Hints For Exhibitors


1. All flowers should be shown when they are at the peak of their flowering and not looking tired

2. Pull a day early and immerse the stems in water up to and almost touching the flowers

3.Present the vase so that as much of the flower as possible can be seen by the judge.

4. Never crowd a vase by gripping the stems together.

5. When showing a number of vases together give them space so that they can be seen.

6. Remove all damaged petals and damaged leaves.


1.Show in the correct size of pot.

2. Make certain the pots are washed.

3. A pot plant is judged on the quality of its foliage as well as flower.

4. Stake to show plant to best advantage, but hide stakes as much as possible.


For all vegetables pick even sizes and shapes.

Brassicas – for cabbages remove damaged or discoloured leaves. Trim cauliflower leaves level with the curd.

Roots – wash gently using a sponge not a brush. Carrots, parsnips and beetroot should be full length – do not trim main root. Cut any small hairs using scissors. Beetroot should be approx 20cm (8”) in circumference and cylindrical of medium length. For all leave approximately 7cm (3”) stalk on. Carrots can be tied by stalks in 3s. Lift parsnips and white turnips at the last minute to prevent discolouring.

Potatoes – wash with lukewarm water using a sponge. Do not remove the skin. Dirt can be removed from eyes using a pin or cotton bud. Exhibit on plate with eyes outwards and upwards.

Onions – peel to the last skin and trim the roots right back to the stump. If the stems are very thick slice down the length of them and remove the centre. Wrap with raffia or garden twine folding the tops over and tying them in.

Shallots – remove loose skin. Trim tops and fold over tying them in as for onions. Yellow shallots look best on a dark background eg. compost and red shallots on a light background such as sand.

Leeks – Wash Leeks upside down to stop water going between leaves. Remove marked outer leaves. Leave roots on and trim to around 5cm(2”) after washing then fluff them up. Tops of leeks can be pleated to hide any other blemishes. If using a board for display fix with best side out.

Peas and Beans – Pick using scissors and handle using full length stem. Never handle pea or bean as bloom will be damaged and show up marks or finger prints. Trim stems when displaying. Peas should be full and beans as long as possible. Broad beans should be fat but flat and French beans long and tender – should snap with out a stringy back.

Celery – peel off damaged and dirty outer stems and leaves. Wash upside down to prevent water going into the celery.

Lettuce – remove damaged and discoloured outer leaves. Sprinkle with water to keep the lettuce crisp.

Tomatoes – individual tomatoes should be approx 20cm (8”) circumference. Leave calyx on. Remove from plant using scissors and trim stem when displaying. Trusses do not have to be ripe all the way down.

Marrow – Not to exceed 38cm (15”).

For both courgettes and marrows remove flower once they have set to prevent rotting.

Cucumber – long as possible and approximately 2‐3cm(1”) in diameter.

Pot of parsley – should be full and not leggy. This can be achieved by growing several plants in 7cm(3”) pots and potting these on into one 12cm(5”)pot.

When showing a collection of vegetables items should be treated as if showing individually as outlined above. Arrange box so vegetables are presented in the best combination of colour and size.


All fruit should be fresh NOT frozen full of good colour and form. Virginia creeper leaves placed on the plate can help the preservation of the fruit.

Outdoor fruits – raspberries, strawberries should have husks remaining (Pick using scissors). Black, red and white currants should be left on the hangers and stalks should be left on the gooseberries.

Apples, Pears and Plums – cut from tree with long stalks and trim when displaying.


1.Read the rules of your schedule carefully. Allow yourself plenty of time to stage the exhibits.

2. Before leaving, count the number of blooms, fruit or vegetables in each receptacle and make sure that they are according to schedule.

3. If in doubt consult the Secretary or Steward. Their help could save you from being disqualified.

Reproduced by kind permission of Banchory Horticultural Society