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County Fair Flower Exhibitor Guide

Got the best flowers in the county? Show them off right at the fair using this county fair flower exhibitor guide. 

County fair flower exhibitor guide will help anyone interested in exhibiting homegrown fresh or dried flower singles or arrangements. Prepare yourself and your flowers to exhibit the best specimens everyone in the county will see and love.

Why exhibit flowers? Because anyone can grow flowers. It’s an easy division for kids and adults with limited space on their property to be involved in and become an exhibitor. Use this county fair exhibitor flower guide to learn how to exhibit the best flowers in your family’s flower patch.

If you’ve never been an exhibitor before, I encourage you to first check out the general county fair exhibitor guide with the 10-step check list for exhibiting entries at the local county fair.

Listen to the Podcast Episode Here:

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Start with the County Fair General Exhibitor Guide

You can print the 10-step check list to have with you. As you move through the checklist, you can check off tasks completed. When all tasks are completed, you’ll know you’ve exhibited the right way.

And you’ll find out how much fun exhibiting at the county fair can really be.

So, exhibiting county fair flowers can be a lot like exhibiting county fair vegetables. You want clean and uniform entries that are attractive to all eyes. According to the county fair flower exhibitor guide, you want to show off your best flowers you’ve spent so much time tending love and care.

These are obvious, right? Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of selecting the most beautiful and best specimen from your flower garden spread with the county fair flower exhibitor guide.

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County Fair Flower Exhibitor Guide

Selecting the Perfect Specimens

So, when you’re choosing the best quality flowers from your flower garden or field, you’re looking for one that is flawless. The diamond in the rough. The most beautiful, bright and completely uniform flower in the bunch.

How do you choose the one? Well, you have to first know the characteristics of the variety of flower you’re growing. Let’s look at some examples based on the characteristics of round-form flowers vs. spike-form flowers.

Round-form Flowers:
  • Examples include daisies, dahlias, marigolds, asters and chrysanthemums.
  • Center petals should be tighter than outer petals.
  • Flowers are ready and in their prime when developed, round and full.
  • Exhibit usually as a single stem.
Or Spike-form Flowers:
  • Examples include lilies, gladiolas, sunflowers and snapdragons.
  • Flowers are in their prime when bottom florets are open and in perfect condition.
  • Florets should be 2/3 open and 1/3 developing buds. The spike should be straight to the tip.
  • Uniformity of the flower is utmost importance.

Now, you know how important it is to focus on characteristics of each variety. This is part of how your exhibits will be looked at by the judge. So, research your variety of flower before exhibiting.

Hence, the other part is the quality of the exhibit. This county fair flower exhibitor guide expresses clean, quality exhibits. Let’s talk about quality single flower entries versus arrangements. It’s pretty simple, really. Here are some things to keep in mind after you know what quality flower you have available for exhibit.

Fresh Cut Single Entry Flowers 

Single entry fresh cut flowers are quite simple to find. All you need is one perfect beautiful uniform flower for the best exhibit.

It would be wise to choose at least 3-5 single quality flowers from your patch. Because there’s always a chance something might happen. It’s never a bad idea to have back ups.

Or Choose Flowers for Arrangements

Another option you have as a county fair flower exhibitor is to create a beautiful and colorful arrangement. You can use either fresh or dried flowers.

This option is a bit more difficult than just choosing a simple single flower. Not only do the colors and quality of the flowers need to be high individually, but the arrangement must go together to ensure a proper exhibit.

In addition, the colors in the arrangement needs to fit together beautifully. It’s a good idea to use popular colors for the season. For example, fall arrangements can use fall colors and flora. The picture below is an arrangement fit for an early Summer wedding.

Flowers must be blemish free and fresh looking whether they are real or not. The arrangement should look clean and very presentably easy on the eye.

County Fair Flower Exhibitor Guide

Harvesting & Keeping Selected Flowers Fresh for Exhibition

Ok, now to talk about cutting fresh flowers without damaging the perfection. It’s best to harvest selected specimens in the cool hours of the day. These hours would be in the evening or early morning times of the day.

To cut the flower of choice, use a clean sharp knife. This will result in a nice even cut. Using scissors pinch the end of the stems and close off the water-conducting vessels of the stems.

Cut the stem plenty long so you have plenty of stem to work with. Be sure there are plenty of leaves to work with as well.

After the stem is cut and your flower is free, remove the leaves from the stem that will be in the water. Blocked stems will be unable to supply water to the living flower, so they are not needed. You can test this with your container of choice. But don’t remove all the leaves. They are an important part of the quality of the flower exhibit.

Conditioning or Keeping Flowers Fresh

Conditioning is the process of slowing down the maturity of the flower. According to the county fair flower exhibitor guide, you want fresh, mature looking specimens. It’s an essential process to keep flowers looking fresh longer under any weather conditions.

So, here’s how to do it. First, condition your flower by placing the stem in lukewarm water (100-110 degrees F.). Keep in a cool location for 15 to 20 minutes. This process helps reduce chances of stem blockage. It also promotes the longevity of the flower throughout the long fair week.

You can also store flower in a refrigerator set at 35-40 degrees F. But note: Avoid storing flowers in a refrigerator with fruits and vegetables. This is because the ethylene gas released by fruits and veggies reduces vase life.

Finally, right before exhibiting, cut the bottom of the stem presenting a clean cut. This opens up new vessels for water uptake. These fresh cuts should be made under the water so air doesn’t block water uptake.

