Caversham Horticultural Society


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Autumn Show


Show hints, suggestions and advice to exhibitors.


Reproduced with the kind permission of Mr. Bob Aggiss.


These notes may be useful to all exhibitors whether seasoned or showing for the first time.


Exhibitors should read the show schedule including the rules very carefully, decide on classes to enter, hand in the entry form, use the following notes and if necessary put questions to seasoned exhibitors. Hopefully showing will then be fun and uncomplicated.


Careful selection of specimens for each exhibit will help to improve the quality and appearance of the exhibit. Always double check to ensure that the correct number of specimens are staged otherwise the exhibit will be marked N.A.S.  ( Not according to schedule )


Here listed are kinds of vegetables included in many schedules with a few notes of guidance to help you choose the best specimens for your exhibits.




Broad Beans Long fresh matching pods well filled with tender seeds and clear skins                                          15 pts

Beetroots Spherical, size approx 50 – 70mm diameter with single tap root, smooth skins and tops trimmed to 3”. Flesh of uniform dark colour. 15 pts

Cabbages Shapely, fresh and solid hearts free of pest damage.   Retain 3" stalk.                                                  15 pts

Carrots Long pointed - roots of good shape, clear, bright and uniform, free of side. Roots and with undamaged tap root. Tops trimmed to 3". Avoid specimens with green tops. Stump root – Select specimens with decided stump root and tap root intact.             20 pts

Cauliflowers Round solid white curds with 3" stalk. Trim leaves back to outside level of curd.                            20pts

Celery Large well blanched, firm, crisp, fresh, clean and blemish free.                                                      20 pts

Courgettes Matching fruits of length 100 – 200 mm or as schedule, with or without flowers attached.                      12 pts

Cucumbers. Fresh, young green, tender, straight and blemish free. Uniform thickness Short handles and with flowers attached.

Outdoors    15 pts                                    18 pts

Dwarf French Beans Straight fresh tender pods of even length and no outward sign of seeds. Good colour.         15 pts

Leeks. Firm unblemished well blanched with tops and roots retained. Wash clean.;                                           20 pts

Lettuce.  Fresh , firm tender unbroken hearts , free from pest damage , retain washed roots.                15 pts     

Marrows Young tender matching fruits with approx. 1” stalk. Length not to exceed 380mm or as per schedule. Avoid hard, unripe specimens.15 pts

Onions Firm, thin necked with ripened, unbroken and unblemished skins. Tie down a short top with raffia and trim roots back to base plate. Where a size or weight restriction appears in the schedule , make sure you keep within the limits.; Large 20 , 8 oz or under ( small ) 15 pts

Parsnips. Long shapely white roots with smooth skin. Free from side roots and blemishes and with tap root intact. Tops trimmed to 3”.

                                                                   20 pts                 

Peas. Large fresh pods filled with tender seeds, free from pest damage or disease. 

Retain a short stalk.                       12pts                                       

Potatoes. Medium sized tubers, approx 6 – 8 oz, shapely, with very clean clear skins and matching in size, with few shallow eye.          20 pts


Rhubarb. Fresh,  straight and long as possible as possible, tender sticks of the same size and length and colour. Leaves trimmed to 3".     12 pts


Runner Beans Select long, slender, straight evenly matched fresh pods of good colour and no outward sign of seeds, with short stalks attached.                                                                             18 pts

Shallots. Large – Firm well ripened, symmetrical, good size and colour with unbroken Skins. Tie down a short top with raffia and trim roots back to base plate. Stage on A dish of dried sand.            18 pts

Pickling – Quality as for large but must not exceed 30 mm in diameter or as per Schedule.                                              12 pts

Sweet Corn. Fresh, cylindrical, with straight rows of undamaged grains of fresh green husks. Stage with the husks opened on one side to expose about a quarter of the grains.                               18 pts        

Tomatoes. Medium in size. Approx 65mm in diameter, good shape , rich coloured ripe fruits but should be firm, with calyces attached.  18 pts     

Small fruited / cherry tomatoes, max diameter of 35mm or as per schedule. Quality as for medium.        12pts                                   


With all Vegetables, the JUDGES will be looking at , Condition, Uniformity, Size, Shape, and colour. all of which make up the maximum points value.


Condition. This means cleanliness, tenderness, freshness, and presence or absence of coarseness and blemishes of the exhibit

Uniformity. This means the state of being alike in shape and colour. Size is meritorious only if accompanied by quality.

Judges normally only use the points value when judging collections of several kinds of vegetables, therefore, if possible it is wise in collections to exhibit kinds with a higher point value.

The measurements and weights mentioned in these notes are in line with R.H.S. guidelines, but, any variation shown in a show schedule must be strictly adhered to.

It is important to remember that any vegetable exhibit, often known as a ‘dish’, must consist of one variety only.





Cut flowers.


With all cut flowers the judge will be looking at:-

Condition – Which means the most perfect stage of possible beauty, fresh and free from damage due to weather or pests or disease or faulty handling.

Uniformity.- Means like in age, shape, and form.

With these points in mind, choose blooms / stems of quality with numbers as specified in the schedule. Remove tired, damaged and spent florets, petals or foliage.


Vases are usually supplied at the show. Stage the correct number of stems to give the best possible appearance in the vase. If necessary use paper or packing / oasis around the stems to hold in position.


Pot Plants.


Flowering pot plants.

Select plants of good shape well covered with blooms or bearing the number of flowering stems typical to the kind.

Blooms and foliage should be at the most perfect stage and free of damage,  pests, disease or wilting. Remove any spent blooms or any damaged, dead and discoloured leaves from the plants and also from the top of the pot.


Foliage plants.

Select plants of good shape and all round effect with clean fresh foliage of good colour as appropriate to the kind.

A plant grown mainly for it’s foliage is permitted even if bearing the occasional flower. Remove any damaged or discoloured leaves.


With all plants, make sure the pot is within the size specified, if any, in the schedule and that the pot is clean.

The exhibit will look complete if stood in saucers and this will also keep the staging clean.


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