Parlour Show

The Parlour Show is held each month as part of regular meetings of the Cowichan Valley Garden Club.  All members are encouraged to enter exhibits in as many categories as possible.  The Schedule of categories for the upcoming year is distributed at the December meeting and copies are available from the Parlour Show Committee throughout the year as well as being posted on the club website.  

Please scroll to the bottom of this page to read specific guidelines for exhibiting, judging, awards, etc.

Attention: Our club has an account with United Floral Inc., supplier of flowers and supplies.  Please CLICK to read & view the details.

2020 Parlour Show Schedule

View the lists for individual months here or scroll down to view a PDF of the whole year.

    Click on the PDF viewer below to view, zoom in or print the PDF document of the whole year.  

    2019 Parlour Show Winners:

    Seed Competition awards:
    Mary Longcroft for Larkspur (flower)
    Willie Harvie for Tomatillos (vegetable)

    Design awards:
    1 Darlene Veitch
    2 Tanis Bapty
    3 Don Sinclair

    Horticulture Division:
    1 Tanis Bapty
    2 Don Sinclair
    3 Sally Smith

    Explanations of the Details:

    Exhibiting – Guidelines and Tips Benches for Parlour Show displays are set up by 6:30. Exhibitors are asked to have their exhibits staged by 6:50. Read the Schedule carefully and make sure your entry meets the description of the class(es) you are entering. Identify the kind (genus) and variety/cultivar for your exhibit if you know it – for example Tomato ‘Early Girl’, Apple ‘Cox’, Rose ‘Climbing Lady Hillington’,  Pelargonium ‘Regal’. Extra points are given for named entries. Cut plant materials (excluding those in decorative classes) must be from your own garden. Plant materials may be purchased for decorative classes (floral arrangements or designs), unless the Schedule states that materials must be from your own garden. Allow sufficient time to cut, clean and condition your chosen plant material. Ideally, materials should be cut and placed in water 24 hours prior to exhibiting them, to ensure they are at their best. Make sure your entry is clean and in the best condition possible (no bug bites, holes or tears in leaves, no spent blooms, not wilting, etc.) Make sure the container suits the scale of your entry, and that the entry is attractively staged in the container. Potted plants must have been owned by the exhibitor for at least 3 months prior to the show. Pots and plants should be clean. There should be no rips, tears or holes in leaves. Remove dead or yellowed leaves. If you do not have much experience doing entries for decorative classes, it may be helpful to consult a book on flower arranging. There are many good ones available in the CVGC library. You should also look at the Elements and Principles of Floral Design that judges consider, which are briefly described below.


    Judging of Parlour Show Entries Judging of the Parlour Show is done by CVGC members who are experienced exhibitors and who have some training in horticultural judging. Judges do not judge one entry against another. Rather, they look to see how each entry matches the ‘ideal’ for that class. That is, they are looking for the entry that comes closest to perfection (recognizing that actual perfection is seldom achieved!).  In some cases, a “First” may not be awarded if no entry is suitable. Judges first ascertain if each entry in the class meets the description and specifications for that class, as laid out in the Schedule. Any entry that does not (e.g. a miniature arrangement that is too large) is disqualified and labeled NAS (Not According to Schedule). The judges then proceed by a process of elimination. First, entries which have obvious and significant damage or faults are eliminated. The remaining entries are then judged looking for conditions that are less than perfect. In general, when judging cuts (flowers, shrubs, foliage, etc.), judges look at criteria such as condition, form, color, uniformity, size of blooms, fragrance (when appropriate), and staging of the exhibit. Examples of conditions that detract from the perfection of an entry are bug damage, water marking, dirt on leaves or blooms, wilting, and blooms not completely open or past their prime. When judging floral arts exhibits (floral arrangements, compositions, designs), judges look for entries that are closest to perfection in terms of design, color, suitable relationship of material to container, distinction, originality, and condition of material. (See Overview of Floral Design Principles for descriptions of these criteria.) Judges also consider how well the entry expresses or interprets exhibit title in the Schedule.


    Annual Awards At each Parlour Show, points are awarded in every category of the Schedule. Four points are given for a First; 3 points for a Second; 2 points for a Third; and 1 point for entering, including exhibits entered in the “Anything Goes” category and items displayed on the “Brag Table”. Points for the previous year are tallied after the November meeting, and the following


