry card – botanical names are encouraged. The judge may regard correctness and clarity of naming in favour of an exhibit in a close competition.
- The quality or condition of the exhibit at the time of judging is an important factor. Try to make sure the exhibit is fresh and free of blemishes or bruises due to insects, disease or mechanical causes.
- When entering more than one specimen of a cultivar, uniformity of shape and size is very important.
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If you are interested in exhibiting in the Society Flower Shows, ask for entry tags at Society meetings or from the Chair of the Show Committee.
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Helpful Basic Information
- In specimen classes, judges look for uniformity in size, colour and perfection. Try to avoid mismatches in size and colours.
- If using mechanics (floral foam, oasis, frogs, wire etc.) it must be invisible.
- Check all foliage and remove blemished or damaged leaves, faded or black petals.
- Use only very clean vases, pails and clippers. Rinse pails, knives and clippers periodically with a mild chlorine bleach solution.
- Cut flowers in the cool of the day, either early morning or late evening. Immerse stems immediately in a pail of warm water. Cut the stem ends at an angle to help the intake of water.
- Once inside, remove unnecessary foliage including leaves that will be submerged when arranged. Re-cut stems on the diagonal, removing 1″, preferably under water to prevent air bubbles entering stems and blocking water intake.
- Splitting a stem of woody plants from the bottom 1Ocm (4″), is preferable to hammering for water intake. If you are using a clear container, dip the ends in boiling water.
- Florist flowers should only need their stems re-cut before arranging, but if they have been out of water for several hours, treat as above.
- A commercial floral preservative may be added to the water as directed on the package; but once it has been used in the water for conditioning, it must also be used in the water for arranging.
- Aquilegia (Columbine): Let stand for 2 hours in a solution of 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp salt and 1 quart of water, to harden.
- Gladioli: Display best in a narrow-necked container. Condition in 5 tbsp Vinegar or 1/2 tsp Oil of peppermint and 1 quart of water.
- Cosmos: Harden overnight. Insert stems including foliage in water up to flower heads. Some cut flowers which exude a white latex or sap benefit from burning the stem ends (For example poppies, euphorbia).
- Lilies: The best stage of maturity is when the lower florets are open but not fading and upper ones are in bud.
- Roses and peonies may be picked and stored in the fridge.
- Dahlias should be disbudded for exhibition. Foliage and stem should be in proportion to the bloom.
- Delphinium spikes should be long, tapering or columnar in shape and at least 2/3rds of florets open.
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Information on the Judging branches
Flowering and fruiting branches are exhibited to demonstrate both the beauty and utility of trees and shrubs in the landscape. The schedule should state the maximum length, measured from the tip of the branch to the cut end. Branches should be properly hardened and conditioned prior to the show. Judged as seen at the time. Here are some tips on what judges give or take away points for:
- Vigorous growth
- Well shaped, balanced
- Fully mature
- Peak of perfection
- Profuse bloom
- At least 1/4 to 1/2 of flowers out
- Various stages of development
- Evenly spaced
- Open buds, none past peak
- Good visual impact, eye appeal
- Colour – fresh, bright, clear and intense
- Stem strong and graceful
- Stem correct length
- Clean, free from insect, disease or mechanical damage
- Well groomed
- Good substance
- Careful trimming may improve symmetry
- Apex or apical end of branch should be intact
- Clean container
- Neatly and correctly labeled
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- Weak, spindly
- Insufficient bloom
- Poor shape
- Colour fading, muddy
- Branch poorly formed
- Lacking symmetry
- Flowers bruised
- Insect damage
- Limp, withered, shattered or aged flowers
- Stem not strong enough to support bloom
- Poorly groomed
- Poor substance – edges thinning, wilting
- Container not clean
- No label