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February 2018 – President’s Message

By Stuart Dalton, President

It was gratifying to see new people and a good turnout for the January meeting. There was a lot of energy and we had excellent comments and questions. I hope you had a chance to look over the revised pruning sheets and rose care throughout the year sheets that we revised and handed out this year. PRS is going to be having another pruning event at Orchard Supply Hardware in Redwood City Saturday, February 3rd at 10AM – 12N in case you have more questions or want to volunteer to support the event.

Some questions came up during the January meeting/pruning demonstration on where to get protective gear. I just ordered a new waxed canvas bib/ long apron (called Readywares Waxed Canvas Utility Apron) to replace my worn out old chaps that I cannot find online and got some slip-on gauntlets to use in addition to my gauntlet gloves (the gauntlets are called Arm Savers). I bought these items online. 

One item I covered briefly in January was propagation for out of patent roses. In case you did not see it, the ARS Annual magazine has a great article on propagating roses from cuttings. Some of the easy-to-propagate varieties are listed as well. My favorite rose is Sally Holmes, listed in the ARS guide at 8.8 rating (excellent) and one of those easy to propagate roses that I know works from my own experience. I’ve given away cuttings for years (including at the January meeting) and have had about a 30-50% success rate by taking 5-6 bud eye sections pencil size diameter, scraping the bottom inch in a few places and sticking in moist dirt for a few months in less sun than normal. No special cover and I seldom use rooting hormone. I’m sure with the care and advice in the ARS article I could improve my odds, but I already have quite a number of large plants. Sally Holmes really grows well on its own roots, as do many other roses, and all minis. But not all do. This article alone is worth the annual price of ARS membership. Please consider joining the American Rose Society and get copies of the magazine, and access to a great rose database.

I am glad to see the rain finally starting, and I hope you all have used some of the dry weather to get out and prune roses. The weather has been strange, first with our very dry December, and now no really cold weather. Some of the “indicator” plants that can die back in the cold like Angel Trumpet are still growing this year in my yard, and that tells me it is a warm winter so far. That means you may still have a few rose blooms on the plant, and you need to tell the plant it is time to go dormant by trimming the plant, stripping leaves and cleaning up. Personally, I have most leaves off and disposed of but still need to finish pruning. I’ve also sprayed once even though I did not finish the pruning. Try to get the plants cleaned up, debris and leaves removed and disposed and an initial reduction on the modern/ repeat blooming roses in the next few weeks. You have a bit of leeway after that and can finish or re-prune to make sure centers are cleaned up via finger pruning and shears used once the buds start to swell.

We are still looking for your input on possible tours you might like to see set up for the PRS, and topics you would like to hear about in talks later this year. All suggestions are welcome. Tell any PRS board member or send me an email  

Happy gardening

Stu Dalton

January 2018 – President’s Message

By Stuart Dalton, President

Happy New Year! 

First, I’d like to thank Carol Wong for her leadership of the  Peninsula Rose Society (PRS) the past two years, and also for her help in the transition. I am very appreciative of her work and accomplishments. I last served as PRS President in 1988 and can say with certainty I did not remember many of the specifics about the job. Jerry Georgette suggested I should also set out my own thoughts on a vision for the club and the position. Let me outline some aspirational goals:

• Bringing new people into PRS through attractive talks, demonstrations and articles as well as the welcoming spirit of the PRS members.

• Provide new venues to promote PRS via connections with others in the gardening community, especially the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Master Gardeners of San Mateo and San Francisco (MG-SMSF), which I was trained as, and became one of in 2016.

• I plan to write more articles myself as a Consulting Rosarian (CR), as I did in my approximately 20 year stretch from the late 1980’s until I let my CR status lapse, and did not renew it until 2016. Toward that end I will write one this month.

• Recruit speakers on novel related gardening topics. Since I am on the speakers bureau for the UCCE Master gardeners, I know a number of excellent speakers on various topics what we may be able to recruit, working with Marie, who is in charge of speakers. I have a special interest in this and donated extra to the club to aid in attracting expert talks from farther afield with a slightly larger honorarium. Please feel free to ask for topics of interest until we line up speakers for the year.

