Mini-Show Guide 2019

note: hard copies of the Mini Show Guide for Entrants are available at club meetings


The purpose of this booklet is to provide participants with guidelines on how to take part in the mini show. The booklet gives general information and helpful hints on the requirements for exhibiting. The booklet also provides definitions to give further clarification. By providing these guidelines it is hoped that more people will be encouraged to participate.

The mini-show provides an excellent opportunity to see what others grow. Showing what you grow provides inspiration and learning for yourself and others. An added benefit is the beauty the show provides us. So bring us what you have to show.

Mini shows are usually held during our monthly meetings except in November. There are no meetings in July or December.

The mini-show has both a General section and Flower Arrangement/Decorative section, as well as a People’s Choice section. Members are encouraged to exhibit in all sections.

  • The General Section has designated Classes which are reviewed from time to time to ensure they reflect current interests. The mini-show stewards are always interested in considering any ideas you may have for new classes.
  • The Flower Arranging / Decorative section is meant to stimulate your imagination and encourage you to create beautiful floral designs within the guidelines.
  • The People’s Choice is an unlisted or open class that is judged by our members.  Exhibitors may enter anything that does not fit in the monthly classes.  Points will be awarded. 

Judges, who evaluate our exhibits, have the necessary training and experience to do so. Judging exhibits not only encourages friendly competition but provides a standard to which members can aspire.

Points are awarded in each of the
general mini show classes as follows:

  • 3 points for first place
  • 2 points for second place
  • 1 point for third place
  • ½ point for honourable mention
Points are awarded in the
flower arrangement / decorative section as follows:

  • 5 points for first place
  • 3 points for second place
  • 2 points for third place
  • 1 point for honourable mention

Points awarded to each exhibitor are accumulated and a trophy is presented to the person with the most points at the end of the year.

Mini Show Classes

Before each meeting, a list will be provided in the newsletter identifying the mini show classes. There are typically 8 -10 classes with a mix of flowers/vegetables and the flower arrangement/decorative section.

Remember that all entries must have been grown by the exhibitor for at least 3 months prior to the mini show. Flowers in the flower arrangement/decorative divisions must be from the exhibitor’s or a friends garden or the wild (not purchased). No artificial flowers.

If you are uncertain about entering one of the specified classes you can always include your exhibit in ‘Unlisted’

  • Unlisted Class. This class can be used as an alternative if it proves difficult to follow the description of a specific class.  The judges usually judge the items in this category individually unless there is more than one of a kind.
  • Display Class. This is an exhibit covering a limited area up to 3 feet in diameter in any kind of container for which judging is not required.

Occasionally the mini show stewards may move an entry from one class to another (before the judging) to more properly display the exhibit.

Getting Ready for the Mini Show

A week before the show

In order that participating in the Mini Show is an enjoyable and stress-free experience, it is helpful to start doing a little preparation a week or two beforehand. Walk around your garden and patio making a note of what you may have in the various classes which would be worth showing. You can then give these plants some special attention to bring them to perfection such as:

  • flowers will have dead blooms removed;
  • periodically give a little extra watering with some liquid fertilizer added;
  • adjust ties to be ready for the wind and rain which often come at the most inopportune times.

It is important if you are not a regular participant, not to choose too many items to enter but to have something extra just in case some harm comes to the one plant you were counting on. Each time you walk around your garden update your list and check to see if you have the full names of the items you are going to show. Remember that more than one entry may be made in a class as long as they are different cultivars.

Small spent blooms can be snipped out with scissors in time for the scar to heal and become less obvious. The same applies to damaged or diseased leaves. Damaged petals can be removed carefully and the remaining petals rearranged to fill the gap.

