You should receive this newsletter with your Shows Handbook for 2007.You should all have got your list of Show Dates in the Shows leaflet sent out with the December bulletin. If you know of anyone who might be tempted to exhibit at our shows, phone or email the AGS Centre and they will be glad to send a Handbook out to the member concerned.
However, one of the Shows listed in the leaflet has been changed and is correct in the Shows Handbook – the Sussex Show has had to be moved to Kent for this year.
In 2007, there is a weekend conference at Stratford on the same weekend as the Midland Show. The conference program has been designed to allow conference delegates to exhibit at or visit the Midland Show.
The members discussion area on the website is now up and running and being well-used. It is quite easy to upload the occasional show picture to this part of the website. A larger collection of pictures of a show can still be emailed to me for display as part of the more detailed show coverage.
The Society website is at:
My thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of the shows during 2006 and good luck with your exhibiting in 2007.
Owing to problems getting a team together, the Sussex Show will not take place this year. However, the group who run the Kent Show have volunteered to run an Autumn show at the Kent venue as a one-off experiment in 2007.
The 70th Southport AGS Show takes place this Summer and we will be issuing special award cards to mark the occasion.
The Photographic classes in the Artistic Section have undergone an extensive overhaul this year. Some of the main changes are summarised below, but exhibitors should read the schedule carefully.
· Entry dates have been standardised to two weeks before the show, with posted exhibits received one week before the show.
· Size limits have been specified to include the mount.
· New class for close-ups of plants.
· Classes for photographs ’showing the whole plant’ replaced by classes for photographs showing the ’characteristic habit of the plant’.
· Black and white classes now monochrome with no ’in cultivation’ restriction.
· Clarification of rules concerning use of digital images.
Previously for artwork appearing in the Society’s publications, the scope of this award has been widened to include artwork exhibited at AGS National Shows:
"This is awarded for the Best Botanical Illustration in any Society publication or exhibited at an AGS Competitive Show during the previous year...Judges will select the best illustration at each show and Artists will be invited to submit their work to the AGS Centre by 31 July, for judging by the Awards Committee."
This has been a fun experiment at the end of the 2006 Season and attracted about 120 entries. It presented some interesting challenges in software development for handling entries and the judging process! The results can be viewed on the website.
The show will be repeated during 2007 and will be open for entries shortly. So get to work with your digital camera during the coming season and enter shots of your best plants in pots or in the garden. Remember it is not a photographic competition – it is the plants that are being judged. The rules appear in detail on the website.
The results of this competition will not contribute towards any of the AGS national awards or trophies.
I make no apology for repeating this warning reprinted from last year!
The AGS strongly supports the aims of CITES and does not endorse the sale or promotion of plant material that has been collected in the wild. Such collection is seldom justified. It is the responsibility of the exhibitor to check or monitor the origin or source of any plant exhibited on the show bench. All members should be aware that events such as our shows are being more and more closely monitored for the presence of such material.
This is an update on what was printed in this Newsletter in 2004. We are constantly reviewing the rules in an attempt to make life easier for exhibitors and judges alike. However, it is impossible to be prescriptive about size and hardiness of eligible plants. Rule 14 attempts to define what is acceptable and has changed slightly this year (new part in italics).
14. Definitions “Alpine or rock garden plant”: The term covers all plants, including shrubs, suitable for cultivation in a rock garden of moderate size or in an unheated frame or alpine house. It excludes any plants which will not survive an average British winter under such conditions but includes many plants which do not necessarily grow in mountainous regions. The term excludes ’over-selected’ forms of plants, such as Show Auriculas or Florists’ Cyclamen. “Distinct”: The word “distinct” means “distinct varieties”. Obvious colour variants or sufficiently different forms are distinct varieties for this purpose.
The new section is an attempt to put in writing a restriction that has always been tacitly applied. As has always been the case, a lot of discretion in interpretation is necessarily left to the Judges.
Generally, the Judges would downpoint or disqualify plants that grow quickly and whose eventual size is such that they would be out of scale in a moderately sized rock garden. Examples of plants that have fallen foul of this in recent years are Clematis ’Joe’ and Prunus ’Kojo-no-mai’.
The critical word in Rule 14 is ’unheated’. Plants that require artificial heat for their survival will be excluded. However, many exhibitors keep some plants in almost frost-free conditions while they are dormant, or provide some heat in really cold weather in order to maintain condition and appearance. This has always been tacitly accepted and the show benches would be the poorer without Pleiones, Rhodohypoxis, some of the Cyclamen and so on.
You may have noticed the appearance of a few hardy cacti on the show benches in recent years. There is a wide range of hardy cacti available, especially from high altitudes in South America and we have recognised this by adding the Cactaceae family to the list in the Shows Handbook on page 14.
Most major decisions about the running of AGS National shows are made by the Shows Sub-Committee. If you want to make suggestions to this committee, the members of the Show Sub-Committee during the current year are: Chair:Jim McGregor; Ex-officio:Frank Tindall, David Haselgrove, Chris McGregor; Assistant Directors of Shows: Ray Drew, Geoff Mawson, Rannveig Wallis; Elected Members: Bob Charman, Brian Russ, Roger Stuckey. (Shows policy is also discussed at a meeting of Show Secretaries held every two years.)
If you have any brief items that could be printed in future issues of this Newsletter, please let Geoff Mawson have them. He has agreed to act as coordinator.
Trophies are awarded for the most first prize points won in the season by exhibitors in each Section. Here I have listed the top few exhibitors for each Section, together with the number of firsts and first prize points they won. The full lists are on the website.
B Section and Open Section
C Section and Open Section
Artistic Open Section
Further analysis of the Artistic Section results show that, within the Artistic Open Section, the most first prize points for photographs were obtained by Jon Evans and the most first prize points for paintings, drawings and needlework were obtained by Jean Morris.
In the Artistic B Section, the most first prize points for photographs were obtained by Sam Lloyd and for paintings and drawings by Rannveig Wallis.