Everyone is welcome to enter their plants into the near-monthly mini-show. Participating is a great way to show off the plants you have grown with love and care while flexing your staging skills.
The mini-show table is at the front of the room. Half of the table is for plants in the cactus category; it is divided into three areas for plants from novice, intermediate, and advanced participants. The other half of the table is for plants in the succulent category and has the three sections as well. It is customary to bring in 1-2 plants per category. Entry forms are color-coded to designate the participants’ experience. One writes their name and the Latin name of the plant legibly on a form and then place the form under the pot so that their name is covered but the plant’s name is visible.
The plants are judged during a meeting break. Often the guest speaker and two members are invited by the mini-show coordinator to do the judging. The judges give the results and often talk about the plants, ask questions, and give helpful suggestions.
Mini-show points are recorded on a Google document available for viewing online. At the end of the year, all of the points are tallied and prizes are awarded to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners for the cactus and succulent categories. Winners move up a level of experience for the next year.
These mini-shows are practice for the two big shows that the club puts on at the spring and summer show and sale events. They are an important educational demonstration and can be truly inspirational.
Our society’s mini-show coordinator is Alden Norris. He does an excellent job keeping things in order and can answer any questions you may have about the mini-shows. Each month one or two genera of cacti and succulents are designated as the mini-show plants. The list can be found on the OCCSS website and in our newsletter. Choose a couple of your finest of these genera and stage each in a nice pot with some top dressing. No tags should be visible. Think about any growing tips or interesting information that you can share about your plants. The judging discussion time is an opportunity to teach and learn.