Judging and the question of size

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.

Leonard Tomlinson
Foxwist Green

2 thoughts on “Judging and the question of size”

  1. Although I am sure that not everyone will agree with you Len on all the points you make, it was interesting to hear the similar view of Brian Duncan on size which he expressed at an RHS meeting last week. He reminded the meeting that in the RHS scale of points (and in the Daffodil Society scale too) there is only one point for size, and that is for size of the particular cultivar being judged, not as a comparative measure against the other cultivars in the class.
    Some judges buck the trend, and it was particularly pleasing for me when Wendy’s ‘Bob Spotts’ was judged Best Bloom at two shows this year, a cultivar which has superb form but is looked down upon because of its size.

  2. My observation of the falling numbers of amateurs and the smaller growers at the larger and national level shows is as Mr Tomlinson has pointed out.
    Over the last two seasons I have jugded at a a fair number of shows round and about where I always made a point of asking the exhibitors with the better blooms why don’t they try exhibiting at larger shows and always got the same answer; they are not trailing to bigger shows just to make up numbers when they see the size, cost and number of blooms put on. It was all right until the other exhibition flower exhibitors moved in with deep pockets and dutch grown bulbs which they never seem to see flower again.
    As an old exhibitor said it is only a hobby not an obsession.
    My opinion is that some judges should look at the points scale for judging single blooms.
    The following scale of points has been adopted by the Society as an indication of the relative importance of the main features of an exhibition bloom. This scale of points is to be used by all Daffodil Society approved judges at all shows organized by the Society or its affiliated societies.
    Form and poise…….3
    Size for cultivar…..2
    I was one of the judges to judge “Bob Spotts” and could not find a fault when judged on the Points Scale.
    If this is the quality of smaller blooms coming through in the next few years and judged correctly there should be more awards for this type of bloom.
    But also the up and coming exhibitors need more afFordable top quality blooms if we are going to attract them for future shows as there are very few younger growers coming through and they are the ones we need, to keep societies going in years to come.

Comments are closed.