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Online Show: On-line Show 2016

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Started by: Fermi de Sousa

The current On-line Show

Go to latest contribution by Martin Sheader, 25 January 2017, 11:23. Go to bottom of this page.

Contribution from Fermi de Sousa 13 January 2017, 05:57top / bottom of page
A start to the discussion...

Another good showing of plants grown by Society members from around the globe.I  understand that there is limited space to host the Show so that Caryophyllaceae Has ​to encompass the entire family and not have a section for "Dianthus" and another for "Caryophyllaceae excluding Dianthus" but why then have "Dwarf Shrubs" and "Dwarf Shrubs not covered by sections 96-99"? Do the categories get reviewed at any time?

Also, I see the On-line Show as a great opportunity for those of us unable to exhibit at a "real" Show a chance to put in an entry. It must also be great for members who could attend but would be torn between putting in an entry and the risk of digging and potting something which is doing well in the garden. So I find it a bit confronting to see an exhibit which is obviously on display at a Show when it was photographed! Maybe it was an exhibit which did not garner a red sticker and the exhibitor is trying to prove a point by having it win here? Maybe it was simply because there were very few entries as the closing date approached and some people were "encouraged" to put in entries? We may never know!

I look forward to hearing what others think,



Contribution from ian mcdonald 13 January 2017, 20:03top / bottom of page
online show sections

There is some discussion on the SRGC forum regarding the AGS online show. It seems that there is a problem about which section plants should be exhibited in. This is no doubt preventing some people from taking part in the online show. Can we please have a system that is simple and easy to use. It is not "user friendly" to dis-allow an entry on the grounds that the entrant is not up to date with these modern changes when the "experts" cannot agree.

Contribution from Margaret Young 13 January 2017, 20:23top / bottom of page

After a joint AGS SRGC member posted about their  pleasure in having taken part in the AGS online show, after some computer difficulties when it was thought the photos may not be  available  to get the entry made,   it was then  mentioned by another member that as an exhibitor he had been confused that an entry  had been marked NAS  in a class.

I thought it had said in the preamble to the show  that a contact was needed in case the exhibitor needed to be  consulted about  just such an eventuality. I remember thinking that was a good thing- so disheartening to be NAS'd.

 Another member has  reported  that he found a discrepency in the notes as to whether  exhibitors  are to use compositae or asteraceae

"The Daisy Family used to be called Compositae but is now known as Asteraceae. The exhibitor was  correct to be looking for a class in which to enter a plant from the Family Asteraceae, backed up by the correct, up-to-date information you found in the AGS Encyclopedia. The problem is that the AGS online Show Schedule is out of date. They should have updated Class 27 Compositae to instead say Class 27 Asteraceae. Gardeners can't be expected to be able to keep on top of all the taxonomic changes that go on. This is where a Show Secretary would have been helpful to give advice on the appropriate class for you plant if you are unsure."

 That brings  this thread up to date with the conversation eleswhere.

Contribution from Martin Rogerson 14 January 2017, 10:05top / bottom of page

I'll copy here the relevant bits of my response to this thread on the SRGC forum

The online show was started as a bit of fun to lighten up our dark winter days. It’s not meant to be life or death!

It is organised and run by volunteers who give up a lot of time trying to make it work. It is not run by taxonomic experts, just by enthusiasts like the rest of us.

It’s probably not surprising that the Asteraceae v Compositae is unclear. It’s certainly unclear to me and is likely to change again next week. The AGS Shows Handbook did, and will continue for the moment, in its botanical list to use Compositae (was Asteraceae).

Yes, the intention was to try to ensure entries were stewarded and innocent mistakes fixed before judging. I’m going to hazard a guess that there were not enough volunteers in place, for whatever reason, for this to happen. Or maybe it was simply missed by a non-expert volunteer.

Moving on to Fermi’s questions. The categories are reviewed but not every year. There is no such thing as a show schedule that meets everyone’s approval or desires. The pictures of plants on the show bench is a recognised difficulty and was one reason that there are many classes for plants in a garden setting. But what’s the difference between a plant in a pot in the alpine house to the same plant taken to a show. Too difficult so they are allowed (and indeed some classes would have few entries if not for the showers who participate).

To conclude, I go back to the beginning. It’s supposed to be a bit of fun!



Contribution from Fermi de Sousa 14 January 2017, 11:17top / bottom of page

Thanks, Martin, for your contribution to the discussion. I understand that the On-line Show is stewarded by volunteers and that they aren't taxonomic experts.We are all time-poor and we all give up more time than we should for our hobby already!