Furthermore, choosing the right container is also a huge part of how that exhibit presents itself. Next is some tips to choose the right containers for your flower exhibits.

Choosing Containers or Vases

The display container is an extremely important part of competition. Five qualities of containers include:

  1. Simple
  2. See-through
  3. Narrow
  4. Clean
  5. Attractively fits the flower specimen

Also, the vase should never ever override the appearance of the flower. The vase or container is simply an accent. Small flowers should be in small vases or containers and so on. It’s up to you and your eye for a presentable quality exhibit. Choose what you think looks the best with the flower itself.

Flower Showmanship

Just like any other exhibit at the fair, showmanship is one of the most important factors to presenting your best. Use the county fair exhibitor guide to improve the quality and showmanship of your exhibit. Here are some good tips for flower showmanship:

  1. Choose a flower that is uniform, complete specimen. There should be no missing petals or centers.
  2. Gently wash water or bug spots off the leaves and petals. Flowers should appear clean and bright.
  3. The flower should look presentable the vase.

Here’s some more of what the judge is looking for during competition and how ribbons are presented.

County Fair Flower Exhibitor Guide

What The Judge Is Looking For in a Champion Flower

Perfection. The judge is looking for the most perfect flower in each class and for the overall Champion award. This is why flower showmanship is so important.

Ok, so let’s get to some county fair flower exhibitor guide actual terms.

What is perfection according to the judge?

Well, the judge uses several terms to measure uniformity and quality among the flowers in each class. Let’s go over some of them.

  1. Bright Color – No matter what shade of color the flower is, the color should be vivid. No fading colors – This is a sign of overmaturity. The stem and leaf color should also be bright green or variegated in color.
  2. Condition – Like any species, condition is judged on appearance. A few things judges consider include: Bruising, maturity, weather & insect damage, and mechanical injury.
  3. Cultural Perfection – This is based off of how the flowers were grown. Fertilization, watering, disbudding, pest control, grooming, and soil care are all cultural techniques. These may affect the quality or condition of he flowers.
  4. Uniformity – The shape of the flower must fit the type and kind of the variety. Poor form probably results from some type of cultural practice.
  5. Grooming & Appearance – Flowers should look bright and clean. But grooming should NOT alter the typical features on plants or flowers.
  6. Size – The size of the flower should fit the variety. The flower or plant exhibit should look nice and uniform. Stem and foliage should be proportional to the size of the bloom.
  7. Stem & Foliage – Stems should be strong, supporting, and proportional to the flower. No crooked, weak, damaged or short stems. Leaves should be left on the stem and have good condition and proportion as well.
  8. Symmetry – Good symmetry results in a balanced and uniform looking flower.

In conclusion, these 8 terms are what judges can use to measure perfection in each flower and decide what ribbon placing that exhibit deserves. So, if you follow the county fair flower exhibitor guide, you will be able to prepare better exhibits just by knowing what the judges are looking for.

County Fair Flower Exhibitor Guide

So, Why Bother Exhibiting Flowers

Why go to all the work to locate your absolute best flower, dress it up and exhibit it into the fair? Well, there are a few reasons I think exhibiting flowers at the county fair is a great option for a family friendly activity.

Anyone Can Do This

No matter where you live, you can do this. Because growing flowers takes very little space, money or time. You just need a pot, soil, water, and sunlight. Easy peasy.

Then, just use this county fair exhibitor guide to learn how to prepare your exhibits for the fair and get involved!

Community Involvement

Rural communities need county involvement from all residents. If involvement in the form of exhibits drops at county fairs, rural kingmakers may decide that the county fair is not worth the time and effort. In several instances around the country, county fairs are being taken away because they are seen as invaluable.

The truth is: County fairs are worth the time and effort for several reasons. The county fair is a county-wide event for residents of all ages to come together, exhibit their best and have a great time.

So, let’s all get involved and keep this rural tradition alive. Bloom where you’re planted in your community – A great cliche’ for this particular post. And exhibiting flowers is an easy and great way to not only learn more about flowers, but to be more involved in your community.

Learn

So, maybe you don’t have the best green thumb for growing flowers. Well, the good news is the county fair is an awesome place to learn from the best. Not only can you see the best, but you can talk to the growers who exhibit the best.

Also, You can gain growing tips to try in your own flower patch to grow better more beautiful flowers to enjoy.

Finally, see new and upcoming varieties and colors people are loving these days. And if you use flowers for a source of income, these could be very valuable lessons for you!

Showcase skill for your business

And did you even think this was an option? Maybe you have an event planning or floral business and you want to be rewarded for your work. Or maybe you just love growing flowers and want to turn your love into a backyard business.

Exhibiting your best work according to the county fair flower exhibitor guide is a great way to let the whole community see your best work. My advice: Have some business cards ready for opportunities and connections made at the county fair. This is what makes county fairs special.

It’s fun!

The beauty of county fairs is the connections made in life and business. Because it is a time for everyone in the community to come together and enjoy great quality exhibits and entertainment.

So, why not join in the fun and showcase your best? There truly is something for everyone whether it is in the form of flowers, vegetables or livestock. Any flowers are a fun way to get involved with the fair by following the county fair flower exhibitor guide.

Showcase Your Best

In conclusion, what are you waiting for? Follow the county fair flower exhibitor guide above to see if you have flowers that would fit the quality of caliber judges are looking for.

Then, explore options for exhibition. Prepare yours to the best of your ability and enjoy other’s exhibits at the fair as well. Finally, enjoy making exhibiting flowers at the county fair a goal for each and every year to come.

~ Much Love ~

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