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Exhibitors Newsletter, Spring 2013

Paper versions of this newsletter together with your Shows Handbook for 2013 will be sent out to all known exhibitors and judges and to anyone else who has requested one.

Are you a new member of the Alpine Garden Society?

If you have joined the Society in the last year, but have not yet exhibited at a show, we will also send you a copy of the Shows Handbook in the hope that you might be tempted to become an exhibitor.  If you would like to obtain a copy in future years, you need to let us know.

All members should have received a list of Show Dates in the Shows leaflet sent out in the Newsletter with the December bulletin.  If you know of anyone who might be tempted to exhibit at our shows, phone or e-mail the AGS Centre and they will be glad to send a Handbook out to the member concerned.

Use of the members’ discussion area on the website is still growing.  It is quite easy to upload the occasional show picture to this part of the website.  A larger collection of pictures of a show can still be e-mailed to me for display as part of the more detailed show photo-galleries.  There are a multitude of pictures of plants at our shows in this section of the website-  www.alpinegardensociety.net/shows/

My thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of the shows during 2012 and good luck with your exhibiting in 2013.

                                                                                                       Ray Drew

                                                            email: ray.drew@agsgroups.org

In this issue


•Geoff Mawson takes on Show finances

•Loughborough says goodbye/hello

•….and so does South West

• Cleveland show – new venue

•  Summer North -  artistic section

•  Malvern show - artistic section

• London show – we need your support

• Changes to the Artistic section

• Cactus – foliage or not?

• Conifers aren’t shrubs

• Botanical list changes and their consequences

• 6-Pan entries – change to rule 29

• Fancy a new show?

• New exhibitor?

• Show sub-committee membership


Newsletter Copy

If you have any brief items that could be printed in future issues of this Newsletter, please let me have them, contacting me on the above e-mail address


Geoff Mawson takes on show finances.

As Assistant Director of shows, Dave Riley was mainly responsible for show finances/accounts and budgeting within the Shows department. Following his retirement from the position, this role fell mainly upon the AGS centre but this was far from ideal. Although the title has now ceased to exist, I am fortunate enough to be able to inform you that Geoff Mawson has taken on this job and will now be the first point of contact for issues related to show finances.

Loughborough says goodbye/hello.

This will be Doreen and Eric Webster last show as local Show Secretaries, the roles being filled jointly by Neil Hubbard and Martin Rogerson with effect from the 2013 Autumn Show. I’m sure many of you were delighted by the return of the autumn show last season and would like to join me in thanking both Doreen and Eric for their hard work in running multiple shows. Welcome also to Neil and Martin.

…. and so does South West

Bob and Di Darke have retired as joint show secretaries for the Exeter Show.  Jon and Kana Webster have volunteered to take on this role so please join me in thanking Bob and Di for all their years of hard work and welcoming Jon and Kana on board. 

Cleveland Show - new venue

Due to a long suspected closure of its previous venue, the Cleveland show will be moving to the Norton Education Centre, Junction Road, Norton, Stockton-on-Tees, TS20 1PR. I have been assured it has the makings of a great venue

Summer North - artistic section returns

As reported in last years Newsletter, Eric Rainford and his team found a new venue for this seasons Summer Show North. Chesney Centre is situated conveniently close to Junction 32 on the M62 and has very good facilities with ground floor access which is fully DDA compliant. Parking is limited at the front of the building and exhibitors are urged to move their vehicles to the car park at the rear (signage will be in place). 2013 sees the return of an Artistic section at this show (see schedule for details)

Malvern show – artistic section returns.

There will be a four day Artistic show at the Malvern show, running from Thursday to Sunday (staging on Wednesday afternoon)

London Show – we need your support

The RHS London show, along with Chelsea, is one of the last direct links between the AGS and the RHS; a great opportunity for us as exhibitors to show the gardening public at large the range and quality of plants we encompass within our society. Being mid-week makes it difficult for people to get their plants onto the bench but with a little planning its not at all difficult, or costly. Plants can be staged after congestion charges and parking meters have stopped operating, with people helping to unload and stage if necessary; the same on the Wednesday where show officials and helpers will gather the plants together and wait for you to arrive to collect them up until 7:30. In the past one person has brought in a number of plants from a group of people and someone different has dealt with the collecting run on the Wednesday. If enough people get together it may also be possible for a van to collect plants from a pick-up point and deliver them to the halls for staging, reversing the process to return them – speak to me or AGS HQ about this possibility. It’s very important, with falling membership numbers, that we do all we can to encourage interest in our society and hopefully gain a few new exhibitors along the way.

Changes to the Artistic Section

The note which at the moment says 'Entries in the Artistic Section that have won a first prize at AGS Shows in previous years are not eligible' has been changed to 'Exhibits in the Artistic Section may only be entered once at each AGS Show.  Images which have been entered at the same AGS Show in previous years are not eligible.'  This is intended to increase the number of artistic entries at the two Irish shows (particularly paintings and drawings), to make it easier for Irish exhibitors to enter shows in England, and to make competition fairer between artists and photographers (who can make multiple copies of their images, so they can enter the images in two shows on the same/adjacent dates).

