By Carol Wong, President
For our March program, Steve and Diana Stepps illustrated “Building a Low Maintenance Rose Garden” that started with a plan, gopher proofing beds, putting in a drip irrigation system, selecting old and modern roses, spacing them 4 feet apart, and finally planting 150 of them. Improvements included an automatic fertilizing system, and mulching for weeds. The result? a rainbow of colors, roses that climb arches, low toxic maintenance. They gave us ideas to contemplate changes in our gardens. April’s program will be a gorgeous tour through gardens in France with Rose Gilardi, who comes to us from San Francisco.
Eight PRS members and guests joined about 25 other garden lovers at Quarryhill Botanical Garden to hear Ping Lim, who told stories of how species roses from China were hybridized with European and middle eastern roses because of their ability to bloom more than once a year, add the colors red and yellow to the pinks then known, and had a longer, pointed petal which created the shape of today’s hybrid teas. Bill McNamara, developer of the garden, guided us through many varieties of white, speckled, and creamy pink magnolias and species roses such as Rosa Chinensis and Rosa Odorata with huge white petals and bright yellow stamens. Streams ran down the hills over a waterfall and into a pond amid irises and many rare Asian plants taking hold in this spot. If you missed this great trip, think about going up during the month of May which they recommend. Other events and places to visit during spring bloom season include the San Jose Heritage and Municipal Rose Gardens and the list that Jerry Georgette suggests.
April 18 is our PRS monthly rose show where we practice putting a rose cutting or spray in a bottle, bowl or arrangement to show. Barbara Gordon will help us judge, but anyone can bring a rose to share in an unjudged section if desired. Please bring a long-stemmed rose in a water-filled clear narrow-mouthed bottle. If you need help in grooming or labeling your rose, come by 7 pm and look for help at the tables in the hallway. If you have the time to help someone, please take on that mentoring. We all needed help when we started showing our roses. The American Rose website on “Guidelines and Rules for Judging Roses”, “Guidelines for Arrangements”, and “Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography” are the most up to date sources of learning the important criteria.
If you already know how to show roses, consider helping out our fellow local rose shows such as the Santa Clara Rose Show April 23. If you are interested in photography, practice taking photos of roses in public gardens as well as your own, keeping track of the names. Take photos of roses whenever they appear at their best. They often do not cooperate to bloom on the days of shows, but a photo can capture them for you. Consider entering your photos in the ARS, NCNH or local rose shows. East Bay and Golden Gate/San Francisco will be adding photographs to their shows this year. What great excuses for spending time amid our favorite, fragrant plants.
Thank you so much, Marlene Bollhoffer and Jill Ferguson for helping with our raffles by asking Ladera Gardens and Gifts to donate 3 $10 gift certificates to us. We will certainly use them as raffle prizes. We would appreciate any other person’s obtaining gift certificates or any other appropriate prize for our raffles. Let’s enjoy sharing our passion for the rose by making rose meetings fun and lively!