The day of the show:-

  • In order to give yourself sufficient time to properly present your entries, there are some chores that can be done early. Don’t leave preparation until the last minute.
  • Check the schedule carefully to make sure of the correct number of blooms, fruit, and vegetables required and that they are being put in the correct class.
  • When you cut flowers put them in two or three inches of warm water. Cut down milk cartons are good for smaller flowers.
    • The stems of some, for example, roses and mums, require crushing of the stem
    • dahlias, with hollow stems, are best cut at an angle to increase the area for water absorption.
    • Lower leaves should be removed to keep the water cleaner. Think about using a flower preservative similar to that used by florists. One bottle of conditioner will last you a lifetime. After collecting, flowers should be kept in a cool place.

Containers for the General Section

For the General section of the mini show, the View Royal Garden Club uses small glass vases, as well as special green vases called bikinis, because it comes in two parts. There are 3 sizes of bikinis: small, medium and large. The size chosen is appropriate to the size of the display. These containers are designed especially for showing blooms. The bikini gives neatness and uniformity. When using these containers some adjustment may be required to display your blooms to advantage. Torn newspaper or paper towel may be inserted into the neck of the bikini to hold the stems in place. Push the paper down out of sight.

Exhibitors are encouraged to use the bikini but there are instances where the smallest bikini might still be too big or the exhibitor has a particular vase they wish to use. The important consideration is that the container does not detract from the exhibit.

Vegetables and fruit are usually displayed on paper plates or small styrofoam trays.

Number and Quantities

Flowers – Numbers are:-

The numbers of stems for flowers will be listed in the schedule. For example, perennials are usually two (2) stems unless otherwise stated or unless you are putting something in the Unlisted class, in which case there is no specified number. If you don’t have the correct number of flowers put what you do have in the Unlisted class. The mini-show stewards have the option of moving an exhibit from one class to another (before the judging) to more properly display the entry.

A branch or truss usually requires only one (1) stem.

Vegetables – Quantities are:

Artichokes……………. 1 Asparagus ….stalks 3 Beans.. stems on 6
Beets…………………. 3 Broccoli.. head 1 Cabbage …head…. 1
Carrots……….. 3 Corn… ears husked. 3 Cucumber..long 1
Cucumber pickling 3 Garlic…………. 3 Kale..leaf in water 1
Leeks………….. 1 Lettuce with roots. 1 Onion………….. 3
Parsnips. 1 Peas stems on.… 5 Pepper.. reg size.. 1
Peppers… small size 3 Potatoes… brushed 3 Pumpkin…… 1
Radish..……. 3 Shallots. 1 Squash…………… 1
Swiss Chard leaf 1 Tomatoes.. standard 1 Tomatoes.. cherry.. 5

Fruits – Quantities are:-

Apples……………….. 3 Blackberries with stems. 6 Blueberries stems 6
Gooseberries…………. 6 Grapes – bunch……….. 1 Kiwi……………… 3
Peaches………………. 3 Pears…………………. 3 Plums……………. 3
Raspberries with stems.. 6 Rhubarb….stalks……. 3 Strawberries stems 6

a printable version:

Common Sense

In all cases, you can’t go wrong if you just use common sense. Remember something which is striking but not quite perfect is going to give a lot of pleasure. Don’t be discouraged if your blooms are not perfect, a colourful show is something we all like to see and share. Remember that you can enter more than one entry in each class as long as it is a different variety.

Many of us think that having our entries judged gives an added dimension to our enjoyment of the mini show both as a participant and a spectator

These are a few comments about judging. We know that the judges sincerely try to apply the rules truthfully, with integrity and empathy, giving people the benefit of the doubt when appropriate. They are aware of the level at which most of us garden and are charitable even lenient in the way they pass judgment on us. The judges judge the entry, not the exhibitor. For us to follow some of the more basic rules can be very helpful for them. If you don’t wish your entries to be judged just put them in the display area.

Detailed Tips and Hints


The judges will be looking for these qualities in the exhibits:

  • Form
    • uniformity
    • proper maturity (how fresh is your exhibit)
    • proper shape
    • proper petalage
  • Stem and foliage
    • uniformity
    • strength and/or straightness
    • foliage quality, size, and proportion
  • Colour
    • uniformity
    • intensity
    • clarity
    • brilliance
  • Size
    • uniformity
    • proper size for variety
  • Condition
    • uniformity
    • substance
    • freedom from bruise and blemish

There are many Perennial, Biennial, and Annual Plants.

