There is nothing more upsetting than to find you are one bean or scone short or one onion is over or under weight and it is too late to do anything about it.

Each vegetable will be awarded points out of 10 for presentation, uniformity, size, shape and colour

Number of Specimens required to enter ‘Collections of Vegetables’ and ‘Any other Vegetables/Fruit’ class.    Please consult the Secretary for any item not listed.

Artichokes, Globe 2
Asparagus 6 stems
Aubergine 2
Beans, Broad 6
Beans, Runner 5
Beans, Climbing, Other than Runner 6
Beans, French or Dwarf 6
Beet, Long 3
Beet, Globe or Cylindrical 3
Broccoli, Sprouting or Colour Headed 2 heads
Brussels Sprouts 6
Cabbage, all types 2
Calabrese 2 heads
Capsicum (Sweet Pepper) 2
Carrots, Long 5
Carrots, other than Long 5
Cauliflowers, including White-Headed Broccoli 2
Celeriac 2
Celery, American Green and Self-blanching 2
Celery, Trench 2
Chard 5 leaves
Chicory 2
Chilli Peppers 3
Courgettes, not more than 15cm/6″ long 3
Cucumbers, House/Frame 2
Cucumbers, Ridge/Outdoor 2
Garlic 2 bulbs
Kale 5 leaves
Leeks 3
Lettuce, Cos or Cabbage 2
Mangetout 10 pods
Mushrooms 5 caps
Onions 3
Parsnips 3
Peas 10 pods
Potatoes 5
Radishes 10
Rhubarb 3 sticks
Shallots 10
Spinach 5 leaves
Spring Onions 10
Sugar snap peas 10 pods
Swedes 2
Sweet Corn 2 cobs
Tomatoes 5
Tomatoes, Beefsteak, not less than 7.5cm/3″ diameter 3
Tomatoes, Small-fruited, not over 3.8cm/1½” diameter 5
Turnips 3
Vegetable Marrows, Squashes, Edible Gourds 2
For ‘Any other Fruit’ Classes
The list shows the number of specimens required.
Blackberries 10
Blueberries 10
Cherries 10
Currants 10 sprays
Damsons 10
Figs 3
Gooseberries 10
Grapes 1 bunch
Loganberries 10
Melons 1
Nuts 250g or 8oz
Peaches/quinces 3
Pears 4
Plums 5
Raspberries 10
Strawberries 10

Hints and Tips!

Entering a flower show for the first time can be a bit daunting. It’s tricky to know how to present your veg in the correct manner and you will be marked down if you do it incorrectly.  We’ve put together a cheat sheet for you. Hopefully it will help you to win a few prizes!  Please contact us if you have any queries not answered here.

All, exhibits should be staged as attractively as possible in accordance with the rules and schedule. In close competition points for arrange­ment may be the deciding factor, and in any case a judge cannot fail to be favourably influenced by good presentation. Always take a few extra specimens to the show in case of accident, and before leaving the show bench check that the correct numbers have been staged so that your exhibit is not marked NAS (“Not according to schedule”).


All vegetables should be properly prepared for showing. Root vegetables should be carefuIly washed to remove soil but in no circumstances should oils or similar substances be applied in an attempt to enhance their appearance. Wash with a soft cloth and plenty of water; brushing will damage the skin and spoil the appearance of the exhibit. On other kinds retain the natural “bloom” wherever possible. Most vegetables should be given a thorough watering well before harvesting for the show and should be handled carefully during preparations.

Vegetables should be staged as attractively as possible on plates or direct on to the table in a “wheel” formation, e.g. peas; in rows, e.g. runner beans; or in pyramidal form, e.g. carrots.


The specimens composing an entry should be uniform in size, form and colour, of one variety only and all with stalks intact.Handle all fruits as little as possible and by their stalks where possible to preserve the natural bloom. Use scissors rather than fingers to remove soft fruits. Pick more than necessary so that reserves are available when staging. Where possible specimens should be arranged on a plate.


Small fruits look attractive when displayed on their own leaves, stalks facing centre.

