The Autumn Show of 2019 was the most recent show to be staged by the Society, but there is a possibility that we may be able to put on the Autumn Show in September this year – therefore perhaps now is a good time to remind ourselves of the preparations we should be making, so that all our exhibits are as good as they can be.
The first rule of showing is always to read the show schedule carefully – there are hints and tips at the front of your Programme and Show schedule – but it is particularly important that you carefully check each class that you want to enter to ensure that you do not end up with NAS (not as schedule) on your card.
For example, Class 1 states the pot size to be used for a Flowering Pot Plant and the judge will always check this. There are 3 different classes for fuchsia heads so make sure that you have the right number as well as the right type and combination of varieties. Class 17 calls for 5 stems of Decorative Foliage so do check when staging that there are only 5 in your vase. Sometimes we might select 6 or 7 stems thinking to choose the best on the day, but it is all too easy to leave on more than is required, especially if you have ignored the warning on page 10: “Please give time to exhibit entries – it takes longer than you think!”
If you are planning to enter the domestic classes then try and find time for a “dry run” and where jars of jam or jellies are asked for, these can be made ahead of time; however, chutneys and pickles must be at least 3 months old. Also do take care with the jars you use as these must not bear a trade name.
Many of the judges will make comments on your cards, especially in the Flower Arrangements and Domestic Classes, which will help you understand what the judge is looking for in each exhibit. If you are ever offered an opportunity to steward at a show (assisting the judge) this will be even more useful to you as most judges are more than happy to explain their reasons when awarding placings.
If the Autumn Show is to go ahead, the Society will advise all members as soon as possible and it would be lovely to see a full show bench again with lots of new members taking part and winning prizes.