Tips for entering shows – with flower arranging in saucers and mugs

January 13, 2013 at 6:43 pm 2 comments

I am no expert. I am writing this partly to help me in a year’s time so I remember the things I learnt today. This weekend was our local show so I thought it would be fun for the kids and I to have a go at entering. I downloaded the programme and went through it deciding what we could do.
I then scoured the Internet but got little help there and so this is also why I am writing this.

The first section was decorative, free expression is allowed with choice of material, design and any foliage, adornments or embellishments.  Only fresh flowers to be used.

They had entered floral saucer by exhibitor 8 years and under so we have a few years to get this right.  After a little research we found some sites that mentioned using sand so I used a little in the centre and wet it. The saucer was sloped so I couldn’t get it to the edge.

Preparing the sand saucerThe hint I was told today was to heap it up, cover the whole saucer and then wet it, make a mound of sand so then you have something to insert the flowers into.

I tried to be as hands off as I could, so I only made a few suggestions and let the children have fun designing their own.  We had had a practice earlier in the week where I had been a bit more – this is how you do it but since they were entering I let them design.

Flower arranging sand saucerSo here we started – a good start and then this is the finish.

Alexander's sand saucerNot quite the circular pattern we started with but he was happy.  Unfortunately in the transportation to the show it got a bit messy but Alexander was disinclined to fix it.  This is when I was told that with the sand it wouldn’t move around as much.

Here is Alexander’s finished product.  I think it looks quite pretty and colourful.

Alexander's completed sand flower saucer

Emily’s finished work

Emily's sand saucerThis is what they were looking for

Sand saucers More sand flower arrangement saucers IMG_4952I was told that the leaves cannot extend too much past the edge of the saucer.  There was definitely a theme with the circular pattern and you can see the difference esp with Emily’s which is just a massive pile up (then again she is only 4 and I allowed her free reign with what she wanted to do)

We also entered flower arrangement in a mug (though there was some confusion whether it was egg cup or mug.  There were only about 3 entrants in this one and my two had their large mugs and one had a tiny teacup and saucer)  Alexander got first, the teacup got second and unfortunately there is no third.  The steward told me that Emily’s was too bushy.  It needed to be cut down, items should be max 1 1/2 times the size of the cup.  This was also for children under 8.

flower arrangement in mugs Alexander's winning mug

We were very excited Alexander won the flower category because his sister had done very well in the cooking section and I had also done well and though when we entered I had talked to the children that being our first year we probably won’t win but it is hard when he is the only one who hasn’t won.  So phew!

The other section was Cut Flowers and they were in the junior class which is 16 years and under… so many many years of practise.  Flowers were to be arranged in bowls, vases or suitable stands.

We also entered three leaves in a container, a collection of flowers and a single rose.  All were supposed to be from your own garden. I don’t think I will enter the collection again, wrong time of year for our garden and too hard for me to help both of them find a large enough collection.  Compared to the others, ours were sweet but too small.  The steward was encouraging about the roses and said we should try again next year.  I wondered if ours were too small as the others were on long stems in large vases and he said no we had presented them correctly.  The issue was they hadn’t fully opened.  When we picked the flowers up on the Sunday he commented how nice they looked but the judge can only judge on the time they are looking at the rose.  The winning rose was wilting by the Sunday while ours were still looking fresh.  He said best to pick the night before the show and put in water in a dark cool place.  Next time I will encourage the kids not to pick a bud, but one that is more open.  It has been a hot dry summer so it was hard to find ones that looked good and fresh.

THree leaves in a containerEmily’s leaves are the small ones at the front.  They could be leaves the same or 3 different leaves.  You can’t really see Alexander’s, his are in a glass and are three tall ones.

RosesMore roses Our roses

The children really loved doing this and after our practices kept wanting to have another go.  I think we will perhaps continue this as an activity throughout the year, depending on flower availability.   The good thing about the saucers and the mug is they don’t have to be your own flowers, you can buy them, we got ours from our neighbour and some from mum’s garden.


This has been a long entry so I think I will do another one about our cooking entries.


Entry filed under: Activity, craft, Designs, garden, sewing, sibling harmony. Tags: , , , , .

Girl’s hair accessory and jewellery organiser Entering Food at an agricultural show

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rin  |  January 14, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    These are very pretty.

    • 2. blackpaws  |  January 14, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      Thank you


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