Apples – one variety unless otherwise stated, picked with stalk, even size and do not polish.   

Damsons, grapes plums etc should be cut and handled carefully to retain the bloom.                                  


Where the recipe Is not provided and your own recipe is used then please ensure that the ingredients and recipe are clearly shown next to your entry to prevent any potential allergic reactions from the judge.  Any own recipe entries not showing a recipe and list of ingredients may not be judged.

Bread rolls: Display in a bread basket, should be uniform in size

Plain scones:  Use plain cutter, no glaze

Fruit or sweet scones:  Use fluted cutter, no glaze

Savoury scones:  Use plain cutter, glaze with milk or egg

Victoria Sandwich:  Fill with raspberry jam and dust top with caster sugar

Jams, Jellies, Chutneys, Pickles:  Do not use jars and lids with commercial lettering.  New twist top or plastic lids should be used.  Wax discs and cellophane are not the preferred option nowadays and should not be used for chutney. Label jars with day, month and year on white label placed 2/3 down the jam jar

Chutney:  should mature for at least 3 months before showing

Jellies:  Use a small ½ lb jar.  Should be clear with no pulp, haze or air bubbles.  Consistency should tremble but hold its shape

VEGETABLES – more detailed suggestions (from RHS guide) are available from the Committee   
Potatoes should be as far as possible of the same shape and size, with eyes that are shallow. They ought to be carefully washed so as not to damage the skins, but with all traces of earth removed. They ought to be of a good size, not too large and not too small (around 170g to 225g is a good guide). The exhibit will be marked down if they are misshaped, damaged by slugs , worm or blight. Can be kept fresh in fridge
The presence of green colouring as a result of exposure to light is also defective.
Cut from plant to leave a small stem.   Handle as little as possible to retain the bloom.
When taken from the soil one should be careful to try and maintain a long tap root. This can be achieved by watering them well and easing them from the soil. The carrots should be carefully washed with a soft cloth to ensure they are free of earth especially around the top of the shoulders. The skins should be undamaged and they should be of similar size and shape.
They will be marked down if they display damage by carrot root fly grubs and green colouring around the shoulders due to exposure to light.
Trim tops to 3”/7.5 cm and tie with natural-coloured raffia or twine.   Remove small side roots
Onions and Shallots.
Onions and shallots should be uniform in shape and size. They should be well-ripened, firm and with dry, unbroken, unblemished and ripe skin. They should not be over-skinned and green. The roots should be trimmed neatly and the top of the onion or shallot (the neck), which ought to be thin, should be turned over and bound neatly with raffia. The onions should be staged on rings so that they sit upright on the show bench. (One can use cardboard tubes from a used kitchen roll etc. cut to size) Exhibit shallots on a plate of sand
Roots should be intact but washed.   Cos Lettuce needs a light tie in the centre.
Runner Beans.
The beans should be exhibited with some stalk (the handle)attached. They should be straight and of equal length and uniform size. They should also be fresh and not coarse and stringy. The seeds should not be overly prominent in the pod (the judge will snap one of your beans when judging to check that they are fresh and not stringy). They should be of good even colour and free from blemishes.  Can be kept fresh in the fridge on damp kitchen paper.
The tomatoes should be regular in shape and size and firm and just ripe (showing the true colour of the variety). They should be unblemished but not polished and have a small stalk and fresh green calyx attached.
The Cabbage (s) should be of a good size and colour and have a firm solid heart. The leaves as far as possible should be clean and free from slug and caterpillar damage. Make sure there are no slugs or grubs lurking in the foliage. Try to maintain the “waxy bloom” on the leaves which will disappear with excessive washing and handling. The roots should be cut off as can some of the outer leaves (if damaged), but not all, leaving a neat stalk of some 75mm.
The cabbage (s) should be fresh. If two are being exhibited they should also be uniform in shape and size.
When taken from the soil one should be careful to try and maintain a long tap root. This can be achieved by watering them well and easing them from the soil. Carefully trim any side roots from the main tap root leaving just one root. The beetroot should be carefully washed with a soft cloth to ensure they are free of earth. The skins should be undamaged and they should be of similar size and shape, as a rule of thumb the ideal size for globe beetroot is that of a tennis ball.