• Encourage the re-introduction of our PRS rose show, albeit as a non-judged event this year. My personal first involvement with PRS was the annual show in 1984 when I walked up with some roses and Clay Morgan, one of the club founders, helped me show some “okay” blooms and make them a bit better.

• And, as I committed in December, I will do my best to fulfill the duties of PRS President. I guess once every 30 years is the least I can do for all the help, support and friendship I’ve received over the years.

In addition to looking forward I also looked back on many of the things that have changed in the way I personally care for roses. I used to spray very regularly with some pretty heavy duty systemic sprays (insecticides and fungicides), but now and for several years I do a dormant spray with OMRI (Organic Materials Research Institute) listed materials and only rare additional spot spraying if there are serious issues. See the list of OMRI materials here

In many recent years that means no additional spraying. I now know that integrated pest management (IPM) has many benefits, including encouraging more beneficial insects (e.g., lady beetle larva, bees, parasitic wasps etc.) that can help me garden and keep pests at bay. I certainly have learned from experience about some of the things that can ruin an area of rose garden over time, like trees that grow and add shade, or how you can spread oak root fungus. More about oak root fungus in the article I will write for this January issue.

Before I started my professional career, I did a lot of gardening, first as a ten-year-old, watering relatives and neighbors yards while they were on vacation. Later, working on the family farm, fertilizing and with the family spray business, and still later working in the northwestern US testing plant tissue for fertilizer content. It did help me pay my way through college at UC Berkeley. After I started my career and returned to California I again started gardening as a hobby, and never gave it up. When I traveled the world for work, I often visited botanical gardens around the US and on several continents. I plan to continue that this year between meetings. This year, tulips in the Netherlands.

With all the changes in my own life and in the world, one thing I find never changes, and that is that there are always wonderful people involved with gardening, and particularly in the Peninsula Rose Society. That is something I hope will remain just the same.

I look forward to my term in office as President and will try my best to help the PRS prosper.

Happy Gardening

Stu Dalton
PRS President
ARS Consulting Rosarian
UCCE Master Gardener San Mateo and San Francisco

November 2017 – President’s Message

By Carol Wong, President

It’s November and your lovely roses should be getting ready for their “long winter nap” by your allowing them to set hips. Pulling petals as blooms fade encourages the development of rose hips. Candidates for “shovel pruning” can be dug up and discarded. New roses can be obtained from nursery sales such as at Regan’s Nursery at Highway 880 and Decoto Road, from mail-order, online catalogs, or the Selecting Roses annual sent to ARS members each fall. If you haven’t already done so, joining the American Rose Society helps you keep abreast of history, new developments, rose shows, societies and experts nationally and internationally.

It is with great pleasure that the nominating committee is recommending that the following people be voted into office at the November 21st membership meeting. Stuart Dalton, our newest Consulting Rosarian who gave us a pruning demonstration last January is the nominee for president, Marie Hubbell for vice president, and Jenny Tsao for Director, to take over from Marie who will complete her three-year term in December. President and Vice President are elected for a one year term but may choose to stay in office for a second year. “Stu” Dalton has been a long-time member whose activity again is very welcome.

Don’t worry, PRS needs you, too! Your attendance at meetings and the potlucks, bringing your roses and arrangements to share, participating in pruning demonstrations, pruning at gardens both small and large, and above all, working on the 2018 Rose Show in May are all ways that we will need you. We hope that through doing, you will find others as enthusiastic about our favorite plant as you are. We are all gardeners but our time is sometimes constricted. Roses seem to forgive the most egregious errors, such as having a watering system break or run out of battery power, being drowned by a flooded backyard, or being neglected for a year or two. A good pruning, fertilizer and water, and they can come back stronger than ever.

In October Jolene Adams gave a thoroughly satisfying talk about roses in pots. She covered considerations for light, moisture, drainage, and advantages and disadvantages of various pot materials from ceramic, pulp paper, lined terra-cotta, or plastic resin to metal. She recommended a soil mixture of 30% compost, 30% perlite, and about 30% top soil, but not our native clay if possible. Lining pots with coffee filters or newspaper, lifting the pots above the ground with pot feet, hangers, or stands, and above all not letting pots sit in water in a dish were some of her suggestions.