A Perennial is defined as a plant that survives for three or more seasons. It can be a tree, bush, herbaceous plant, bulb or rhizome so there can be several classes in which perennials can be exhibited. The judges will be looking for uniform blooms in placement and development as well as freshness. Be sure to inspect your blooms at the back for spent petals. A collection of perennials could include grasses in flower. Each flower should have its own foliage. It doesn’t have to be exotic just good to look at. How many times have you said “I had some as good as those. I should have entered them.”

A Biennial is defined as a plant that germinates and produces foliage and roots during its first growing season, then blooms, produces seed, and dies during its second growing season. Familiar biennials include common Foxglove, Hollyhock and Canterbury Bell.

An Annual is defined as a plant that completes its life cycle in 1 year or less. An annual should be displayed with their own foliage. Sometimes, given our climate, annuals behave like biennials and do not die down completely if protected from frost and flower again the following year. They are still shown as annuals though. Examples are Nasturtiums.


African Violets may be an item for the “Potted Plant in bloom” section. There are quite a few things to look for. Single crowns are preferred. Number of flowers and leaf symmetry are what the judges and spectators alike are looking for. It helps to always water from the base so that water does not touch the leaves. A regular fertilizing schedule is also helpful.


Included in this class are flowering branches and berried branches. The apex of the branch should be free from pruning scars and be symmetrical in form if possible.

One example is Sarcococca which flowers early in the year. Its fragrance will be very welcome in the room. Other examples are Viburnum, Winter Camellia, Witch Hazel and Forsythia.

Berried branches provide winter colour and food for our feathered bird friends. They are also something to show off at the mini show. Make sure your choice (or choices, you can have more than one separate entry) are clean of pests and disease. If you know the name of the cultivar you might like to indicate the size of the tree or shrub to help people decide if it would suitable for their garden. We forget the importance of knowing ahead of time how big a shrub or tree is going to become as it reaches maturity.


There are a number of varieties but the ones we usually see in our mini show are the small multi bloom varieties shown as a spray. Individual blooms ranging from ones fully developed to buds are included in sprays. Freshness is the most important characteristic. For the single varieties, shape and form are what is looked for depending on the type. The length of the stem allowed may be included in the schedule, usually up 15″ to 18″. Supports are not usually permitted. The foliage which is included will give some indication as to general culture excellence.


This is an opportunity for people to have numerous entries; each one of a different variety you have in your garden. There is quite a range to choose from such as cactus, pompom, single and double peony to name a few. A single colour dahlia should be bright, clean, vibrant and lustrous in colour which is evenly distributed from the tip to the base of the flower and appealing in appearance. In multiple coloured flowers, there should be good contrast with colour separation clean and sharp. The bloom is best if it is at the peak of development with its center symmetrical, circular and in good proportion, sitting exactly over the stem. Petals looking crisp and firm and uniform from the front and back will please the judges. A strong straight stem is also favoured. There should be no buds and the earlier the stem is disbudded the better. A pair of leaves are shown attached to the stem and they should be fresh and uniform and in proportion without blemishes. This will indicate the general health of the plant and also confirms that the foliage really belongs to the plant from which the bloom was taken. Some dahlias, like the “Bishop” series, have quite dark foliage.


Foliage can take many forms, sizes and growth habits. Walk around your garden with an open mind, you will surprise even yourself. Give your exhibit a good wash and a good overnight drink to ensure stamina in the warm showroom. Fall is a beautiful time of the year especially as people are planting more and more deciduous trees and shrubs. Bring one to five cuts of some of this colourful foliage to our mini show for the judges and club members to see. It is also helpful to remove any evidence of insect or other pest activity. Examples are: Hosta, ferns of various kinds, New Zealand Flax, Bishops Weed. For autumn foliage, examples are: Maples of various kinds, Dogwood, Flowering Cherry & Plum and Ginko


Grasses are usually exhibited for their leaf structure, colour of foliage and/or seed heads. Cut stems should be as long as possible with all leaf blades intact. Examples might include: Bamboo, Cattails, Mondo Grass, Sedges.


