Answers to Your Questions and Quandries


Design Classes

Q. How do I judge a design with artificial flowers or foliage?
A. Read the schedule carefully if it is permitted in the rules then you judge based on the principles and elements. If the schedule indicates no artificial or says follow OJES then you would have to disregard the design but add a very kind comment that lets them know that either the schedule and or OJE does not permit artificial materials. Some fairs do have a section for a design done with artificial flowers and, here again, the elements and principles apply just like a design with live plant materials.

Fruit and Vegetable Classes

A. How do you judge a sunflower seed head?
A. It is a horticultural specimen and should be viewed as a Vegetable and or Fruit – One entry with a scale of points – Condition 40 Form and Color 30 Size typical of cultivar 20 Distinction 05 Named 05.

Perennial Classes

Q. In the ‘Any other Perennials Class’, would the following specimens be entered: Hydrangea, Spirea, Butterfly Bush, and a bedraggled Heliopsis? Are Hydrangea, Spirea, and Butterfly Bush considered Perennials?
A. Hydrangea, Spirea, Butterfly Bush are all Shrubs, Shrubs are defined as a woody perennial plant. SO yes, they are Perennial. You would also have to look carefully at the schedule to make sure there was no other class such as Flowering Shrub that they should have been entered in. Often an Any Other Perennial class is listed as Any Other Perennial (not listed above).

Photography Classes

Q. If a photography class asks for flowers, should it be interpreted as more than one?
A. An entry with just one flower should not be disregarded. You are looking for overall artistic merit of the entries.

Youth Classes

Q. How do you judge a “children’s” arrangement when it looks very much like an adult has done most of it?
A. This is a very difficult question. You don’t want to discourage children who have done all the work themselves, but you also don’t want to be accusing a child of getting too much help. As with adults, if it is on the table and was passed by the passing committee then you must judge it. There is no easy way other than to have a quiet word with the Show Chair afterward.



It's Show Time

Q. Once a judge has made a decision, it has been recorded by the clerk, ribbon placed, and the winner announced would it be unethical for the judge to change their mind the next day and change the prize list?
A. Yes, it would be unethical and unprofessional. As a Judge, you need to carefully make a choice and once that choice has been recorded and announced, you should not change your decision.

Q. Should Clerks be talking while judging is ongoing?
A. OJES Page 24 Clerks should not offer Advice or unwanted information and should not follow judges too closely unless invited. The Show Chair or designate should be available. If a clerk is distracting, you politely ask them to stay back a bit and refrain from comment as it distracts you from giving full attention to the job at hand. A quiet word with the Show Chair afterward may help to make sure the Clerk does not distract in the future.

Compliance and OJES

Q. Are there any sanctions in place for judges found not complying with good judging ethics? Can a Society put questions of this nature to the OHA Executive?
A. There is no formal complaint mechanism set up by the OHA to deal with Judging Ethics. However, the OHA now has a Judging Committee so the concern could be communicated to the Committee for its consideration. The easiest way is to make sure you do not ask the Judge in question to judge again. Word does get around about a Judges reputation.

Tips for Judges

Q. When Judging scented Roses, what can be done to prevent scents from overwhelming your sense of smell?
A. Bring a few coffee beans in your pocket and smell them between the different entries. It helps to clear your nose.