As you rightly say it is supposed to be a bit of fun and I'm glad that the AGS chose to run the On-line Show so people like me on the other side of the world can particpate



Contribution from Ray Drew 23 January 2017, 11:06top / bottom of page

Hopefully I can shed some light on the comments made on the AGS discussion page concerning the On-line show. The show only opened on the 9th January and the first comment came through to the AGS discussion page on the 13th (I do not look at the SRGC web site as a matter of course). The first thing to say is that as much as it is considered a bit of fun , the judges take the show very seriously and try to be even-handed when it comes to making decisions. It is almost as hard to award an NAS as it is to receive one (we’ve all been there!). The show is stewarded by a volunteer who got it right 99.9% of the time and was totally apologetic for missing the Townsendia.
Neither the judges or the steward have the ability to move entries, the steward informs the entrant of the ‘error’ and it’s up to them to decide what to do (one entrant actually ignored the advice). The process for us to move an entry would not be straightforward; first identify a problem, then see who the exhibitor is (judges cannot be involved in this process due to anonymity issues when judging), then find a suitable class i.e. one that fits the correct criteria, then see if the exhibitor is already in this class, if they are which image do you put in it – the one that’s there or do you replace it with the image in question???? At an AGS show there are a number of people unrelated to the judging process who can do such things.
Errors will always occur post-stewarding; if a wrongly named plant ends up in a geographical class and a judge correctly identifies it which then puts it on the wrong continent ( this has happened a number of times) we have to NAS it. To ensure this never happens we would have to judge the whole show, debate the outcome, get it changed and re-judge the show again; this will not happen – the steward is trying to help but ultimately it was the exhibitor’s error.
Looking at overzealous NASing and hard judging – reverse the situation – if you were an entrant in a class and saw that an error had been made by not NASing an entry, consider how you would feel. You have checked the botanical list at the front of the show, saw that it’s out of date, shrugged your shoulders and entered as appropriate – just to have a judge alter the rules half way through the process ( I know how I would feel).
The comment that the show is not ‘user friendly’ based on what the ‘experts’ think is a little unfair – in this context the AGS are not the ‘experts’ at fault. Because of the ever changing vagaries of botanist, there is a list at the front end of the show which is the one that entries need to be made against. Compositae vs Asteraceae is only one of the many taxonomy problems one faces in a show of this nature. Contrary to the comment made, the categories are reviewed every year, taking on board comments made – plants in pots were separated from plants in the garden two years ago as it was thought that pristine show plants had an unfair advantage in a show meant to even-out such things. If I was to list ever genera in every family in the botanical listing it would take forever, only to be changed each year due to the aforementioned botanists playing games (The fact that an entry was made with the ‘First’ sticker on it is out of our control).
I’m not sure of the context relating to the Caryophyllaceae ( excluding Dianthus) statement but there are around 200 genera listed as shrubs as opposed to 20 Caryophyllaceae so it’s logical to separate the aesthetic classes to give the ‘only their mothers would love them’ species a chance. If the question is, can Dianthus be split from Caryophyllaceae based on an overwhelming number in the class or greater aestheticism the answer is yes but I have to be made aware that it is thought necessary, using the AGS discussion page (sadly, I don’t have time to check every day, so please bear with). Incidentally, as a result of this years show, the Dwarf Shrub’ class will next year become ‘Dwarf Shrub in flower’
I am obviously aware that discussion is taking place on the SRGC forum but I cannot comment on things I do not see. A couple of points have come across but PLEASE if you have a complaint or a query, if you think the rules are hard to understand or could be improved, use the AGS discussion page or contact me direct, or through the office – it’s really unfair to criticise without giving me the right to reply.

Ray Drew, AGS On-line show manager.



Contribution from Martin Sheader 25 January 2017, 11:23top / bottom of page

Many thanks to all those who contribute to the online show. It gives us a breath of spring/summer in the depths of winter and I always enjoy trying to compare my preferences with those of the judges.

I would just to correct Maggie in her assertion that Compositae should be replaced by Asteraceae as the "updated" correct name. In the latest APGIV Flowering Plant Classification published in 2016, 6 families have been permitted to have dual names, mainly because they have been used for a long time and by popular demand. The families that concern us are: Asteraceae v Compositae, Brassicaceae v Cruciferae, Lamiaceae v Labiatae, Fabaceae v Leguminosae and Apiaceae v Umbelliferae. For each of these pairs, each name has equal status under the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. Different organisations have opted to use particular names; hence Kew have opted to retain Compositae and Leguminosae. In these circumstances, the AGS approach of using eg Compositae (Asteraceae) is a sensible approach.

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