Our speakers for November 21 will be our own Marian Vanden Bosch and her daughter Karen Flores who will be demonstrating and raffling off their “Holiday Arrangements”. Their arrangements last year were so popular we are having them return.

On the SECOND Tuesday in December, we will be holding our Holiday Potluck and Installation Dinner from 6:00 – 9:30 p.m. at our usual space in the Veteran’s Memorial Senior Center. Our new and returning officers will be installed by our speaker, Mr. Thomas Bolton II, the current site development chairman for the Northern California, Nevada and Hawaii (NCNH) District. Thomas helped the district arrange for the successful NCNH Fall District Conference held in South San Francisco in 2016. As this is a potluck dinner, we will be asking members to sign up at the November meeting to bring a dish for 10. Categories of food are: appetizers, salads, and main courses. We will have a sheet cake for dessert.

Peninsula Rose Society dues of $35 per person are being collected by Membership Chairman Barbara Todd at the November and December membership meetings. Make sure that Barbara has your email address and ARS membership or fill out a membership form with your email address and ARS memberships as well, as both are important. NCNH only has 750 ARS members, which is only 10% of district members. They would like to see that our ARS membership matches our activism in other aspects of roses.

This year’s Fall NCNH conference resulted in many announcements. Star Roses and Kordes Roses have been sold to Ball Industries. It is not known yet what effect this will have on their rose research or sales. Many rose companies are undergoing change.

A nominating committee is working at filling vacancies for offices at the NCNH district level, including District Director, as Joan Goff is stepping down.

There are changes in the Guideline books for horticulture and photography, available on the NCNH website by 2018. A judging school is being considered for spring of 2018 but candidates will need to contact NCNH. An arrangement school is tentatively scheduled for 2/17-18/2018 at the Shepard Garden and Arts Center in Sacramento. “All arrangers should consider attending the school”. An arrangement workshop is being considered on the peninsula.

The PRS board voted to pay for all of our members to receive the district newsletter, The Criterion next year by email address. As you pay for your membership this year, please make sure Barbara has your email address and ARS membership if you are a member.

We will have our last monthly rose show of 2017 on November 21. Although it will not be judged, won’t you try to cut one of your roses to display, and maybe have answered any questions about how to show it to its best advantage? Read Jim Crowther’s suggestions for making arrangements with autumn leaves, Halloween colors, or rose hips and let your imagination find a line, traditional mass, line-mass, abstract or oriental design in which to arrange your roses. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t, but we learn more each time. It is a relaxing and enjoyable way to show our roses and develop our artistic eye.

October 2017 – President’s Message

By Carol Wong, President

Six members of our Peninsula Rose Society attended the NCNH District conference in Castro Valley September 23. It was fun to go early, enter some roses, and sit together to listen to speaker Dr. Tommy Cairns show roses as they developed from the species found in the middle east, Europe, and China and Asia to the explosion of hybridization all over the world.

Our second speaker was Bob Martin, who will be the incoming president of the American Rose Society. He gave a humorous talk about his trials as an exhibitor, learning through many disasters how to transport his roses to shows across the state or country. Bob invited everyone to set aside the dates October 26-29, 2018, to attend the fall ARS conference in San Diego. He will not only be installed but will also show his own garden of 500 or so roses. He asked that people consider electing Diane Sommers of Wisconsin to be the next vice president of ARS, to move into the presidency in 2 years.

Rosarians are kind and helpful, so as a novice at the NCNH show I was advised on how to improve my arrangements for next time. Suggestions I got were to make arrangements that show cleanly and clearly the design elements such as line, mass, modern, or oriental. Examples are given in “Guidelines for Judging Rose Arrangements”, “Guidelines and Rules for Judging Roses”, and a newly revised “Guidelines for Judging Photographs”, available for $10 each at the ARS website. I had too many leaves in my arrangement. Still, they encouraged me to continue practicing, and I hope you do too. I have found the most useful tool for holding the flowers in place for arrangements to be soakable oasis, found at Michaels or any craft store. It takes only about 20 minutes to hydrate and then can be cut to fit your vase. Sometimes floral tape is needed to hold the oasis down.