Herbs are defined as any plant which is used for culinary, medicinal or aromatic purposes. They are usually exhibited as collections with 3 or more different varieties. The collection should be shown in water or as indicated in the schedule. They should show growth consistent with the time of the year.

Herbs are considered to be past their prime when they are in flower, so do not show them in bloom.

Cut herbs early in the morning or late afternoon and put them in tepid water for at least a few hours to condition the stems.  Cut stems as long as possible and strip off the lower leaves.  Give them a good wash and remove all faded or undesirable leaves, buds, and branches. Please provide the names of the herbs that are included in your exhibit.


To keep the Hosta leaves fresh it is helpful to water well sometime prior to cutting the leaves and then to keep them submerged in cold water, especially the tip of the stem, until you bring them to the show. Patterned colour for some varieties is normal. Mottling and streaking are most attractive if uniform. Bloom should be disturbed as little as possible. This refers to the same “bloom” seen on grapes and plums, not the flower. Ribbing, puckering and smooth surface vary depending on the variety A stiff leaf is at its prime.


They should be fresh looking without any faded or dead flowers. Fragrance is expected and in previous years this has been very noticeable when we enter the room. Shape is cylindrical with a slight taper towards the top. It is preferred if individual florets are evenly placed. Blending of colours is not an asset. The judges like to see a straight stem with a size in keeping with the flower head which is supported in an upright position.


Remember that more than one entry may be made in a class as long as they are different cultivars. Iris is a very satisfying plant to grow and one of the least demanding once their needs are met and once you have decided which group you are especially interested in.

The Bearded Iris, also known as German Iris, grows from a rootstalk called a rhizome. The flower heads come from the main stem with even separation. Usually, there are three or more. Look for specimens which may have five flower heads with a clear brilliant colour. One with some fragrance is quite desirable. Bulbous Iris may be called English, Spanish or Dutch depending on where they were hybridized. It is best to show them when only one bloom has appeared on the stalk. The stalk should be straight and up to about 24 inches in length.


Flowers should be firm to touch, and of equal size; however, largeness is judged for what is normal for the various varieties. There shouldn’t be any seed formation as shown by a bulge at the back of the narcissus. Naming the variety helps the judge as perfection does vary from variety to variety. Colour should be pure and clean in both the perianth and the trumpet. The stem should be straight and the flower should look the observer in the face unless it is a variety which has another natural stance.


Potted plants may be grown primarily indoors but may be taken outdoors during the warm summer months. Flowering potted plants are ones which are usually grown for their blooms; foliage potted plants are grown for their foliage.

Clean up of pots and plants can be started well ahead of time not at the last moment. Spent blooms are removed and the soil surface tidied up. A mulch or top dressing appropriate to the kind of plant is a good idea. Pebbles or gravel suit cacti or succulents whereas bark suits azaleas. Foil or paper should rarely be used to cover the pots. If used at all it should be appropriate in texture and colour. It is better to use a slightly larger container to put the original container in. Plants should be at the center of the pot and supporting stems should be straight. Plants should look healthy and well cared for. Remember during a final clean up just before the show, all dead, damaged and diseased material should be removed from the plant and soil. Leaves should be bright and clean, any drastic pruning should be done well ahead of time to allow time for healing and the plant to recover.

Remember to dust leaves but do not polish. Tidy up the soil surface and make certain the pot is clean and shiny. In this category, we include greenhouse grown plants. Other things being equal, preference might be given to a well-grown plant that is rare or unusual. The exhibited plant should be “in character” that is close to its normal growth style. The pot in which the plant is grown should be suitable in size and colour. Foliage is best if it is bright, vivid and clear of blemishes.

Examples of potted plants are: African Violets, orchid, a succulent, cactus, plants grown for its foliage, collection of house plants in one container.


