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Flowers and Pot Plants for showing, and Judging

Updated: Aug 1, 2019



Cutting and Conditioning


Water plants well the night before collection – cut ideally in the early morning (when transpiration rates are at their lowest), otherwise in the late evening.


Fill buckets with water, add a tiny amount of bleach and leave for 2 – 3 hrs – ideally tepid.


When cutting, use a sharp blade and make a sloping cut, strip off the lower leaves and plunge into tepid water immediately. Place in a cool place out of full sun for at least 8 hrs.


Pre-condition if necessary – e.g. woody stems – slit. Milky sap (eg Euphorbia) – singe over a flame. Bulbous plants – remove white portion of stem.


Tulips and daffodils require a different treatment and should be plunged into shallow, cold water.


When arranging, remove spent flowers, damaged and surplus leaves and do not leave out of water for prolonged periods.




Good Flowers for Cutting

Achillea

Agapanthus (African Lily)

Alchemilla (Lad’s Mantle)

Antirrhinum

Astrantia

Callendula

China Aster (Callistephus)

Chrysanthemums

Cosmos

Crocosmia

Daffodils

Dahlia (One flower per stem – no side buds)

Delphinium (Tip flower out)

Echinacea (Cone Flower)

Eryngiums

Filipendula

Gladioli (1/3 – 1/3 – 1/3 )

Gypsophila (Baby’s Breath)

Helenium

Helianthus (Sunflower)

Heliopsis

Hyacinth (Tip flower out)

Irises

Lillies – various

Lupin

Michaelmas Daisy (Aster)

Pansy/Viola

Phlox

Pinks - Dianthus – (keep all buds - judging requirement)

Primulas

Rudbeckias

Sedums ( e.g.Spectabile and Autumn Joy)

Some Salvias

Some Veronicas

Statice

Stocks (Matthiola)

Sweet Pea (Lathyrus)

Tagetes (Marigolds – African – French)

Thalictrum (particularly delavayi)

Tulips

Wallflower (Cheiranthus)

Zinnias

Judging


General


Good shape, substance, and clear colour or combination of colours


Mixed Flower Vases.


Not shrubs, e.g roses and fuchsias


Clean undamaged foliage, free from pest and disease.


Fresh, well developed, well shaped, well balanced, flowers free from pest and disease damage.


Good colour and typical for the cultivar.


Judged on colour, texture, arrangement, symmetry and balance.


Vases of one kind.


As for mixed vases, but with more emphasis on the flower and uniformity


Pot Plants


Well balanced, circular in outline when viwed from above and flowers in proportion to the size of the plant.


Free from pest and disease damage and clear, undamaged foliage.


No debris on the surface of the compost.


Good colour for the cultivar.


Pots and containers should be clean and undamaged and the plants, if staked should be neatly done.


Specialist flowers


Carnation, Begonias, Chrysanthemum, Dahlia, Tulip, Daffodil, Fuchsias, Orchids, Roses, Sweet Peas, Gladioli.

General rules apply but there are many other requirements. e.g. In the case of Sweet Peas –Strong spikes, well spaced blooms, each one fully open and fresh. Large flowers with erect standards, rigid wings and keel closed. Free from colour running, scorching and of a bright colour. Long straight stems. Good presentation.


See The Horticultural Show Handbook published by the RHS which is the essential guide for show organisers, exhibitors and Judges.


Most flower shows are judged to the RHS standard.

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