On Sept. 19 Terry Lyngso of the garden products company discussed organic sheet composting to build up soil for a new garden. She recommended spreading compost over the ground, watering it, adding a layer of newspaper or cardboard, then a layer of mulch, and then compost again, watering each layer in. Terry generously gave away 5 organic products to lucky raffle winners.

We will have our last monthly rose show of 2017 on October 17. Although it will not be judged, won’t you try to cut one of your roses to display, and maybe have answered any questions about how to show it to its best advantage? Read Jim Crowther’s suggestions for making arrangements with autumn leaves, Halloween colors, or rose hips and let your imagination find a line, traditional mass, line-mass, abstract or oriental design in which to arrange your roses. Please give it a try. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t, but we learn more each time. It is a relaxing and enjoyable way to show our roses and develop our artistic eye.

September 2017 – President’s Message

By Carol Wong, President

At the August 15 membership meeting, formal thanks were given to Barry and Brian Johnson for their many years of planning, executing, and maintaining an exhibit at the San Mateo County Fair for the Peninsula Rose Society. Another thank you was given to Priya Kamath for her hosting of the PRS picnic at her home for the last three years. We owe a great deal to these members who have made our society successful and enjoyable. The speaker, Lakshmi Sridharan gave a detailed talk on how to dry and arrange roses that can last. She recommended using glycerin and a microwave as the easiest, fastest, and most satisfactory way of preserving color and form in the roses used to make dried arrangements.

Our September and October membership meetings will include a rose show that is judged, which will give everyone chances to practice prepping and exhibiting their roses. Actually, making and entering your roses or creating an arrangement on a theme is an invaluable experience. Everyone, bring us your roses!

Have you purchased garden materials from Lyngso Garden Materials, Inc. previously in Redwood City and now at 345 Shoreway Road in San Carlos? Our September speaker will be none other than Terry Lyngso, who will speak to us on “soil preparation.” This should be an exciting program so plan to come and bring a neighbor or friend. Roses love a well-prepared bed.

Barry Johnson also gave us an update on plans for the May 2018 Rose Show. The theme will be “Roses Make Us Happy”. The rose show itself will not be judged but arranged by color and classification of roses. Other activities being considered are speakers, arrangements, hands-on rose arranging, rose crafts and photography displays. Your ideas and help with the show are essential and welcome.

Nominations for the 2018 elective officers of the Board of Directors will be presented in October, elected in November, and installed at the December 12 potluck. A nominating committee has been formed and will be searching for a president and vice president who will serve for one year with option for a second year. A Director is also nominated for a 3-year term. The directors aid in the administrative functions of the board.

If you enjoy winning a gift certificate or a raffle prize at our monthly raffles, know that they are the result of a donation requested by someone in our society. We would love for you to take a letter from our society (I will bring some to our meetings) to a local business asking for a donation to support us. We in turn support our community through pruning demonstrations and pruning the Veteran’s Administration  rose garden in Palo Alto and others.

In December or January, we will be asking our members to volunteer for teams to go out and prune rose gardens. Some rose societies raise a lot of money by hiring out such skills. With your help, we might obtain donations or simply give back to our communities by using our experience and expertise. On September 23, we expect several of us will attend the NCNH Fall Rose Show and Conference at the Greek Orthodox Church, 20104 Center Street in Castro Valley, CA. It costs $75 for breakfast, lunch, and award dinner, speakers, show and a fun day to find out how the district works and supports us. Check the NCNH website for the schedule of district challenge and horticultural show classes, arrangements, and themes for photography.

Last fall we met Ron Matsuzaki of the Honolulu Rose Society, as well as representatives from throughout the Northern California, Hawaii and Nevada District. It was instructive to see and meet Ted and Linda Burg, editors of the Criterion, officers of NCNH that we know  such as Joan Goff and Jolene Adams, and friends of long-standing, such as Barbara Gordon. Go!