Also, the photographic category for images of alpine plants in cultivation has been split into two - plants in a garden setting, and plants in pots or containers.  The intention of this change is to make judging easier; we have received feedback from judges over the last couple of years that in the classes for photographs of plants in cultivation, it is difficult to compare formal portraits of plants in pots with photos of plants in gardens.  Instead of 6, 3 and 1 colour photographs of "alpine plants, distinct, showing the characteristic habit of the plant in cultivation"

Cactus – foliage or not?

Avoiding the almost predictable ‘thorny subject’ statement is difficult with this group of plants. Having consulted a number of ‘experts’ in the field it has been decided that the family Cactaceae has valid members that are suitable for exhibition at AGS shows but their acceptability as foliage plants will cease.

Conifers aren’t shrubs.

This is probably an obvious statement but classes that stated ‘ 1 pan dwarf shrub, excl. conifers’ lead exhibitors to believe that if the ‘excl.’ was omitted at other shows it meant that conifers were allowed – this will hopefully remove the misconception

Botanical list changes and their consequences.

Part of this year's preparation has involved bringing the 'short botanical list' up to date - although it's probably changing even as I write this sentence. Diane Clement’s great piece of work for the seed exchange has formed the basis for this update. Because of this, some plants will have name changes and rearrangements, as will a number of the families and genera into which these plants are now grouped. So, for example, as the family Alliaceae no longer exists (ref: The Plant List), if a show you attend had a class for 'one pan Alliaceae', obviously it will have been changed.  The show schedule has been adjusted to allow for these changes and most plants will still be valid in the classes you would have previously put them into. I would ask all exhibitors to have a look through the new ‘short botanical list’ in the schedule to familiarise yourself  but DON’T PANIC, Rule 18 states – ‘Errors in naming will not disqualify’; don’t be surprised if a judges note with a name change appears beside your exhibit.

Some noteworthy changes (but certainly not all):- Trachelium asperuloides is now Campanula asperuloides (no longer in 1 pan Campanulaceae excl. Campanula), Ipheion no longer exists as a genus so, I. uniflorum, sellowianum, sessile and nivale are all now in the genus Tristagma. Asparagaceae has swallowed up Hyacinthaceae and some other Liliales and as such some appear in the ‘suitable for bulbous class’ list. Plantaginaceae has engulfed much of what was Scrophulareaceae and Calceolaria is now in a genus of its own (Calceolariaceae).

 I guess an obvious question is 'why change? As a society, we are seen as an authoritative body; articles produced in 'The Alpine Gardener' are classed as botanical references for many institutions world-wide. It's also logical to have one definitive list to cover both the seed exchange and shows department.

6-Pan entries – change to rule 29

To overcome an anomaly in the schedule, the wording of Rule 29 - ‘Please note that six pan classes must include at least four plants in flower or fruit (except in the case of six pan classes raised from seed)’ has changed to ‘at least three plants’ – please note that the judges will still favour the flowering plant over the non-flowering plant except where the wording 'foliage' is implicit in the class description.


Fancy a new show?

If you think that the area you live in could do with a National Show why not consider becoming a Show Secretary. If you are an exhibitor you will have a good idea of the type of venue that’s required; easy access, suitable hall size, good lighting, ample parking. The AGS shows department would give as much support as was necessary to anyone who would consider getting a group of people together to run a National show – speak to me or AGS HQ if you are interested.

New exhibitor ?

….or do you know anyone that might be persuaded to become an exhibitor?  We rely on our exhibitors to maintain the high standard at our shows and a steady supply of new exhibitors is required to keep these standards up.  Most new exhibitors are brought along to a show by an existing exhibitor and even if they don't bring any plants this year, point out the Novice section to them and encourage them to think about having a go next year. We should all keep an eye open at the shows for anyone who looks new and see if they need help in finding their way through the process of staging their plants.

Novice section exhibitors can bring their plants along on the morning of the show without prior notice but please inform the local show secretaries of large entries as soon as possible and in all cases, entries must be staged and registered as early as possible to allow printing and placing of entry cards at least 30 minutes before judging is due to commence. 

Show Sub-Committee Membership

Most major decisions about the running of AGS National shows are made by the Shows Sub-Committee.  If you want to make suggestions to this committee, the members of the Show Sub-Committee during the current year are: Chair: Ray Drew; Ex-officio: David Haselgrove, Chris McGregor; Jim McGregor, Don Peace; Judges Co-ordinators: Geoff Mawson, Rannveig Wallis, Jim Almond, Jon Evans (Art); Elected Member: Eric Jarrett. 

The 2012 Show League Tables

The annual league tables for prize points in each section appear on the website.

The winners of the sections in the 2012 Season were:

Giuseppi Cup (Open Section): Cecilia Coller

Byng Cup (Intermediate Section): Clive Dart

Clifford Crook Cup (Novice Section): Andrew Ward

Ferns Art Trophy (Overall Open Artistic Section): Jon Evans

Open Section Photography: Jon Evans

Open Section Artistic: Jean Morris

Intermediate Section Photography: John Hill

Intermediate Section Artistic: Maeve Spotswood

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