Hints for the Showbench

Cut flowers Pot Plants Vegetables & Fruit Photographs Floral Art Craft Work Baking & Preserves

Hints for the Show Bench


  • All entries must have a show ticket firmly attached using Sellotape, elastic band, safety pin or staple. Show tickets should be correctly filled in and folded over.
  • Read the rules in the schedule carefully.
  • Allow yourself plenty of time to stage your exhibits. The hall will be cleared of exhibitors at 10.00am.
  • Before leaving the hall count the number of blooms, vegetables or articles and check that they are according to schedule.
  • If in doubt consult any committee member who will be happy to assist. Seeking help could save any disappointment.
    Cut Flowers
  • All flowers should be shown when they are at their peak of flowering and not looking tired.
  • Cut a day early and immerse the stems in water almost touching the flowers. This makes certain stems are fully charged with water so that they will not flag on the show bench.
  • Use the vase supplied by the club, available on Saturday morning at the Burnside hall. There are two exceptions which are classes 19 and 24 where a bowl is to be used.
  • The appearance of the flowers can be improved by using oasis, moss or scrunched up newspaper to help the flowers stand upright.
  • Present the vase so that as much of the flowers as possible can be seen by the judge.
  • Never crowd a vase by gripping the stems together.
  • Remove all damaged petals and leaves.
  • Show flowers with their own foliage only unless the schedule states otherwise.
  • Please read the description of the class carefully and put the correct number of flowers into the vase.
    Pot Plants
  • Show the plant in the correct size of pot.
  • Make certain pots are washed.
  • A pot plant is judged on the quality of the foliage as well as the flower.
  • Stake to show plant to best advantage but hide the stake as much as possible.
    Vegetables and Fruit
  • Clean vegetables by holding them under a cold water tap and use a sponge to remove the soil, never use a brush.
  • Never use an oily substance to clean vegetables.
  • Where a vegetable is white it is advisable to leave lifting to the very last moment, particularly in the case of parsnips.
  • Trim roots on onions and shallots but not on leeks or root vegetables such as carrots and beets. Trim excess outer foliage on brassicas.
  • Consider size when showing potatoes. Balance your exhibit with tubers uniform in size, free from blemish and typical of the variety.
  • When showing a collection, arrange your box so that the vegetables are presented in the best possible combination of colour and size.
  • Use plain white plates to show vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes, peas and beans to best advantage. Plates should also be used to display fruit. Paper plates are available in the Burnside hall.
  • Present your vegetables with the best side to the judge, first impressions can help a lot in the final decision.
  • Show fruit of good colour and form.
  • Fruit should be firm in texture.
  • Present your photo on card no larger than A4.
  • Ensure your entry ticket is firmly attached to the card.
    Floral Art
  • Flowers and foliage should be well conditioned (soaked well in water before use).
  • No holes or brown edges on foliage.
  • Oasis if used should not be seen.
  • Flowers that droop easily are not a good idea.
  • The miniature arrangement must be within the sizes shown.
  • Flowers can be shop bought for the arrangement.
    Craft Work
  • The first thing a judge does is to look at the general appearance of the article.
  • Knitting, make sure all ends of the wool are sewn into seams and neatly cut off.
  • Sewn articles, make sure all the threads are neatly cut off.
    Baking and preserves
  • Show baking on a paper plate making sure all entry labels are securely attached as judges have to lift items to judge.
  • Metal or pyrex plates are allowed for apple pies.
  • Jams and jellies, fill jams right to the top of the jar and cover with wax disc and cellophane cover while still hot. This way jams and jellies get a good seal. A non-metal lid is allowed.
  • Always label your jam, not forgetting the date. Donít put this yearís date on last yearís jam.
  • Polish your jar with a clean cloth before placing on the show bench.
  • With lemon curd make sure it is smooth by putting it through a sieve to take out any pieces of peel.
  • Do not show mouldy jam.
  • Make chutney at least 2-3 months before the show to allow it to mature.
  • Use an elastic band or Sellotape to secure the show ticket around the neck of the jar.
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