A Tale of Two Rose Shows

Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2003 – 6:28 p.m.

2003-10-22 6:28

Among the things I am behind in recording my thoughts about are the two rose shows I have been to in the past month. The last weekend in Sept. was the fall national show in Alexandria, VA and on Oct 11, there was the Charlotte rose show.

Fall National

Since I was unable to attend the national mini show in Charleston this summer, I was determined to go to the Fall national show since it was going to be fairly close by (next year it is Oklahoma City). Looking at the schedule, I was in a bit of a quandary…. the show itself was actually on Friday (not that I was going to enter anything) with the exhibition open to the public on Saturday. There were also classes each day and the Sunday classes really attracted my attention with a class on rose photography using digital cameras. the problem was that the convention cost $90 for the registration but the only thing that really grabbed my attention (other than looking at national class roses) were the classes on Sunday. However, they did offer a Mini-convention registration that only covered Saturday for $10 and that also included a miniature rose. Ok, so I don’t get the classes that intrigued me but there were classes that afternoon and I did get a rose out of it. I invited Anne to go with me.

The show as held at the Alexandria Mark Hilton hotel and parking at the hotel was $8 for the day. Yikes! I checked the website for the Metro and determined that there were no subway station that were near the hotel but through that website I was able to identify that there were buses that went very near. I figured that we park at one of the outlying metro stations and take the bus. Further checking showed that several of the bus line stopped at the Landmark Mall and that struck me as even better.

The transportation worked like clockwork. No problems and it only cost us $1 each and we ate at the Ruby Tuesdays at the mall on our way back. Cool!

The show itself was pretty standard. There were lots of very beautiful roses and I made some notes regarding those that caught my attention. I will have to look to see what the name of the mini I got was but it is white with red edges and smells great. There were not as any vendors as I expected but Ashdown Roses was there and Paul Zimmerman gave a very good talk about old garden roses. He talked about supporting a climber on a pillar that is just an 8 ft 4×4 post embedded 2 ft in the ground. I think I am going to do that in the middle of the wildflower bed. As it is, the wildflowers are not as pretty as I remember in the past, maybe I need to reseed them but I figure a climber (or maybe two) in the middle would look really good.

Paul Zimmerman also talked about different kinds of OGRs and their growth habits and though this I became aware that some of the Bourbon roses actually grow fairly small (3-4 ft). he pointed out that there is a climbing sport for Souvenir de la Malmaison and one could get a very nice display by planting the bush variety at the base of the climbing variety. Another tenet of his is that roses should smell good, a point that I agree with. In his talk he also talked about hybrid Musk roses and said that they tend to be more shade tolerant that most and I immediately thought of the spot in the backyard at S. Edisto by Keith’s room where Dad wants to put an arbor/arch. I will need to do additional research on that.

On the way back, Anne and I talked about what could be done with roses in her yard. I think she has caught the rose bug. We talked about what to do in some of her beds including a place that she presently has a volunteer mulberry tree. I suggested that a Bourbon might be just the ticket for that spot.

The next day was another pretty day and I suggested that we go to Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens and look at the roses there. We had been to the garden last winter to see the holiday light show but obviously there were no blooms at that time (not to mention it was at night so it would be have been difficult to see the blooms anyway:) This time it was a much better time to see the roses. They don’t have a big rose collection but it is quite nicely done with a variety of different kinds of roses including bourbons, climbers, HTs, modern shrubs and Noisettes. One of the other interesting displays was the display regarding different kinds of mulch and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

One of the things I notices when we entered was that there was a discount on the cost of membership for teachers. For $30, a teacher could become a member (the normal rate was $45) and part of that is tax deductible. When we inquired about the membership, the guy at the counter pointed out that they offer a dual membership for $55 and that was doable by any two people, related or not. So, for only $25 more, I could also become a member. Cool!! There were several other things that made having a membership interesting:

  • A 10% discount in the gift shop which did have some interesting rose books.
  • Usage privileges in the botanical garden’s library
  • reciprocal admissions and discounts at other gardens around the country with the AHS (American Horticultural Society) program. this one I think I actually already have through my ARS membership but I couldn’t fine my most recent membership card so I figured I would just go ahead with this membership.

Charlotte Rose Show

It turns out that the membership with Lewis Ginter came in handy two weeks later when we went to the Charlotte rose show. The venue for the show was the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in Belmont, NC (just outside Charlotte). The show was held in conjunction with a Plant Fair at the garden. Admission would have been $8 but with the LGBG memberships, it was free (yes, Anne came down for the rose show and we also went to see Carbon Leaf in Charlotte that evening). The show was nice and it was interesting to contrast it to the national show two weeks earlier. I might have entered something in the show if 1) I had had anything that looked good enough to enter and 2) I had been willing to get up at 5 AM (or earlier) to get down there in time to prep the entries. Oh well.

Several folk from the RRS did make it down and enter things. I know that Rich entered stuff and it looked like David (and maybe Sue) did judging. The Plant Festival included a number of vendors selling plants but only Almost Heaven roses were selling roses. (though Pat Henry was there from Roses Unlimited and may have also been selling.) Pat did give a nice talk about her garden and again, I made notes regarding specific varieties that she mentioned that appealed to me. She also mentioned that Susan Buck (?), Griffin Buck’s daughter, would be coming down for one of her Rose workshop days in March. I might need to go to that one. It would mean taking a Friday off but it would probably be worth it.

The botanical garden itself is relatively new (only a couple of years old) and only has a few gardens open. However, they do have rather impressive plan regarding the development of the gardens over the next 40 years, including a pretty impressive rose garden. That is not to say that there are not rose in the current gardens. Most were well identified but I was curious about some that were not. Most of the roses in the plantings were OGR varieties like teas (Duchesse de Brabant) and china’s (I am pretty sure). There were some of the modern shrub/groundcover varieties as well.

Enough for now…

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