August 2017 – President’s Message

By Carol Wong, President

Hot days and hoped-for cooler nights characterize our bay area August weather. Watering our roses and plants is critical, as is keeping an eye on bugs and diseases if we want to protect our blooms. For those of us who are too busy to examine our roses carefully, we are sometimes too late to water, resulting in burned rose petals, or miss new bugs like rose slugs, resulting in devastated leaves. Alas! The damage is done. We clip off crispy flowers too far gone but still enjoy those that manage to bloom despite weather or disease.

Our board meeting will be at Jerry and Cindy Georgette’s residence on August 8 at 7 p.m. On August 15, our featured speaker will be Lakshmi Sridharan from San Jose, a molecular biologist and botanist who will be speaking to us on arranging with dried roses. With the heat drying our roses on the bush, this might be timely, although she undoubtedly uses other methods to retain the colors and shapes of her roses in order to make arrangements that can be admired far longer than the week our fresh flowers can last. She would like to meet us for dinner on your own at Harry’s Hofbrau, 1909 El Camino Real, Redwood City 94063 at 5:30 p.m. So feel free to join us if you wish.

At our August 15 membership meeting we will be asking three board members and two members at large to form a nominating committee to help select the president, vice president in charge of programs, and board member/s for 2018-2020. Those people selected in October and voted upon in November will make decisions about the direction that the Peninsula Rose Society should go in the next two years. Needed are people willing to work with the board that remains, to plan and lead events and programs, and to guide us financially.

Email connectivity is important because it is part of our mission to “take an active part in the functions of the American Rose Society and Northern California-Nevada-Hawaii District.” They in turn provide our society with most of the educational opportunities that we can access through conferences, classes, and training courses to become a Consulting Rosarian or judge of horticulture, arrangements, or photography of roses. One can also go to the conferences and classes just for your own edification and pleasure, without seeking a title. Almost all communications are now through the internet. These connections to national, regional and local events are part of every interest group. Please consider your interest in volunteering or accepting a position if asked. We need your energy and enthusiasm! I can attest to the fun of getting involved. I found it especially rewarding to help older members with their pruning and teaching the public about how to prune or deal with their roses.

I hope some members will attend the NCNH Fall conference on the only one day, Saturday, September 23, 2017. Mark your calendars as it is close, in Castro Valley across the bay, at the Resurrection Greek Orthodox Church. Horticultural displays showing teas, grandifloras, shrubs, and minis, arrangements by amateurs and experts, and creative photographs will be on display. A speaker or two will be on the program, as well as a short business meeting. There might be a small cost for registration and lunch, but everyone is welcome. Pam, Weldon, Priya, Jerry and I went last fall and it was inspiring to see what people brought. The wonderful roses you have been bringing to our own monthly rose shows are exactly the things you can bring to this conference. Check out the NCNH website for the details on the conference during the month of August.

We owe a debt of gratitude to Barry and Brian Johnson for their years of dedication to the rose society in planning and maintaining a rose exhibit for 10 days at the San Mateo County Fair. Barry printed and did not charge PRS for handouts on topics such as roses in containers and for information about the society. He also passed out our postcards and answered questions by the public about rose care. We are all grateful for Barry’s financing the rose show for 2018 and we shall help him out.

For the last three years Priya Kamath has hosted PRS at her home in Portola Valley for the July picnic. This year she hosted us in her house on a day which nearly broke heat records, setting up a picnic site despite her own tasks of hand watering about 200 roses, fruit trees, bushes and vines, providing us with drinks, paper goods, and snacks. She even gave some of her rooted roses to the new members who attended the picnic.

Thanks are also due to the generosity of Bob and Audrey Giarusso, who donated $40 toward two roses that we tried to sell. Jill Chadwell, her family and mother Joanne Riggs, and Cindy Georgette have been donating raffle prizes for many months, making the raffles a lot more varied than a rose plant. Barbara Todd donated a packet of her own painted rose cards for raffle. We thank these people who help our Peninsula Rose Society by giving time, money, and effort. If I have overlooked your contributions, my apologies but know we are grateful. Many, many thanks!

Prune and groom your roses this month to ready them for the flush of blooms that occurs every fall. Then share them with the rest of us!