    Terms and Definitions Following are some basic terms sometimes used in Parlour Show schedules and judging. A full glossary of horticultural show definitions can be found in Judging Standards for Non-Specialized Shows published by the B.C. Council of Garden Clubs (available on loan from the CVGC library or for reference from the Parlour Show Committee). ARRANGEMENT: A floral arrangement consists of fresh-cut plant material in a container, with a base if desired or necessary. No accessories unless specified by the schedule. BLOOM:  Individual flower; a solitary flower terminating a stem, or a composite head such as Chrysanthemum or Dahlia. BOWL: A vessel for displaying cut flowers in water, having a mouth measurement greater than its height (width is greater than depth). COLLECTION: An assembly, usually not less than 5, of kinds and/or varieties of plants, flowers, fruits or vegetables in one exhibit. CONTAINER: Any vessel satisfying the definition of bowl or vase. CULTIVAR: An alternate, and botanically preferred, term for “variety”. E.g. Crimson Glory and Cox are cultivars or varieties of the genus Apple. (See also definitions of Variety and Nomenclature.) DECORATIVE CLASS: A class of the schedule for a flower show that includes floral arrangements, compositions and designs. DESIGN: A floral design may be include dried, weathered and/or treated plant materials, with or without fresh-cut plant materials. Artificial plant materials such as silk flowers are not acceptable. Accessories (e.g. candles, stones, ribbons, figurines) are allowed. A design may have characteristics intended to express a theme or concept. FAMILY: An assemblage of genera (see definition of genus/genera below) that are closely related through similarity of the arrangement of structural characteristics, mainly in the flower parts. FOLIAGE PLANT: Plants having colored foliage with individual leaves of striking, textured character and pattern and a graceful habit of growth. Flowers are rarely seen or are insignificant. Plants which do have significant flowers are acceptable if not in bloom, and not prohibited by the schedule. GENUS: (Genera pl.) The botanical term for a group of related plants having the same generic name, e.g. Rose or Apple. In horticultural shows, the term “Kind” is used rather than the term genus. (See also definition of Kind and definition of Nomenclature.) HERBACEOUS PERENNIALS: Plants with non-woody stems which die down to the ground each year (irrespective of frost), but resume growth in the spring. HERBACEOUS PLANTS: Plants which do not form a persistent woody stem. They may be annuals, biennials or perennials. KIND: The term “kind” is used in horticultural shows in place of the botanical term genus. Kind, in this sense, means a sort of plant, fruit or vegetable such as Rose, Tulip, Apple, Pear, Carrot, Tomato. NOMENCLATURE: Botanically, an hierarchical system of naming, using Latin names in the following fixed order  1) genus/genera; 2) species: 3) sub-species: 4) cultivar/variety; 5) forms (if any). PERENNIAL : A plant that lives, blooms and seeds for many years, at least more than two. Included are trees, shrubs, plants which grow from bulbs, corms and tubers; in fact all plants which are not annuals or biennials. Woody perennials have trunks, limbs or stalks that are woody and do not die back in winter. Herbaceous perennials die down to the ground in winter. POT/POTTED: the exhibit has been grown in the pot, not arranged in a pot. POTTED PLANT: A plant grown by or owned by the exhibitor for at least 3 months. A potted plant may be grown indoors or outdoors. A potted houseplant is a plant grown indoors, in the house or a greenhouse. It should be shown in its original container. SIZE: The normal, fully developed growth of a flower, fruit or vegetable. For an exhibit to be typical of a variety is more desirable than to be oversize. SPRAY: A branched many flowered inflorescence (the manner of arrangement of the flowers on the stem/branch), usually on a single main stem (e.g. evergreen azalea). STALK: Generally a stiff stem, branching or not, with one or more flowers, as in tall bearded iris. Stem: The main axis of a plant. TRUSS: A compact cluster of flowers or fruit growing from one stem (.e.g. Rhododendron, pelargonium, tomato), UNIFORMITY: The state of being alike in size, form and color (occasionally in vegetables, in weight). VASE: A vessel for displaying cut flowers in water having a height greater than the width measurement at its mouth. VARIETY: An alternate term for cultivar. For horticultural show purposes, all variations within a “kind” (or genus) are termed varieties or cultivars. E.g. Crimson Glory and Cox are varieties/cultivars of the kind/genus Apple.


    Overview of Floral Design Principles The following are brief descriptions of the elements of floral design which judges look for. More detailed information is provided in Judging Standards for Non-Specialized Shows published by the B.C. Council of Garden Clubs (available on loan from the CVGC library or for reference from the Parlour Show Committee).


    DESIGN PRINCIPLES: The exhibit should have a recognizable style/form/shape (e.g. posey, symmetrical triangle, vertical, ikebana/oriental, crescent, modern, abstract). The style may be specified by the schedule, or may be left up to the exhibitor. Judges consider the following principles of design. BALANCE: The exhibit should be visually balanced, i.e. it should not look like it could fall over, to either side or to the back. DOMINANCE: The exhibit should have a dominant focal point or an accent, usually created by having more of one thing that draws the eye (e.g. more of one shape, form, hue or line). CONTRAST: All things in the exhibit should not be alike. To have dominance, there must be contrast of line, shape, form or hue. RHYTHM: The exhibit should have a sense of movement which directs the eye throughout the exhibit and then back to the focal point. Rhythm is created by repetition of line, shape, form or hue. PROPORTION: The relationship between different parts of the exhibit should be in proportion. There is no rigid rule of proportion but the visual weight of the plant material compared to the container should be pleasing to the eye (a general guide is two-thirds visual weight of plant material to one-third visual weight of container/base). SCALE: The size of different elements of the exhibit should be in proper scale, e.g. the relative size of flowers to each other, and to the foliage; and the size of flowers and foliage in relation to size of the container and any accessories. COLOR: Judges look for dominance and rhythm of color. Usually, one hue should dominate. In general, there should be larger amounts of light, grayed or darker colors, with smaller amounts of intense, bright color. Materials of different color should not be spotted randomly or indiscriminately throughout the exhibit. SUITABLE RELATIONSHIP OF MATERIAL: The container should be suitable in color, texture, shape and size to the plant material. All materials should be suitable to their intended purpose in the design of the exhibit. Any accessories should be suitable in relation to scale, color, line, texture and feeling of the entire exhibit. DISTINCTION: Distinction relates to how well the exhibit is put together. Are the mechanics steady and inconspicuous? Is the material neatly placed in the container? Is the material floating in the water in an unnatural or inappropriate way? ORIGINALITY: Originality relates to what materials are used and how they are used. Does the exhibit convey an original idea? Is common material used in an unusual way? Is unusual material used in a distinctive way? CONDITION OF MATERIAL: All materials should be fresh, clean, and reasonably free of insect damage with no holes in leaves, no spotting from disease or spray residue. Plant material should not be droopy or wilting.


    PARLOUR SHOW COORDINATOR: Richard Cypher.  Call any committee member if you have questions.