This past weekend, I drove up to Lynchburg, VA to teach my two rose classes at Atlantian Summer University. I have finally reworked the Roses Then and Now class as a Powerpoint slide deck. When I started teaching this class in October of 2001, I wrote it up and used overhead projector slides printed on a laser printer. Wow, I have been teaching this class for 16 years! Over the years, and particularly when I started teaching the class in a tent without power, like at Pennsic, I moved away from the overhead slides and just taught it with a color handout and a couple of posters with pictures of the roses. Also, when I started teaching these classes, the classrooms often had overhead projectors but didn’t have video projectors. Now it is the opposite. In addition, the technology has advanced to where, for a couple of hundred bucks, you can buy a pico-projector (a small video projector, about the size of a thick paperback book) that even runs on batteries! It was time for me to move into the 21st century and refresh the class as a Powerpoint presentation, along with new images with proper attribution (thank you Creative Commons Licensing!). Ok, the fact that I had been asked to present my talk at the Heritage Rose Foundation (HRF) 2017 annual conference also lit a fire for the revamp. (More on that in another post).
This was the first presentation of the new format to the SCA audience but, alas, no students came to my class. It happens that way sometimes. I had two folk pre-registered and often other people will just show up, but it often happens that folk change their minds and choose to do other stuff. It is a little disappointing to have NOBODY show up but it happens. Even though no one showed, it did allow me to set up my computer with my pico-projector and make sure it all worked correctly.
My second class, How to Grow Period Roses, did have several people attend. In that class, I go over where I have been able to find period roses for sale, what to look for when trying to find period varieties, and how to care for them once you get them (not that they are that different from other roses…) You just have to remember that you need to allocate more space for them compared to most modern roses, they only bloom in the spring, and pruning them is different from hybrid tea roses. Still, people do look for standard info about what makes a good place for roses and the step by step process for actually planting a bush. I guess I should actually do a handout (or find one to point folk to) with the actually steps for planting a rose.
After-University “field trip” to Old City Cemetery
As an “post conference activity” of the HRF conference in May, I had the opportunity to visit the Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg VA. Here I was, three weeks later, back in Lynchburg for Atlantia University! The opportunity was just too good to pass up so I put out an invite to join me at the cemetery after university was over and look at the roses there. Yes, any period roses would be past blooming but at least I could point to the plants and talk about them and look at the other more modern roses there. [sigh] Alas, no one took me up on the meeting and I was there by myself. It was a little disappointing. On the other hand, there were not that many roses in bloom. All the spring-only bloomers were done and the repeat bloomers were still recovering from the first spring blush… and the japanese bettles has come through…. So…. there really was not much to see in the way of blooming bushes.
Still, the idea is a good one and maybe with more fore-planning, lead time, and better marketing (i.e. getting the word out there about it), I could try it again, maybe in the fall or next May.
Enough for now…