June 2017 – President’s Message

By Carol Wong, President

Seeing more roses and arrangements at our May monthly rose show was exciting. Did you see and smell the huge, incredibly fragrant floating “Sterling Silver” winner by Joann Riggs? We also got to see new roses “New Day” and “All My Lovin”, and the old roses “Baronne Prevost” and “Le Grande Capitan”. Members who participated and won first, second, and other places are listed in the show results, selected by our helpful judge, Rose Gilardi. Some exhibiters were new to the show table such as Audrey Giarusso, Eleanor Rakonitz and Jill Chadwell and some were old hands such as Marie Hubbell and Maxine Hineman. We thank everyone who participated, and encourage everyone else to bring in a rose next month to our unjudged exhibit and arrangement tables. Our speaker, Bridget Roay, reported on bees and their lives.

On June 20, our speaker and expert rosarian, Barbara Gordon, will bring roses and floral materials to demonstrate how to make rose arrangements. She will also be leading us in making an arrangement of our own to take home. Please make sure to bring a pair of pruning shears or scissors for yourself so that you can cut your own floral materials. If you have some blooms, especially minis or small roses, please bring some to use. A lightweight plastic vase might be useful. Barbara will also provide some to share.

I hope you are raising a cutting for our rose sale and exchange on July 16 at the Peninsula Rose Society potluck picnic. It will be fun to see what our fellow rosarians have grown. The picnic is a highlight of our year and I hope you have saved the day, Sunday July 16. It will be at the beautiful rose garden of Priya Kamath. A signup sheet for your potluck offering for the luncheon will be at the June 20 meeting.  Please sign up or contact Jill Ferguson before July 9 so adjustments can be made if necessary.

Preparations for the 2018 PRS Rose Show are beginning with the jobs that will be needed. If you worked on the 2014 or 2015 rose shows and would like to do the same jobs, please let Barry Johnson know. If you would like to work on any job, whether long or short-term, let us or him know as well. Please set aside May 5-6, 2018 to help out. We would love to have your input and help!

“June is Rose Month at the Library” is an activity that PRS members have supported by setting up an exhibit or simply bringing roses into their local library during the month of June. This year the libraries that will be supported are: Belmont or San Carlos—Jerry and Cindy Georgette; Redwood City Main branch—Anne Quincy, Marie Hubbell and Barbara Todd; Menlo Park and Atherton—Eleanor Rakonitz and Carol Wong; Portola Valley—Priya Kamath; Burlingame—Jill Chadwell; and Half Moon Bay—Patti Motta. Patti is doing this despite her heavy obligations at home and in bringing her roses to a senior center and church.

Other societies have other responsibilities. The San Mateo Society cares for the rose garden at the San Mateo Garden Center next to Beresford Park on a weekly, on-going effort. Patti is among other older members would like to have help in pruning their roses in the winter. Let our Consulting Rosarians know if you would be willing to help others prune as we did the Veterans Hospital in Palo Alto in January. It could be a good fundraiser for our society and we do it to aid our members.

Jolene Adams has announced that there will be a class to teach and test members who would be willing to become Consulting Rosarians on August 26, 2017 in Sacramento. At least 3 active CRs must recommend you and you must fill out a Consulting Rosarian form and send it in before the CR class. Such classes are held each year and we may have one in our area next year. You should be an ARS member for 3 years, be willing to learn the information in the CR book available through ARS, and to have grown a variety of roses so that you know about them. If you think you might like to help others by becoming a CR someday, check the ARS website and talk to any of our CRs. There is a need in our area for more Consulting Rosarians, Horticultural, Photography and Arrangement judges and the first step is becoming a CR. Although you may not be ready now, you can make steps toward these skills.

June is a busy month leading to the relaxing months of summer. Keep your roses hydrated as best you can, and fertilize up to September. Enjoy the roses that result!

May 2017 – President’s Message

By Carol Wong, President

Are you enjoying roses at their best in your garden, in the neighborhood or in a public garden? Take time to sniff the rose and jasmine-scented air, admire the working bees, munching lady bugs, and fluttering butterflies. This is such a wonderful time for gardeners. We are plucking out plants growing where they shouldn’t be, blasting off aphids with water, plunging our noses into roses after carefully checking for bees, and admiring the myriad forms and types of roses available each year.

