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The Show Rules

Each exhibitor is allowed as many entries as desired, but no exhibitor is allowed more than one entry in each class. 

Exhibitors in the Cottage Classes must be residents of Orford, Sudbourne or Gedgrave, defined as those living in houses with Orford, Sudbourne or Gedgrave postal addresses. 

Entries must be created by and be the property of the exhibitor and must be entered by the creator. 

With the exception of classes 136–141, the exhibitor must have grown all plants, fruit, vegetables and flowers. Similarly, other exhibits must be the exhibitor’s own work. Exhibits other than those in the Pot Plant classes 123-130 must not have been entered in a previous Flower Show. Pots plants must have been the property of the exhibitor for at least three months prior to the show.

Exhibitors must be aged 18 or over to enter beer, wine or spirits. 

Judging of vegetables, flowers and pot plants will follow the official RHS guide. A prize will not be awarded in any class if, in the Judges opinion, the exhibits are not of a satisfactory standard. The Committee may inspect the garden or allotment of an exhibitor, either before or after the Show, and reserves the right to decline any entry or withhold any prize. Any concern should be submitted to the Marquee Manager by 2.30 pm. The Committee’s subsequent ruling will be final. 

The Committee shall not be responsible for any loss or damage to exhibits. Any exhibits not collected from the marquee by 5.45 pm will be removed by the Committee. 

Tips & Guidance

for Exhibitors


Exhibitors may present fruit on plates, dishes or mats, white is preferable. Larger exhibits can simply be placed on the tressle tables.

Dressed onions and shallots - dry and rough outer skin removed, tops turned over and tied, preferably with straw coloured raffia. Traditionally, dressed onions and shallots are stood in kiln dried sand on a white plate. When the heaviest or longest is required, quality is not important, unless in the event of a tie.

Leave the tops (leaves and foliage) on carrots and beetroots and the stalks on beans, cucumbers, courgettes, marrows and peppers.

Ideally, runner beans should be straight. Remove some of the rough, dry skin on onions (not too much) RHS state: "shallots - neatly tied”. 


Try to pick fruit early on the morning of the show - 6am! Tomatoes should be ripe, calyx intact. Leave stalks on fruit. If a 'dish' is specified for example raspberries, a dozen is sufficient, minimum of 6, matching in size and colour. 


When entering cut flowers please note that any buds present will be counted as flowers. Bought-in blooms and foliage are only allowed in classes 136–141. A truss is a cluster of flowers or fruit growing from one main stem as in pelargoniums, polyanthus and tomato.


Wine may be made from any ingredients unless otherwise specified. For wine, 75 cl. clear, uncoloured bottles should be used with white or cork, flange top corks. The label should be white, 2” x 1” (50 x 25mm). It should be positioned between the side seams of the bottle and 1” (25mm) from the bottom. The label should state the main ingredient, whether sweet or dry, and the year. Other beverages should be in clean, clear 75cl glass bottles, labelled, stating ingredients. 

Cookery and Preserves

If practical, it is better to put exhibits into plastic bags if possible, please use bio-degradable plastic bags rather than cover with cling film. When size is specified, you will be disqualified if your exhibit is not that size. Exhibits should not be warm. Fresh cream as a topping, filling or decoration is not permitted. Jars and lids should be clean, clear and not bear a brand name. For jams cellophane covers are acceptable. 


A quilt must have three layers: top, wadding and backing. It may be machine or hand-stitched. When entering Class 48 ‘any other handicraft’, any items of jewellery, or anything of any value are entered at your own risk and are not the responsibility of the committee. 

Art and Photography

Photographs, including children’s, must be unframed and mounted on lightweight card with a maximum size of A4. Art must be unframed, as the display boards are unsuitable for heavy items. All classes can be in any medium. Entries must be submitted for hanging NO LATER THAN 9.00 am. Please remember to collect your work at the end of the show. 

Children's Classes

A separate entry form should be completed for each child. The child’s age should be stated on the form. On the day of the Show the child must be under the age specified for the class. Each entry must be the child’s own work. Support and encouragement may be given, but no direct help. 

Guidance for growing, making and exhibiting can be found on the internet. The use of organic growing practises is encouraged, as are organic ingredients in cookery and preserves although this will not be taken into consideration by judges. Please avoid the use of single use plastic for your exhibits. Good luck! 


All Judges (except for Art, Photography and Graphic Design) are representatives of Suffolk Horticultural and Produce Association. (SHAPA). It was originally founded as the Village Produce Association in 1941 to support the war effort when people were encouraged to ‘dig for victory’. It’s main role now is to support it’s member horticultural societies across Suffolk. 

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