My observations concerning the falling numbers of amateurs competing in daffodil shows;
Many amateurs grow their cultivars in small gardens and allotments, and even in large tubs and boxes. They grow their cultivars sometimes for many years and eventually produce a bloom perfect in size, colour and substance, which they then take to a show and stage their exhibit.
All around there are cultivars twice the size of our amateur’s bloom – huge, bloated, papery, see-through blooms that bear little resemblance to the description in the International Register. Very few judges have the courage to judge the blooms on form, colour and substance. They see only the over-sized cultivars and award the cards accordingly.
The true amateur sees the results and realises that he can’t compete and so decides not only to stop growing for shows, but also to stop subscribing to the Daffodil Society.
Can we see a return to judging based on the values of the blooms, not just the size, which may help to return daffodil growing and exhibiting to being a hobby which everyone can enjoy and participate in on a level playing field.