On Sunday, we, and it turned out, Jerry and Cindy Georgette drove all the way down Camden Avenue to the Santa Clara Rose Society’s rose show at the Almaden Community Center and Library. The show was beautifully laid out in a room, with lovely arrangements, many won by Barbara Gordon, our judge in April and speaker again in June. Sandy Kolter won Queen of Large roses and minis, and they had a new way to exhibit photographs: in plastic holders for horizontal or vertical photos. It is an idea for us to think about as we begin to make preparations for our PRS rose show in 2018. Still, attendance was much fewer than we expected. They might have gotten some people to sign up for membership in their society but it was a sad thing to see those lovely blooms with few to appreciate them.

As with Ikebana Society shows, having a flower show in conjunction with a community activity such as a bon dance, fair or holiday event helps with attendance for both. Perhaps we can consider other locations or events that would draw families with children and people interested in activities. We hope some of you have ideas that you can float for our planning committee to consider in the next month. Please call Barry Johnson, Jerry Georgette, Pam Schenk or me or send an email to

The pretty array of roses for the monthly show in April was a good start. Thank you to participants including Anne Quincy, Jenny Tsao, Kathleen Brooks, Stu Dalton who won best of show for “Olympiad”, Marie Hubbell, Jerry Georgette, Jill Chadwell, Audrey Giarrusso, Weldon Wong, Maxine Hineman, and Pam Schenk who clerked for judge Barbara Gordon. Will you bring more of your roses on May 18? Put a long-stemmed rose in a narrow-necked bottle such as a ketchup or salad dressing bottle. Use a foam or foil wedge to prop it upright in the water. Maybe you have learned that the rose ideally should be either 3/4ths open or fully open with  fresh stamens showing. If you need help in filling out the tag for your rose, come early so someone can advise you. The tags are available for you to take home to fill out for the September show, with a rubber band you can place around the bottle neck.

We thank Joanne Riggs for making some clever rose arrangements. That was great! This next challenge is to make an artistic line of roses in the same color range. The styles can be traditional or modern, matching the vase. Soakable floral oasis is available at Michael’s and other craft stores which helps to stabilize the plants on first placement. I have learned to my distress that one cannot move the plants around in it very much.

Jill Ferguson needs your donations or better, your taking a turn to bring a dessert for the treat after each monthly program. We love it if you make a treat from scratch, but purchased items are just as welcome. If you enjoy the treats, please help supply them occasionally, and pitch in to help Jill serve the goodies.

In May, we prepare for “June is Library and Rose Month”. We rose society members ask the manager of our favorite library if they are willing to set up an exhibit of gardening or roses from June 1-30. We bring a bouquet or roses in a bottle to add to the display, and renew the bouquet twice a week. Last year libraries which were supported by our members included the Belmont, San Carlos, Half Moon Bay, Portola Valley, Redwood City main branch, and Menlo Park Libraries. People who volunteered to support this effort included Eleanor Rakonitz, Anne Quincy, Patty Motta, Jerry Georgette, Priya Kamath, Barbara Todd and me. I might have missed you in this list but sign up again this year and maybe include another library! If the task is difficult, share the job with someone else. The libraries are always thrilled with your roses. You may add a sign announcing the month and please take some PRS postcards to place next to the sign. We would love to attract a new member with our sponsorship.

Would you like to get something almost free? Then prepare some cuttings of one of your roses for our July rose exchange or sale. If you can, cut a strong stem of 3-4 leaf nodes and dip it into a rooting compound such as “FastRoot”. Place it in a pot of moistened potting mix and keep it in a partially shaded area where you can water it. Watch to see if it sends up new shoots and leaves. If it does, you have successfully started a cutting! Be sure to label it with its name and class.

At our Sunday, July 16 picnic, we will have a potted cutting rose sale or exchange for about $5 a pot. You can expand your potted collection of minis, old, or out-of-patent roses. I have a couple started and I hope you do, too. Start now to look for those big stems that shoot out after a bloom and could be put to use as a cutting. This is another way of sharing your love of roses with fellow aficionados with something you have produced.

