How to Enter the Flower Show

by

Techophilaea sp. - Ray Rogers

If you’ve never entered the Flower Show but have always been interested, here’s a quick quide on how to exhibit plants at the 2010 Philadelphia International Flower Show.

First of all, it’s easy, and anyone can enter! You don’t have to be a member of PHS (although members do get a fabulous plant each year as one of the many member benefits) or a garden club in order to enter plants in the Show. There is no fee to enter the competition.

Plants must be ready for “prime time.” If you have a spectacular plant—with many blooms, well-shaped leaves, or unusual characteristics—it could be a candidate. At the Show, plants are judged on healthy growth, grooming, distinctiveness and maturity. The rarity of a plant, or how difficult it is to grow, may also factor in the judging.

Many friendly, experienced volunteers will be on hand at the Show to help you through the entry process.

Most importantly, have fun! You are part of a tradition that started in 1829!

 

Important dates for prospective exhibitors:

  • Fall 2009: Download the Flower Show Exhibitor’s Guide to see what classes (categories) your plants might qualify for  or e-mail fsguide@pennhort.org. Out of hundreds of classes, some are reserved for first-timers, while others are reserved for “novices” who have entered before but never won a blue ribbon. The Exhibitors’ Handbook to Horticultural Classes  answers questions and offers tips for growing, grooming, and transporting your plants to the Show.

 

  • December 1, 2009: All the plants you plan to enter in the Show must be in your possession by this date. However, most plants entered in the Show have been in exhibitors’ possession for several years. In fact, there are special classes for plants more than 5, 10, or 20 years old.

 

  • By January 31, 2010: Pre-register your plants. Mail in your entry form or fill it out online. Check the Exhibitor’s Guide to see how many plants you can enter per class. There is no penalty if you decide not to bring them all at Show time. Exhibitors who pre-enter receive packets in February with entry credentials and information on parking and the Show.

 

  • February 26 and 27, March 2, and March 5: Enter at the Show: See the Exhibitor’s Guide for entry times. If you miss the pre-entry deadline or want to enter additional plants, you can post enter by bringing plants directly to the Show. However, you are limited to three post-entries plants per entry day.

 

  • February 27, March 2 and March 5: Judging days: Experts come from all over the world to judge at the Philadelphia International Flower Show. One blue ribbon may be awarded in each class, while multiple ribbons may be awarded for second, third, and honorable mention.  Ribbon winners accumulate points throughout Show week. After all the judging has been completed, the points are tallied to determine who has accumulated the most, and special “sweepstakes” awards are given to highest scoring ribbon holders.

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