Remember that a truss is the flower cluster coming from a single bud. A spray is a branch with a number of trusses. There are penalties for spent, faded or imperfect florets and for evidence that individual florets have been removed. A small proportion of unopened floret buds are permitted. A single leaf whorl of foliage must be present except for deciduous azaleas. A limited number of damaged leaves may be removed.


Hybrid tea roses are shown with one flower per stem whereas floribunda roses have a spray of blooms per stem. When showing roses, think about the stage of development. The most beautiful stage is when the rose is two thirds to three-quarters open. Judges look for a pointed center with petals evenly distributed around the flower, with good balance and no gaps. The petals should be bright in colour and velvety and free of white, green or other blemishes caused by rain or insects. The same applies to the straight stem and leaves which should be in proportion to the flower. Side buds should have been removed at some stage, the earlier the better. The foliage should have at least three leaves, five is preferable. A collection of roses could be shown in the Unlisted class. A reluctant hybrid tea rose can be coaxed into opening just a little by warming it in the hand and blowing on it in the center at the last moment. With a spray of blooms, careful removal of the blooms in the center will enable other blooms to have room to open.


Check for the green markings on the petals to ensure that all three of your flowers have exactly the same pattern. Over the years we have observed that there are many patterns to the green trim. It is also important to select specimens in which the flower casing is still supple but not dried. Do not show any leaves and remember that uniformity is the goal. A small mirror can be helpful to show the inside of the drooping flower.


They should be fresh and open but remember they will open a little more in the environment of our warm and brightly lit showroom. To keep them from opening up too much a straight pin can be inserted into the stem just below the bloom. But remember to remove it at the last minute. Be careful not to shake the pollen off and choose matching blossoms especially as far as size is concerned. Foliage is optional but if shown it should be clean, fresh and disease free. You can enter as many varieties as you wish. We all like to see what a wonderfully wide range of varieties is now available. Don’t be put off if you have lost track of the cultivars name although this may be of interest to people who would like to try them in their own garden.


Although from a botanical point of view a fruit is an expanded ovary, from the trade point of view it is something usually used as a dessert, thus tomatoes and pumpkins etc are put with the vegetables or as a separate class. Most fruits are shown when ripe but some, like apples, pears and gooseberries, may be shown when not fully ripened. Check the ripening of fruit you are showing. If it is ripening quickly pick some and put it in the fridge until show time. Colour is very important in most fruits but certainly not all, especially some varieties of apples, Russet for example.

Apples, pears and plums are shown with the stems on. Apples are a wonderful opportunity to show the nutritious, tasty and colourful results of your efforts in the garden. There are, incidentally, said to be over 10,000 varieties of apples. Often an apple grower would attach their family name to a new variety they had developed. Apples should be uniform in size and colour appropriate for the variety. Plums are not polished so that the bloom is left on.

Grapes should have at least 2 inches of stem attached to each bunch. Damaged fruit is removed but the bloom is left on.

With raspberries and strawberries, a few leaves placed on the plate under the fruit can give an improved effect. For the latter, stem and husk are left on.


Beans should be shown with the stems on. Pods should be straight, uniform in size and shape, fresh and crisp. If the beans are not uniform, place on the plate in a graded manner.

Beets should have no sun scald. Ideal size should be 2 ½ to 3 inches across. One-half inch of stem above the crown should be left. Cut off long dangling tap-root.

Brussels Sprouts should be neatly trimmed and larger outer leaves removed but not to excess. They should be uniform in colour, large and firm.

Cabbage should be firm, solid and heavy with very little if any, stem. The outer leaves should be trimmed.

Carrots should be free of sunburn (green areas) distortion, side-shoots and pest damage. One inch of leaf stems should be left above the crown. The tip should be shortened if very long and root hairs removed.

Lettuce leaves and roots should be cleaned. Note that the roots are left on as part of the plant. Display in water

Onions should be dry. Only the dry loose outer skin should be removed. Roots should be trimmed flush with the base. The neck should be folded down and fastened with tape or elastic band.

