Guidance for Exhibitors


This basic guidance is intended particularly for new exhibitors. Fuller information is available in the R.H.S. Show Handbook.



Check the Schedule carefully for the type of cultivars, colour, size and number of blooms required. In some classes extra foliage is allowed, otherwise use only the flowers own foliage.

Flowers should be fresh, fully developed, good quality blooms. They should be true to type, of good colour, well angled and evenly spaced on strong stems. Flower and foliage should be free of blemishes.

Choose a vase (supplied by the Society on show day) which is in proportion to the number and height of stems and display each bloom to advantage. Don’t forget the water and remember the Judge will pick up every vase.

When exhibiting floral art, do not exceed the size allowed. If the dimension is as overall (as with a miniature or petite exhibit) the height, depth and width are all taken into account.

When exhibiting Sweet Peas, Roses, Dahlias and Gladioli, the variety should be displayed if known.


Uniformity of size and shape is very important, the biggest may not be the best.

All entries should be clean; root vegetables should be washed but never scraped or brushed.

Beetroot, Carrots and Parsnips should be cut as to leave tops of leaves and stalk which should be tied. Rhubarb should also have 3” of leaf remaining.

Runner Beans and Dwarf Beans should be exhibited with stalk attached. Tomatoes and Courgettes shown with calyx attached.

Onions and Shallots should be ripe, firm and uniform with roots cut off, tops cut back and bound with raffia.

Potatoes should be medium sized for the cultivars and equally matched with no scab, pests, diseases or deep eyes.

Cabbages and Cauliflowers should have solid heads of even size. Cauliflowers should have leaves cut back to the front of the curd.


Hard fruit should be exhibited with its natural bloom, not polished. Soft fruit should be exhibited with a stalk.


Preserves: Use plain glass jars, state type of preserve and date of manufacture.

Jams, Marmalades or Jellies – twist top or pliable press-on cover (only) or waxed disc covered with cellophane top (when cold).

Vinegar preserves – twist top with plastic lining or pliable press-on top. Lemon Curd – Waxed disc with cellophane cover.

Vinegar preserves must be at least 2 months old before exhibiting.

No packet mixes should be used and no item to be displayed in the container in which it was cooked unless otherwise stated.

All cooked entries must be covered in cling film.

Wine should be displayed in a plain glass punted bottle with an easily removable white-topped “T” cork. The wine should be named and dated using a small adhesive label.

All entries to be cooked at least one day before the Show.

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