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Spring Show Hints and Tips

Vegetables — should be properly prepared before showing. Vegetables that need to be washed should be carefully cleaned with a sponge or soapy cloth and plenty of clean water.


Trumpet Narcissi - one flower to a stem. Trumpet (corona) is as long as or longer thank the petal (perianth) segments

Large Cut Narcissi - one flower to a stem. Trumpet (corona) one third but less that the petal (perianth) segments

Small Cupped Narcissi - one flower to a stem. Trumpet (corona) not more than one third of the petal (perianth) segments

Double Narcissi - one or more flowers to a stem. With doubling of the Trumpet (corona) or the petal (perianth) segments, or both

Miniature Narcissi - overall diameter no more than 50mm (2”)

Tazetta Narcissi - usually 3 - 20 flowers to a stout stem. Petal (perianth) segments, spreading not reflexed.  Flowers fragrant.

Always avoid poorly coloured and tired looking blooms.  Check for any marks or blemishes on Trumpets (corona) or petals (perianth). Avoid weak or bent stems.  Staged blooms should have long stems and do not cut so sort.

Tulips - flowers should be of good shape and colour, strong stems with good coloured foliage

Hyacinths - good sized heads of blooms, bright colour, fresh clean bells evenly spaced, avoid weak stemmed floppy blooms

Wallflowers - upright stems of good-sized, well-coloured booms.  Good foliage and avoid weak coloured booms an foliage

Polyanthus - several (5 minimum) flower heads per stem, large flowers of good shape and colour.  Staged with their own foliage, avoid thin stalked specimens with poor undersized blooms and washed out colours

Pansies - flower heads in good, fresh, clean condition with nicely shaped flowers.  Strong stems and healthy foliage

Pot Plants - make sure the pot is the correct size stated in the schedule.  Pots should be clean and undamaged.  Plants in the flowering classes should be sturdy with good clean foliage.  Flowers or bracts should be of good size and colour with all round effect - please label

Foliage Plants  - plants should be sturdy with good clean and undamaged foliage - please label

Autumn Show Tints and Tips

General — all vegetables should be properly prepared before showing. Vegetables that need to be washed should be carefully cleaned with a sponge or soapy cloth and plenty of clean water. Brushes should be avoided as the bristles can damage skins and spoil the appearance of exhibits.

Apples — are better displayed stalk down.

Beans — runner, dwarf — select pods of equal size and length. Check that beans snap easily. Leave a section of stalk on.

Beetroot, Carrots and Parsnips — should have their tops cut to approx. 3 inches (7.5cm).

Beetroot — select roots of even size - approx. tennis ball size. Avoid those with poor skin colour and those without a single tap root. Take care while cleaning as any marks will show up after a few hours.

Carrots — select roots of even size and with good colour. Avoid those with green tops and any signs of fly damage or holes caused by wireworm etc.

Courgettes — select young, tender, shapely and uniform fruits not less than 4 inch (10cm) or greater than 6 inch (15cm) long. Any colour.

Leeks — select thick, long shafted leeks which are well blanched and have clean spotless skins. Leave the complete foliage on. Wash roots clean and display spread out.

Marrows — select young fruits of good uniformity and tenderness. Avoid aged, over-ripe fruit. Fruits should be no longer than 15 inches (38cm) long. Wipe clean before showing.

Onions — select uniform, well ripened bulbs of good colour and thin necks. Avoid over skinning the bulbs. The tops should be neatly tied with raffia and the roots trimmed off. Bulbs can be staged in rings or on small saucers.

Parsnips — select evenly tapered and well developed roots of a good size. As with carrots, look out for any damage. Wash carefully.

Potatoes — select medium sized tubers weighing approximately
6oz (170g). Choose tubers of equal size and shallow eyes. Avoid large tubers and those with deep eyes, scabs cracks or any other damage. Take care when washing tubers as they are easily damaged.

Shallots — select well ripened bulbs of even size with good colour and thin necks. Tie tops neatly. Stage on a plate and stand bulbs in sand.

Tomatoes — select fruits of good even size and colour. Avoid over-ripe fruit or fruit with ‘green back’. Check for cracking and leave stalks on.

Preserves Hints and Tips

General guidance - Jars and bottles must be clear glass with NO commercial markings, clean, well polished and free of stickiness and finger marks. Label the jars with the contents and date (DD/MM/YY)The judge will taste the exhibit with marking given according to flavour / aroma being the biggest percentage of the overall marks.


Jams - Colour should be bright and characteristic. No scum or foreign bodies, mould or sugar crystals. Fruit evenly distributed, not too many stones. Skins tender. Consistency 'jellified' not runny or sticky, no loose liquid or syrup. Flavour full, fresh and characteristic of the fruit. Jars should be made of clear glass and free from all commercial/trade marks, whether on lid, jar or base. Labels should be plain, neat and straight and of suitable size for the container. Place label between the seams of the jar. Label should state contents and day, month and year of making. Fill jars to the neck.

Jellies - Should be brilliantly clear with no pulp, haze or scum and. Should be brilliantly clear. Colour should be even, bright and characteristic. Consistency should tremble, but hold its shape. No air bubbles. Flavour true of fruit, full and well balanced. Seal as for jams

Lemon curd - Colour should be bright and characteristic. Consistency spreadable, but not runny or rough. No egg spots, peel, scum, sugar crystals and air bubbles. Flavour fresh and well balanced, with no greasy taste.

Marmalade -  If peel is included in the preserve, it should be tender and uniformly cut. Colour will vary according to type, but bright and characteristic. Consistency 'jellified', not runny or too firm. No air bubbles or scum. Peel tender, uniformly cut and distributed. Traditionally peel should be sliced. Minced peel would lose marks, unless specified in schedule. Flavour slightly bitter, characteristic and true of fruit used. Seal with a wax disc and a lid/cover.

Vinegar Preserves

Jars - must be suitably covered to prevent corrosion of the lid by the vinegar. Cover must be airtight. Chutneys and pickles should be 2-3 months old before exhibiting to allow the flavour to mature.

Chutney -  Colour, bright and even throughout. Dark chutney should be dark and bright, but not muddy. Consistency reasonably firm, and uniform. No large pieces of onion, skin, cores, or stones. No air bubbles or free vinegar. Mature flavour (improved by potting for two months). Flavours blended well, and characteristic of ingredients used.