2020 Virtual Truss Show

MARS 2020 Virtual Truss Show

Since we had to cancel our “real” truss show due to COVID-19, we’re having a virtual show instead!  The MARS 2020 Virtual Truss Show is a relatively low-key affair with the aim of encouraging and educating our club members and sharing our gardening accomplishments during this period of self-isolation.

The contest will be in two parts:

Rhododendrons flowering in April – Submissions closed.  Click here to check out the beautiful winners!

Rhododendrons flowering in May (submission deadline midnight, May 31)

Winning entries will be put on the MARS website, but no trophies or ribbons will be awarded, only bragging rights! Rationalizations by the judges on the merits of any submission will be confidential and their award decisions will be final.


  1. We hope that every MARS member will participate, even if they only submit one truss! Each submission should be a photo of a flowerhead (truss) or leaf on the plant, i.e., do not cut the truss or leaf off and then photograph it. A photo can be taken with either a cellphone or camera. Each photo image should be submitted in its original file size as a ‘jpg’ (don’t reduce this as that can affect image quality), and be labelled with the plant name (use “unknown” if not sure).

Note: if you are having trouble downloading images from your cellphone or camera or creating files to email and sending them, Bob Baird, one of our knowledgeable MARS computer experts, is happy to help you if you call him at 250-248-3389 or email him at bob.baird@shaw.ca.

  1. No Photoshop or other technical treatment to improve photos. This is not a photo contest. The true image is what we want to see.
  1. All submissions should be sent to Glen at his new email address for this event: marsvirtualshow@gmail.com. Glen will assign images to their proper category for judging.  Please name each photo with the rhododendron name, e.g. “Snow Lady.jpg”
  1. Let’s make this a fun event, and we hope all MARSians will participate!



Seven flower categories:

  • Hardy Species – small
  • Hardy Species – medium
  • Hardy Species – large
  • Hardy Hybrids – small
  • Hardy Hybrids – medium
  • Hardy Hybrids – large
  • Tender

Foliage: Especially large leaves which may have great shape, tomentum, indumentum or rugosity.

(There will be no novice or hammerhead categories.)


Judging Considerations:

Size: Is the apparent size close to what’s expected of the individual variety?

Colour: Is it typical for the variety and the right colour for the category?

Form: Is the truss free of torn flowers or damaged leaves? (In this show, one or two unopened flowers in a truss photo are acceptable).

Foliage: Are the leaves healthy, undamaged and representative of the variety?


Photographic Advice:

Some guidance for taking photos:

  1. Pixels are free, so feel free to take a number of pictures of the same truss or another truss or leaf on the plant, say from different angles or at different times of the day, etc., to change the lighting of the object, then choose what you think is the best one to submit, and discard the rest.
  2. Think about image composition – make sure there are no obstructing leaves, twigs, etc., that the main item is in focus, and that it is not too small in the overall image!
  3. The truss should be cleaned of all extraneous bits such as loose bracts when possible, and chewed leaves, if present, should not be included in the image.


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