The leaf stalks should be cut to a length of about 75mm and neatly tied with raffia. If they are too large and woody they will be marked down.
Courgettes should be fresh and between 4 to 6 inches in length and of uniform shape and size whilst displaying a good all-over skin colour without blemishes. The flowers can be left attached but this is not a must. Do not cut the courgettes too close to the fruit as they should have about 2 cm of stalk attached. They should be clean without the need for washing which can be detrimental to their natural appearance.
In the case or round cultivars, they should be around 3.5 to 4 inches in diameter.
Marrows should adhere to size limits and display an even and all-over good colour. They should be displayed with at least 2cms of stalks attached. The skin should ideally be unblemished.
The Cucumber should be exhibited with about 2 cm of stalk attached and with the dead flower intact and still attached at the end of the cucumber. The cucumber should be fresh, straight and not over-mature. They should have a short “handle” i.e. the thin end to which the stalk is attached. They should be blemish free and retain their natural bloom. Care needs to be exercised when handling them as this can remove the bloom, as may washing.
They should be fresh and ripe but not over-ripe and starchy. The ears of corn should be even, regular (inline) and fully formed over the whole of the cob. They should be exhibited with at least 2 cm of stalk attached and with the protective leaves (the husk) and dead filaments present. To present the cobs the outer leaves on one side only should be neatly peeled back and tucked under the cob to display a section of the ears of corn.
The tips for exhibiting parsnips are much the same as those above for carrots. Specimens should be well washed and without blemishes if possible. Some varieties of parsnips are very susceptible to canker which is most unsightly on the show bench, so when purchasing seed it is worth seeking out varieties that show resistance to canker.
Leeks should be thoroughly washed with the soil teased from the roots which should not be cut off. The flags (leaves) should be trimmed to a point and tied neatly with raffia. The barrel of the leek should be straight, even and not swollen (bulbous) at the base. The longer the blanched (white) part of the barrel the better. The leeks should be uniform in shape and size.
Apples and Pears.
Apples and Pears should be exhibited with stalks attached. The fruit should not be polished. Fruit should be uniform in shape and size with skins free from blemishes, patches of discolouration and bruising etc. Specimens should also be fresh. The ripeness of fruit is not so important.
Generally speaking, flowers and foliage should all be clean and free from disease and insect damage. Where possible choose vases to suit the height of the stems.
It is very important that daffodil blooms are clean and fresh.
The perianth and corona should be fresh and clean and free of nicks and tears etc. Unless the variety has different characteristics the flower should be near a right angle in respect of the stem. When showing more than one flower in an exhibit the flowers should be of similar size and arranged symmetrically e.g. if three flowers are shown the centre flower should sit higher than the other two. Leaves of a daffodil plant enhance the appearance of the exhibit – use one leaf per flower with the leaf placed behind the bloom and slightly taller than the flower. Daffodils can be cut up to a week ahead of the show date and kept in cold water in a cool dark environment. They can then be brought into the warm and light a day or two before the show so they are at their best on the show date. It is also meritorious if you can have the petals of the perianth totally symmetrical, this can be achieved by very gently rotating/twisting (“clocking”)the stem/immature seed head at the back of the flower so that the petals of the perianth are in identical positions for each flower. To ensure your blooms are upright in the vase it is useful to use some kitchen roll or similar material to pack out the vase. Remember that good staging always impresses the judge and the exhibit that “sits up and stares the judge in the face“ is going to be noticed!!
Sometimes the blooms of the daffodil can show signs of green discolouration. This is more likely than not going to be caused by immaturity. The problem can often be rectified by placing the bloom in a vase of warm (more than tepid but not boiling) water for a few hours.

Hellebores : to stop them from drooping add a few drops of washing-up liquid to the water

3 stage rose:  3 blooms of one variety, staged in one vase with bud at the top followed by perfect bloom then full bloom as shown below:

Three stage rosejb.jpeg