Pakenham Horticultural Society

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Programs > Getting Ready to Exhibit at a Show




Any member of the Pakenham Horticultural Society may be an exhibitor. The number on your membership card is your exhibitor’s number for all entries in the Society’s shows in the current year. These numbers are not used when exhibiting in the District 2 or OHA shows.



Senior members who have never previously exhibited may show in the Novice Design Arrangement Class for a maximum of two years. Novice exhibitors may show in the Open Class but cannot show in both classes and, having shown in the Open Class, cannot return to the Novice Class.



Every entry requires an entry tag, available at the show or from the Chairperson of the Show Committee prior to the show. Information you need for the tag is provided in the current year flower show schedules.

Exhibitor’s Number is the same as your membership number for the year. For name and address preprinted mailing address labels are fast and convenient.

When filled out, fold at the perforation and tuck tab into the slot so the name is concealed during judging. Attach the entry tag to your exhibit with an elastic or tie whenever possible.




  1. A member may not show more than one entry in each class. No two persons from the same family and same garden may exhibit in the same class.

  2. All flowers and plants must have been in the possession of the exhibitor for a minimum of three months in order to qualify as having been grown by the exhibitor. Plant material for the Design Arrangement classes may be purchased or from other sources.

  3. Containers for SPECIMUMS should be clean, clear glass bottles, jars or vases whenever possible and provided by the exhibitor. HOUSEPLANTS are displayed in their planted pot only (not in an additional outer pot) and FRUIT and VEGETABLES are displayed on paper or plastic plates.

  4. Prepared exhibits are the responsibility of the exhibitor to be placed on the appropriately marked table with tags securely attached.

  5. Exhibits without tags or wrongly placed will be disqualified. If you have any questions please ask for assistance from another member.

  6. Exhibitors may not touch their exhibits after they have been placed on the show table.

  7. No exhibit will receive a prize, even if it is the only one in a class, unless judged to have sufficient merit.

  8. No exhibit may be removed before the specified closing time.

  9. Where possible, varieties of flowers and vegetables should be named.


NOTE: Please do not use protected, scarce or endangered native plants.





SPECIMEN FLOWERS AND VEGETABLES are judged on their condition, size and uniformity. All specimens should be as nearly alike as possible in size, form and colour, unless otherwise specified in the schedule. Where a number of specimens are involved, such as collections, they may vary in size and colour but should be at the same stage of development.


DESIGN ARRANGEMENTS are judged on originality, the use of the elements and principles of design, the condition of the material used and matching the theme.


For more information on how flower, vegetables and arrangements are judged, see THE ONTARIO JUDGING AND EXHIBITIONS STANDARDS, Publication 34 and available from the Pakenham Horticultural Society or Garden Clubs of Ontario %Royal Botanical Gardens, Box 399, Hamilton, On L8N 3H8 for $6.00 plus postage.






PREPARATION is the process that allows the plant tissue to absorb the maximum capacity of water, as well as the special conditions that assist in having fresh, long lasting specimens and arrangements. Select the highest quality of flowers, ones that are just beginning to open. Check for and remove any insects, disease, pollen, dirt or any other foreign material. Collect the flowers and foliage in the early morning when the water content is the highest, or in the evening when the sugar content is high. Cut the stems at an angle to best absorb water and cut longer than needed, then place in container of clean, warm water. Bring indoors, remove lower leaves, recut the stems and place in cool water as deep as possible without covering leaves or flowers and store in a cool, dim location. Additives can be used to retard bacterial growth, such as an aspirin or ¼ teaspoon citric acid or ¼ teaspoon liquid bleach per gallon of conditioning water.



The sap from tulips and daffodils pollutes the water so these flowers should be conditioned in separate containers from other flowers for a few hours. Rinse well and then place in clean water for display or add to flower arrangements. When cutting tulips include only one leaf. Pierce tulip stem with a needle directly below the flower and wrap in newspaper to keep the stems straight.


Daffodil/narcissus special notes:

*Trumpet: The trumpet or corona is as long or longer than the surrounding petals

*Long or Large Cup: The cup or corona is more than 1/3 but less than equal to the length of the surrounding petals.

*Small Cup: The cup or corona is not more than 1/3 the size of the surrounding petals.



Flowers such as oriental poppies, zinnias, euphorbias and poinsettias require the ends of their stems to be sealed after cutting. They can be singed over a flame or the tips immersed in boiling water for a few seconds. Wrap the flowers in a cone of newspaper to prevent the heat/steam from affecting the blooms.



Flowers such as lilacs, roses, chrysanthemums, and other flowering shrubs require the bark at the end of the stem be scraped away and the base of the stem to be cut with a cross split up to 1-2 inches. Immerse the stems in boiling water for 30 seconds, while protecting the blooms from the hot steam with a cone of newspaper, then plunge the stems into cool water for conditioning. Woody stems can also be hammered to increase absorption but that method makes the stems more susceptible to bacterial decay.



Flowers such as dahlias, delphiniums, hollyhocks, gladiolas and amaryllis need to have their hollow stems filled with water. Turn the stems upside down, pour water into them until full and then plug the ends with cotton or floral foam. To eliminate air that might be trapped in the stem, pierce the stem beneath the flower head with a pin. Immerse the plugged ends in boiling water for a few seconds and then in clean tepid water for conditioning.




Last Updated: 2019-02-24