2-3 weeks before the Show

  • Keep soil moist
  • Disbudding – remove buds from plants to promote better growth of flowers
  • Protect blooms from rain, hail and splashing of muddy water
  • Keep pot plants shaded so that the flowers do not fade


  • Cut in the evening or early morning when it is cooler
  • Certain Flowers e.g. some varieties of chrysanthemums and penstemons are particularly reluctant to absorb water and in these cases slitting the cut stems 75mm upwards from the base or dipping the severed ends in boiling water will improve matters.
  • Carry blooms downwards
  • Remove side shoots and water pot plants previous day etc.4

Terrariums One of the big mistakes that is made with terrariums is putting in plants that quickly grow too big for the environment, so ensure a good balance of shape and size.


  • Avoid squashing
  • Use cotton wool/soft paper to protect flowers
  • Secure pot plants in trays


  • Remove damaged flowers and discoloured or broken leaves
  • Make sure flowers are taking-up water
  • Avoid displaying wilting flowers
  • Don’t worry if you don’t have a ‘bikini type’ vase. To help keep flowers upright use florist’s oasis or newspaper

General Tips

  • Allow ample time for staging and finishing off, pay close attention to detail therefore try not to exhibit more than you can easily stage
  • Add the cultivar name when displaying. Ideally do this at home, if you can.
  • Pay attention to the number of specimens/exhibits required otherwise exhibit will not be judged and marked NAS (Not As Schedule)
  • Uniformity of the exhibit means choose specimens of the same size
  • In the Schedule; “should” means optional; “must” is obligatory.


Judges will look for meritorious and defective features. The Worcester Show aims to encourage the competitive spirit amongst amateurs. Therefore the ‘professional’ judging using a points system will not be used but Judges can refer to ”The RHS Horticultural Show Handbook”.

Notes compiled by Bill Simpson, Previous Worcester Show, Floral and Fruit & Vegetable Judge.