The experienced exhibitor does not need to be reminded of the importance of staging. He knows that first-grade blooms alone will not guarantee the coveted premier award as other exhibitors may have equally good blooms, and he will so stage his display that the quality of the flowers cannot fail to catch the eye of the judges, knowing that once attention is secured his exhibit is in the running.
The use of "vases" (small sand buckets, painted green, are suitable) has so simplified staging that the beginner can, with good blooms and the exercise of care, stage an exhibit as effectively as his competitors.
Each bloom is held in place in a glass tube with the aid of foliage, the stem of the flower being threaded through the leaves in such a way that the petals are supported in correct open formation. A good plan is to grow a number of spare plants of a broad-leaved vlola to furnish the required foliage.
The blooms used must be fresh, without blemish and of uniform size. Varieties which open flat are much to be preferred. Pick the blooms as early as possible on the show date, placing them in water. Then examine each flower, selecting sufficient blooms of each variety with, say, two or three spares, and place on damp moss in the box in which they are to be carried to the Show. Keep the blooms of each variety together in order to save valuable time when staging.
Maybe the Class entered is one of six vases, each six blooms. The custom is to stage each six blooms in the form of a triangle, three, two and one, using tubes of varying length. The tubes can easily be adusted in the vases to permlt of each bloom being seen to advantage. It is unwise to include blooms of any variety noticeably larger than the others. To leave them in the exhibit may lose you an award. Substitute other blooms and enter the outstanding variety in a one-vase Class, and who knows but that this transference may not result in success in each of the two Classes!
Before leaving the Show bench see that each tube is filled with water to the brim. Label each vase neatly with the name of the variety and then place the Show Card under one of the vases.
The beginner would do well to purchase a stock of vases and tubes early in the season, and when there are a few minutes to spare to practice staging. Try sloping the tubes slightly backwards and the outside ones to the right and left. It is surprising how fascinating this playing at staging can be. Try it.
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