The exhibitor should go over his flowers on the evening before the show day and select a number of promising blooms. The flowers should have so far passed the bud stage that the outer petals are half open, but any that show the slightest tendency to being, or shortly becoming, blown must be rejected.
Round the centre of each selected flower carefully fasten a piece of raphia, which may remain until the flowers are arranged in the stand. Always take more flowers to the show than are required for the stand, in order to be able to make a choice when setting-up time comes, but if there are two blooms of one variety, watch them carefully; they have a nasty way of sneaking in and getting you disqualified for duplicating.
The old parliamentary hand is great on getting a strong back row. He knows that substance there, combined with freshness, catches the judge's eye quickly. The heaviest flowers should go to the back.
While, however, weight is regarded, and rightly regarded, as a point, symmetry and freshness must never be overlooked. A blown flower must be rigidly excluded. It might find favour with Mr. Broad Beans at the rural show, but try it on, under the encouragement afforded by the estimable Mr. Beans, at the National, and a catastrophe will ensue.
If with youth and freshness you can unite size, it is well, for in the Rose tent, as on the turf, the old trainer's dictum holds the sway, "A good big 'un will always beat a good little 'un."
Fig. 42. Prize Roses Grown In A Backyard