THS Spring & Autumn Shows

Guide for Exhibitors



Except in some clearly labelled classes, size is not everything. Cleanliness, shape and colour can all contribute to the quality of an exhibit. If a class
requires two or more of the same item then it is helpful if they are as similar as possible to each other.

In some classes the schedule indicates that the display should be in one of the vases provided by the Society. In other classes some methods of
display are mentioned below. An attractive display can be made by setting out the exhibits on cardboard or other plates and which may be lined with leaves or coloured paper; try different ideas and see which looks the best with your vegetables. 

Arrange your exhibits so that the judges can see every specimen. If possible, provide a label indicating the variety.

Potatoes should not have deep eyes. They are best kept away from light to avoid turning green.

Peas should show no signs of being old. Garden peas should be well filled.

French or Runner Beans are ideally long and straight without prominent bulges or signs of being stringy. Cut from plant with scissors leaving a short stalk.

Onions should be well ripened. Some of the skin may be removed, but remove as little as possible or they will appear unripened. The tops of
onions should be cut and tied. The roots should be neatly trimmed. Spring onions should have the bottoms of the leaves just showing. Do not
cut off the roots. They should be well ripened and with no sign of a thick, stemmy neck. Shallots should have their roots trimmed and necks tied. They may be displayed on sand or similar.

Carrots should not have any side roots or green shoulders. Show with 3″ of tops.

Tomatoes should have only the merest speck of an eye and shown with stalks attached and placed eyes down. Do not polish them.

Marrows should be about nine to twelve inches long and three to four inches in diameter. Avoid over-ripe marrows.

Beetroot should have no abrasions of the skin and the root should be unbroken. Avoid any with side roots. Show with 3″ of tops. Ideally there
should be just one tap root. Colour is more important than size.

Parsnips are shown with 3” of tops.

Cabbages and Cauliflowers ideally have a close compact head and only few, but good, outer leaves. They are shown with about 2” of stem and with heads facing forwards.

Cucumbers should be straight and may be either smooth or prickly, but do not mix them.

Leeks are displayed intact with the upper green leaves folded and tied for neatness. Roots are trimmed but not totally removed. Ideally they should
have a length of white stem which is not bulbous at the bottom.

Lettuce should be crisp with large well-formed hearts.

The Collection of Vegetables is intended to show off the scope of your
gardening ability, so it is as well to cover as wide a range of vegetables as
possible. Most vegetables are of different colours, so if you have an eye for
colour you will find this a great help. The box may be lined with paper,
moss or other suitable material and a nest made for each specimen.

Rhubarb. Select the straightest sticks, which should be as fresh as possible. Trim leaves back to about three inches.

Sweet Corn. Select cobs with fresh green husks and intact silks. Pull down two husks to expose the grains. Tuck these husks neatly under the cob.
The grains should contain a creamy white liquid.

Soft Fruit is displayed with complete stalks and without polishing. Handle as little as possible e.g. remove from plant with scissors – you may even
take the precaution of trimming your finger nails beforehand!

Apples and Pears
should not be polished and apples should be displayed with their noses uppermost i.e. stalk downwards.

Floral Exhibits ideally have straight stems and good form. The arrangement in the vase is important.

Daffodil and Narcissi have the following definitions:

 A Trumpet Daffodil is one where the trumpet is as long or longer than the petals. 

A Large Cupped Daffodil/Narcissi is one where the cup is at least one-third the length of, but shorter than, the petals. 

A Small Cupped Daffodil/Narcissi is one where the cup is not more than one-third the length of the petals. 

A Miniature Daffodil/Narcissi is one where the flower is less than 1.5 inches in diameter.


Flower arrangements should not have any fresh plant material that does not have its roots or the cut ends of its stems in water or water-retaining
material. Neither should there be any artificial plant material unless specifically allowed by the show schedule.

Jam is best made from ripe, but not over-ripe or wet fruit. Avoid using artificial setting aids. Fill the jars up as near to the top as possible. Label
neatly. Make sure jars are clean. Finish with wax disc and cellophane top, or plain twist cap lid, to completely seal.

Eggs may be of any colour and will be judged on uniformity of size and shape together with shell quality and freshness.