April 2017 – President’s Message

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!

March 2017 – President’s Message

By Carol Wong, President

“The new introductions are very disease resistant. I can still have beauty and fragrance along with an organic rose garden,” wrote garden designer Dan Bifano in “American Rose”, January-February 2017. In February, our speaker Jolene Adams screened and commented on a wide variety of new rose introductions including hybrid teas, floribundas, modern shrubs, minis, mini-floras, and climbers; exciting and thrilling us.

If seeing them did not prompt you to go to a nursery or a website to search out a rose for your garden, then maybe we can encourage you to look for a new rose to try. “American Rose” also lists the new Roses in Review for the latest high-ranking roses for showing, regional trials and a Nursery Guide which includes accessible Regan Nursery at Decoto Road in Fremont. It is one of the few local nurseries that stocks minis. Other nurseries include our sponsors Wegman’s, Half Moon Bay, Ladera Gardens and Gifts, Orchard Supply and Summer Winds nurseries.

There is nothing like a new rose or plant to spark interest in your garden—-a new scent, color combination, or shape. The newer varieties are not only more disease resistant but the range of colors now includes deep tones like black, brown and deep purple, making roses look smoky or glow mysteriously. Some have a dark or white eye, strong fragrance, or colors that change as the bloom ages. If you grow a newer rose, plan to report on how it does for you to us and in the Roses in Review ratings collected online in the late summer. That is how we arrive at the highly useful ratings in the “Handbook for Selecting Roses” sent to ARS members at the end of each year.

Have we heard from everyone who wants to go to the Quarry Hill Botanical Garden lecture and/or tour in Glen Ellen on March 25th? If you want to go, please call for a $20 reservation for the 10 a.m. lecture by the famous hybridizer Ping Lim, or drive up to join our group which meets at 11:30 at the picnic tables weather permitting. For a 12:15 p.m. walking and cart-riding tour led by a docent, let Carol Wong know by phone message at 854-6434 ASAP in order to include you in the count. This docent-led tour costs $15 and includes entry. Self-guided touring does not require an extra fee, but you might miss out on the stories about these rare plants.

There is no food or drink sold in the gardens, so please bring your own hat, water, and food. As a reminder, the website is and the phone number is 707-996-3166. Those who wish to go up on their own later in the year can check the website for scheduled events.

Although we are not putting on a rose show for the public this year, we encourage members to attend or show their roses at the Santa Clara Rose Show on Sunday, April 23rd at the Almaden Community Center/Library from 1-5 p.m. Entrees are accepted for showing from 7-10 a.m. The East Bay Rose show is in May, and The Golden Gate/San Francisco Rose Society’s Rose show is in June. Check their websites if interested.

On April 18th, May 16th, and June 20th we will have a rose show at our monthly membership meeting where you can bring your own roses and arrangements to be judged. There will also be tables in the hall where you can bring roses simply to share or to learn how to present. Look for a schedule of types of roses and an arrangement schedule that will be printed in the Rosarian. Someone can help show you how to display your rose if you come by 7:00 p.m. before the meeting. To help us learn how to prepare roses, we will have winners tell us about their roses as time permits.

The Apex once-a-year granular fertilizer is still available from Jim Crowther for $15/5 lbs. Call him to order and pick them up at the March 21st meeting.

We have several opportunities for volunteering in March. We would like to have people help Barry and Brian Johnson plan an exhibit for the San Mateo Fair held June 10th-18th. PRS has committed to displaying old and new roses at the Filoli Flower Show June 1st-4th with the theme “Time Began in a Garden”. We will be looking for people with many old or new roses blooming at that time in order to set up and maintain a rose display. Our liaison is Pam Schenk. Last year our display was beautiful.

We are hoping members will volunteer for a raffle committee to help us work out ideas for our raffles. We will make signup sheets available for volunteering and we urge you to try something. Our goal as a rose society is to promote and educate about the cultivation of roses and we have a constantly evolving and growing job!