Parsnip preparation involves choosing one with a good length and a gradual taper from crown to tip there should be no side shoots or a split tip. The tops should be trimmed to one-half inch and root tip may be shortened.

Potatoes should be clean but not washed.

Rhubarb is the exception to the rule, it is usually classed as a vegetable, although eaten as a dessert. The stems should be about ¾” – 1½ ” in diameter and up to 24’’long.

They should be uniform in size, shape and colour. Tops should be cut off in an arc leaving 1″ to 2″of leaf. Root ends are not cut off completely but the dark skin -sheath is removed.

Squash, pumpkins, zucchini etc. They should be even in colour with minimal pale areas and have a typical flattened globular shape. A two-inch stem should be left on. It is a good idea to periodically turn squash, pumpkins and zucchini to ensure uniform colouring. Pumpkins may be subdivided into several classes depending on the number.

Tomatoes. They should be uniform in size and shape with no blemishes or soft spots. The cut surface should show a thin skin with numerous thick fleshy sections. Seeds should be small and limited in number. The stems should be attached. Tomatoes can be red, yellow or green. Removing leaves from tomatoes will speed up ripening by allowing more light in.


The making of a floral arrangement has been defined as ‘the art of organizing elements according to the principles of design to attain beauty, simplicity, expression and harmony’. There is a difference between a bouquet or bowl of flowers. However when the exhibitor sets out to make an ‘artistic arrangement’, certain principles should be used to make a design. A design should have beauty of appeal to the observer and which has harmony among all the component parts and if it also has creative quality, which expresses an idea, a feeling or a mood, then it can be truly called a creative work of Art. The attractiveness of the material, arrangement and general effect is important.

At some point, you will be thinking about a container. Think about shape, colour and texture in relation to the arrangement. The proportions of a container and the plant composition should be similar. The most interesting containers may never have originally been intended to hold flowers. A pedestal can be used to give a little extra height. The wording of the title should be noted carefully. For example, Mother’s Day Basket. What is a basket? For our purposes, it is a container with handles, made from woven material ranging from raffia, twigs, straw, clay, pottery or metal. It can be a bread basket, flat basket, wine carrier, basket to hold a houseplant or a sewing basket.

Some definitions will help:

Arrangement: – an arrangement consists of fresh, cut plant material in a container with a base, if necessary. We’re a garden club and we want to encourage creativity in arranging whatever plants are in season from our gardens. Fresh-cut plant material must be from your own or a neighbouring garden, or from the wild. Accessories are only permitted if this is so stated in the schedule.

Composition: – a composition may consist of dried, weathered or treated plant material and/or accessories, with or without fresh plant material. Artificial flowers and foliage are not permitted. However, accessories are permitted only if the schedule states that they are allowed.

Design: – a design may be either an arrangement or a composition. The basic principles of an arrangement can be considered under these six headings:

  1.  Balance. An arrangement should not look as if it would fall over to either side front or back.
  2.  Contrast. There should be some variation, all things should not be alike.
  3.  Dominance. This refers to one thing dominating in size, line, number or colour but this should be pleasing. Dominance can be achieved by some contrasting colour, shape, line, or pattern. 
  4.  Rhythm. This means repetition of line direction, form or colour but with some variety and not monotonous. 
  5.  Proportion. This refers to amounts of material in relation to the container. The two thirds, one-third rule is a guide. 
  6.  Scale. This refers to size relationships of individual items. Differences in size of flowers, foliage and container should be such that the effect is pleasing to look at. For example; small flowers in a small container.


Colour is considered to be the most compelling element to flower arranging. Having set upon a design, care has to be taken not to overpower the design with an over emphasis on colour. One hue should dominate and contrasting colours should complement the balance and rhythm of the design. In a good colour design, there are usually larger amounts of light, grayish or darker colours with only small amounts of intense bright colours. These hues should be arranged in a rhythmic pattern and not spotted indiscriminately. The focus of the colour should coincide with the central focus of the overall design. Even or homogeneous amounts of colour such as circles placed next to circles of another colour with no attempt to blend or relate them does not enhance a rhythmic design. The shotgun effect of intensely coloured flowers scattered at regular intervals through the display is not desirable.

