If the blooms in your garden are your pride and joy, why not enter them into one of the flower classes at The Slough Horticultural Show on August 18.
There are many classes to choose from, and lots of different flowers can be entered from sunflowers to sweet peas, chrysanthemums to cactus!
And, if you have creative flair, there are classes for flower arranging and pot plants.
The classes are open to all levels of competitors including individuals, flower and garden clubs. Floral art is also a class in the junior section of the show.
Here are some useful tips to help you get the most out of your plants and flowers when preparing them for the show:
• 2 – 3 weeks prior to show, keep soil moist
• Remove any unwanted, weak sideshoots or buds to help develop the main flower
• If possible protect blooms from damage caused by rain and splashing from the soil
• Check the show schedule for requirements of the class you are entering
• Cut for the show in the evening or early morning – when the flowers and foliage are cool
• Flower stems should be cut as long as possible
• Make a slanting cut at the end of the stalk as this will assist the uptake of water
• Avoid handling the flowers more than is necessary
• Carry the cut stems with the blooms facing downwards keeping the plant away from draughts or bright sunshine as much as possible
• Try to cut sufficient flowers to allow some choice in your final selection
• Remove unwanted undeveloped sideshoots, unopened buds and some of the lower leaves as these will divert water from the stem and flower
• The cut stems should be plunged upright, up to their necks in deep containers of clean, cold water – preferably overnight. Place in cool position away from light because stems are drawn to the light and can become curved
Remember that a judge will evaluate the stem and foliage, the flower, the container, the arrangement and uniformity of the flowers.
Rob Anderson, cabinet member for environment and leisure, said: “The flower classes will add lots of colour to the judging marquee, and I look forward to seeing what residents have been growing in their gardens.
“At the council we are committed to making the borough look attractive and bright which is why we invest in the annual planting of thousands of bulbs along our major roads and in parks – it’s great to see that so many residents take pride in their homes and gardens by growing their own. It would be fantastic to see a flavour of what has been blooming in Slough gardens at the show!.”
Haley Baldwin, from Slough Allotment Federation, said: “I am really looking forward to the flower section in the show, I’m keen to see beautiful dahlia and of course sunflowers, but also hope to be dazzled by the arrangements in a teapot.
“I’m sure the blooms that are brought will bring a wonderful array of colours and maybe showcase some hidden talents. “
The Slough Horticultural Show takes place on August 18 in Lascelles Park from 11am to 5pm.