Tuesday, May. 21, 2002 – 7:37 a.m.
This weekend was the Raleigh Rose Society’s 55th annual rose show. In past years, the show had been at North Hills Mall in Raleigh but since that mall is closing, the show this year was at Prime Outlet Mall in Morrisville (near the airport). This is actually pretty close to the house (which is important later on…). From what I understand, the management here has been VERY nice and accommodating and the people traffic is MUCH better than they have seen in past years. Next year, we will host the district show here (hopefully) and it will be the weekend after Mother’s Day.
Friday night, I came over after work to help set up. Because I got tied up at work (what a surprise..) I didn’t get here until about 7:30 and by then they had most of the tables set up. I did, however, assist with the setup of the category labels on the tables and arranging the prize cards on the head table.
After things got finished at setup, I went home and cut roses by flashlight. Given that the weather guys had been saying that it was supposed to storm Friday night, I figured that I had better cut them before it stormed. In the past, I have used a large vase or something similar to hold the roses after I cut them. However, there have been a number of occasions when I managed to knock the vase over (or set it down on an uneven surface and it tipped) so I gathered up the large jars I have around and some large plastic drinking glasses and put these in a dishpan. I then filled everything with water (both the dishpan and the jars/glasses). Kind of heavy but stable. I was a little disappointed with my selection. A number of the bushes either had blooms that were too young or too old. I pick what looked good and actually ended up with a reasonable selection for the next day. I thought about putting the blooms in the fridge to keep them cool but ended up not. I later learned that one has be be careful when refrigerating blooms; if you don’t somehow wrap the blooms, they get dehydrated and lose their “body”, becoming limp.
At 8am Saturday morning, I loaded up the pan of roses, my rose prep kit (that I put together that morning), and my camera and headed for the Mall. I took a look at the bushes again and noticed that some blooms had developed overnight. We had not gotten the storm they predicted. As I was taking the bucket of roses out the car at the mall, the bloom for the Rose de Rescht fell apart. <SIGH> This was one of the roses I really wanted to enter. Since I had never entered a rose society show before, let alone won a blue ribbon (the definition of a novice is a person who has not won a blue ribbon), I qualified to enter in the H-2 category (Novice Hybrid Tea or Grandiflora). In that category, I put two entries: King of Hearts (a very nice red) and Perfect Moment (a red/yellow blend). I also entered Cesar E. Chavez in the H-3 category (fully open blooms). For miniatures, I entered the following: Miss Flippens (a deep red mini) in the miniature novice, Miss Flippens as a fully-open miniature, and Kittyhawk as a miniature spray. At this point, it was only about 9am so I had an hour before the entry phase closed so I ran home and cut two more Rose de Rescht blooms. Making it back with about 30 minutes to do the entry, I pick the nicest looking bloom and prepped it. I almost made a mistake and entered both blooms in the same category (V-20 Victorian Award: Old Garden Roses introduced after 1867); That would have been bad because they both probably would have been disqualified. One can have multiple entries in most categories but they have to be different varieties.
At this point, my task was done so I went wander around the mall. I could have “clerked” for the judges which basically mean you follow the judges around and place the ribbons once they have made their decisions. Next year I will probably do that.
Upon returning after spending a fair amount of time browsing in a discount book shop, I returned to find that I had scored a BLUE RIBBON for my Rose de Rescht and it had made the ?head table? where all the category winners (as well as the Queen of Show and other over-all winners) are displayed. There goes my novice status! J I also got a 2nd place and Honorable Mention (for King of Hearts and Perfect Moment respectively) in the Novice category and two 3rd places and a 2nd place in the miniatures. Not bad for my first show!! The prize for the Victorian Award was a glass bedside water carafe and glass. The carafe is etched with a rose and the award on it.
By 1pm, the judges were finished, all the awards given, so at that point, the show was opened up so the public could take a look. There were a fair number of folk who wandered by and took a look. About 4pm, we started to break down the show. Amazingly, most people don?t claim their roses at the end of the day so I was able to salvage a bunch of very nice blooms. Some folk take the winning roses and try to root them. I just planned to fill vases around the house (and Francesca?s apt.). About 6:30pm, we finished take down and loading everything up in various folks? vehicles. In the end, there were a number of miniature plants that they had not sold over the course of the day so I ended up with 3 more bushes, including another Kittyhawk. I will probably put all these in pots over the next couple of days.
Enough for now, I will upload and link photos of the show later (tomorrow probably).