Condition of Material

Care should be taken to have adequate water in the container. At the show, check again because during transportation some may have spilled.

Flowers used in flower arrangements or displays should be well conditioned. It is best to use an odd number of flowers. The arrangements should be in proportion to the size of the container regardless of its size.


We think that providing better descriptions in our mini show, will give more clarity and make it easier for the entrants and judges. The definitions noted below with some tips, we hope will help. The “Botanical and Horticultural Definitions” glossary found towards the end of the “BC Council of Garden Clubs Judging Standards”, 2008 edition, has been used for this document.  We are working on the principle that we are not a training ground for people wanting to exhibit in the more exotic shows. 

Collection.  This is an assembly, usually not less than five kinds of and/or various varieties of flowers in one exhibit. There may be more than one of some or all varieties. Sometimes a collection may not fit into a class in which case it might be shown in the unlisted or display class.

Cultivar. The term preferred for ‘variety’. It may be a wild-type brought into cultivation and reproduced over several generations under cultivation or a new plant as a result of hybridization. An example of a hybrid would be a cross between two butterfly bush species B. davidii and B. globosa.

Cut.  A branch from the main stem.  It may include buds, leaves and flowers. 

Floret.   A very small flower especially when part of a dense florescence such as allium, heather and buddleia. 

Flowers.   Also known as blooms or blossoms and are the reproductive structures of a plant. These are what attract us, as well as insects and birds. The main parts are the sepals, the outermost whorl, usually green, the petals are in the next whorl.  Then come the stamens which produce pollen and in the centre is the stigma to which the pollen sticks. Examination of all of these gives some idea of how mature a bloom is.  A mid-range of maturity is considered optimal by the judges.

Leaves may be left attached to the stem unless stated otherwise in the schedule. In some cases, this is required and that will be stated. Unless specifically stated in the schedule wire supports are not permitted. Mirrors are permitted where helpful.  The only restrictions regarding the container are that it should be of a suitable size, and not detract from the basic exhibit for the example the bloom.  

Foliage. The leaves of any plant or any stem bearing leaves.

Head.  A short dense cluster of flowers at the end of a stem.

Inflorescence (may be used interchangeably with floret). This pertains to a collection of individual flowers close together on a stem. For example rhododendron or pelargonium (also known as geranium). There are some situations where the flower often does hang down such as snowdrops and fuchsia. This is where the mirror comes in handy.

Perianth. Is a collective term for the floral envelope consisting of the calyx, corolla or both.

Scape. This is a leafless stem rising from the ground, may bear scales or bracts but no foliage and there will be one or more flowers.  Daylily is an example.

Spike.   This is an unbranched inflorescence with an elongated axis bearing stalk-less or stalked flowers, such as gladiolus, delphinium and foxglove.

Spray.  This refers to a collection of individual flowers on a branching stem.  Examples might be roses or dahlias which have not been disbudded or a hellebore stem with flowers of differing size or chrysanthemums.

Stem.  The stem is the main leaf-bearing and flower-bearing axis of a plant. A favorable stem includes strength, erectness, evenness, and good proportion in length to the bloom or foliage. An unfavorable stem might be faulty disbudding, being hooked at the junction with the bloom, and not being square to the bloom.

Truss.  This is a relatively compact cluster of flowers (or fruit) on one stem such as pelargonium, rhododendron (or tomatoes). Several clusters of flowers each at the end of the branches of a branching stem are permitted unless the phrase, one stem, is used in the category designation.

With this information, we hope that you will be able to continue to wow the judges and each other with what we grow and what we know.

This booklet was originally prepared in 2015 by the Gordon Head Garden Club for their members by Delcie McLellan and Peter Coy. The information has been edited, with their permission, for the View Royal Garden Club.

Updated May 20, 2019

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