Show Guide for Novices:
General Basics

These interpretations are based on guidance within;
The RHS Horticultural Show Handbook and
The NFWI On With The Show publication.
Both can be referenced at the Show Recorder's table.
Be aware the HIHS Rules for Exhibitors take precedence.

Links to articles posted below:
Check The Rules Entry Cards Floral Staging
Judges Show Schedules Show Stewards

Check The Rules

To avoid being designated
"Not according to schedule (NAS)" and excluded,
all entries must meet the show rules and requirements.

There are two distinct entry categories "Open" and "Members".
Each are separate and with often differing requirements.
For vegetable and fruit classes the number of items,
on the dish or in the collection are more in Open Classes.
Entry fees are higher for Open and also Championship Classes.

Double check your entry form to ensure you have:
Indicated the right class number as intended.
Included the correct entry fees.
Given name, address, if a member and phone number.
Always submit your entry form before the closing date.

The HIHS rules are published in the Year book,
and are available from this website Rules for Exhibitors.

HIHS Shows are generally conducted in accordance with:
The RHS Horticultural Show Handbook and
The NFWI On With The Show publications.

Both can be referenced on Show days at the Recorder's table.

Entry Cards

Exhibitors on arrival must report to the Show Recorder's table,
where they will be given a card for each of their entries.

The card is folded along the central line and placed
by their entry, upper section downwards,
masking during the judging process, the exhibitors name.

If an exhibitor is no longer entering in a registered class,
they must place their card marked "No entry"
on the show bench in the relevant class bay.

If an entry is judged to be successful,
a sticker is applied to the card by the steward,
Red for 1st, Blue 2nd and Green 3rd.

Following all judging completion,
cards are turned face upwards throughout the hall,
by the stewards to reveal the entrants names,
to display any award given and any judge's comment.

Staging Floral Exhibits

The Preparation Room is used to stage exhibits where,
the vases, artists palettes, and staging blocks
can be found together with a fresh water supply.

Exhibits should be presented as attractively as possible:
Quality and uniformity are more important than size.
Remove any damaged or discoloured leaves.
Where possible remove any substandard flowers or petals.
Ensure length of stalk is in proportion to the container.
Arrange blooms to their best presentation.
Use moss or paper to stabilize arrangement.
Do not overfill water to containers.
Fine spray exhibit to maintain freshness.

Take to the main hall to place on show bench.
Check correct class location and place to advantage.
Do not move or touch other exhibits.
Add entry card face down to hide name.
Add cultivar (variety) label.


Judges are allocated to their specific expertise.

They endeavour to:
Be impartial.
Reduce the impact of their own personal preferences.
Evaluate entries in a logical and systematic way.
Offer relevant comments and guidance on entries.
Encourage exhibitors to higher standards.
Encourage exhibitors to enter more in further shows.

Judging is not finding fault or nit picking
but an evaluation of quality and effort

Before judging starts the hall is cleared of all except
those authorised by the Show Committee to be present.

The HIHS Show Schedules

The HIHS Show Schedules are formatted
into seven separate sections,
with Class numbering running consequtively through all.

The sections are published in this order;
Flowers with separate Open and Members groups.
Fruit and Vegetables with separate Open and Members groups.
Junior Open with separate groups A ages 4 to 8 and B 9 to 14.
Cookery Open.
Handicraft Open.
Photography Open.
Floral Art Open.

Applicable Trophys, Medals and Diplomas are listed
at the start of each section and
are awarded or withheld at the Judges discretion.

Show Stewards Duties

Show Stewards are able to assist new exhibitors
and advise on classification or procedure.

Show Stewards are required to check every entry to ensure:
They are correct to the schedule:
They are accompanied by the appropriate entry card.
They meet with the show rules for exhibitors.
They meet with the specific class requirements?
(Number of elements, size limits, exclusions, presentation).

If any entry is not in accord, to advise the judge,
who will unfortunately exclude the entry as
"Not according to schedule (NAS)".

Further duties include:
Advising the judge on any special awards or prizes.
Verifying all classes and entries have been judged.
Affixing the prize labels to entry cards.
Cataloguing, for the Show Recorder, prize winners in each class.
Turning entry cards face upwards following judging completion.


Clear time slots are allocated and strictly enforced for:
Entrants to stage their exhibits.
Closing the show arena for the judging entries.
Show opening to public and exhibitors.
Presentation of the prizes.
Removal of exhibits from the show arena.

Ensure ample time to avoid last-minute panic.

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