Category Archives: President’s Message

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 www.quarryhillbg.org. 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!

February 2017 – President’s Message

By Carol Wong, President

Peninsula Rose Society started 2017 with a full water table thanks to rain, and wonderfully enthusiastic new members! Four members joined six older members to help Jerry Georgette prune roses at the Palo Alto Veteran’s Hospital rose garden on January 21. Greg and Erin Chadwell, Dean Chen, Jenny Tsao, and old hands Barry and Brian Johnson, Mamie Zimbelman, Weldon and I helped cull out crossing branches and clean up fully grown roses. We left a garden with roses still needing work, so Jerry would be glad for extra time from anyone interested. Give him a ring or just drop by with your tools and fill up a container with cuttings!

Welcome also to our new members Patricia Radley from the Atherton Garden Club, Ella Chen as well as Dean Chen who are helping us set up the Quarryhill trip, Jenny Tsao, and Noni Noughton. When you meet them, be sure to ask them about their gardens.

Redwood City’s Orchard Supply invited Consulting Rosarian Stu Dalton to demonstrate pruning techniques with Anne Quincy, Pam Schenk and us on Saturday Jan. 28 at 2 p.m. Summerwinds Nursery in Palo Alto invited CR Marie Hubbell and volunteers such as Pam Schenk and Erin Chadwell to demonstrate pruning on February 4. These members are so willing to share. It is a great feeling to know your skills can help someone work on their roses, because pruning is such a vital part of the renewing process every year.

While at these nurseries, consider purchasing Weeks bare root roses at Orchard, order from catalogues or call our supporting nursery Wegman’s on Woodside Road, Regans in Fremont, and Summerwinds Nursery for Star bare roots. Having something new in your garden to replace something not thriving is so exciting. This will lead right into the topic of our February 21 speaker, Jolene Adams, on “New Rose Introductions”. Save a spot for something new! As roses require less water than grass does, you can plan to “shovel prune” and give yourself a new color, type, or scent to reinvigorate your garden. Our list of “Favorite Roses of the Peninsula Rose Society” has been revised and reprinted. Pick one up or ask Pam Schenk for an email copy if you want something someone else has found rewarding.

We will have a thrilling opportunity on Saturday, March 25, for a field trip to Quarry Hill Botanical Garden in Glen Allen, California, to hear a world-famous hybridizer, Ping Lim, discuss the history of roses from China. We may not all get into the lecture, but we can surely enjoy a docent-led tour of this garden of rare and endangered plants from Asia grown amid ponds, waterfalls, and woodlands. See the website and register, pay the $20/adult admission fee and say you are from PRS. On February 21, I will send around a list for people to consider carpooling.

Our tentative plan is to get to the garden by 9:30 am, listen to the lecture, and then go on a docent tour and meet together for a self-provided picnic lunch. Bring water and a hat besides your lunch. Children under 12 get in free, and even our children, one of whom was a horticulture graduate student, wants to come. So, we may be distracted by our grandkids. For those still willing, wine tasting is available in the area for an afternoon excursion on your own. Eleanor Rakonitz has contacted speakers for a range of topics for this year’s programs. Look at the list of programs and dates and see if you can bring a friend or neighbor who enjoys plants to join you.

In April, we usually start our own monthly rose shows. We have been talking instead about an unjudged display. Maybe learning how to show our roses. Is this appealing? If so, tell us and we can consider how to use our time together to help each other improve our knowledge on how to show roses.

We can use our May program to help each other. Jim Crowther will give us some arrangement ideas and we can practice on them as well.

Jim again is selling Apex once-a-year granular fertilizer in 5 lb. bags for $15. I found it useful for my minis. Call or write Jim by email and he will bring a bag for you on February 21. Late February to March is not too late to fertilize. Scratch the fertilizer into the soil and water the plants well.

This is the time to put in brand-new bare root plants, watch the new growth start, and rub off those shoots that are headed into the center of the plant. See what new starters you have made and which ones look like you will have something to share this summer during a cutting exchange! Bulbs are pushing up, lilies are swelling, acacia scents heady in the air. What anticipation grips us!

January 2017 – President’s Message

By Carol Wong, President

Between showers I hope you had a chance to go outside, take deep breaths of fresh air, and ponder how you want your roses and garden to look in 2017. The delicious meals of 2016 are a memory. The bronze medal of the Peninsula Rose Society was presented to Priya Kamath for outstanding service, the Helper Award was given to Andrew Ferguson, and the Master Rosarian pin was presented to Marie Hubbell by NCNH. They are an inspiration to us all. Barry Johnson’s dedication to the Society as Historian reminded us of our 61-year history and depicted the past year’s programs and speakers.

Now we check: tetanus shots up to date? Tools sharpened and oiled? Long leather gloves, by-pass pruners, long-handled loppers, collapsible saw, and hand rake ready in a bucket? We are ready to bend using our knees, stretch and lift loads of pruned cuttings into the green waste containers—-all exercises which aid flexibility and strength. We prune long canes down 1/2 or 1/3rd to an outside bud, remove crossing and weak branches, and leave 6 or so canes for average bushes. Climbers and minis require different criteria. This is our pruning season.

If you would prepare some gallon pots with damp compost and save some cuttings of some of your roses no longer under patent, we could have a cutting exchange among ourselves next summer! Dab some root hormone on strong canes with several nodes for root growth, use a sharpened pencil to make a channel for each cutting, and put 2- 3 of the same variety in a compost-filled pot. Keep moist and in partial shade. I am planning to try to propagate some of my old rose varieties which are long past patent protection. Perhaps some of you would like to start some of these roses. Their fragrance is wonderful!

We would appreciate some volunteers in January to help our Consulting Rosarians demonstrate pruning techniques at local nurseries. We will announce dates and times in January. Jerry Georgette would appreciate your help pruning at the Palo Alto Veterans Hospital rose garden on Saturdays in January especially Jan. 21 from 9 a.m. to about 1 p.m. You may share your expertise and tools with a veteran or use your pruners on many bush, climber, or mini roses. It is our way of giving back to our communities.

Nov./Dec. 2016 – President’s Message

By Carol Wong, President

Why is it important that we belong to the Northern California-Nevada-Hawaii (NCNH) district, the national American Rose Society, and indirectly, the World Federation of Rose Societies? The World Federation held its 2016 meeting in Beijing, China for the first time. That conference kick-started the Chinese into developing not one but at least 3 huge rose gardens for their population, with the goal of having 100,000 roses in each garden! The blooming roses are often in pots and set into huge structures of characters and symbols, beds of solid colors and even the heritage roses of China. If that was the response in China, what will other countries do? Now you can visit those rose gardens when nothing like them existed previously!

Being part of a regional, state, national and international organization gives us local societies access to research and expertise, plant development and sales, and criteria which help us define what members want or need. We use their criteria to show, make arrangements with, and photograph roses. When local societies could not muster the resources or personnel to hold the last NCNH district conference, the district directors took on the job. They asked all societies to contribute. The three-day conference cost $26,000! Five PRS members attended; Jerry Georgette, who helped make the first-ever photography show a huge success, Priya Kamath and Pam Schenk who helped clerk the arrangements, and Weldon and I, who helped clerk in the horticulture show. It was fun and a great learning experience.

Now the district is planning for future classes to help us learn how to enter, judge, and produce shows of our own in the areas of photography and arrangements. To help societies expand the numbers of members who can develop expertise, they will be holding classes next year. Watch for announcements of the classes. We volunteered to host a Consulting Rosarian class next June in our Redwood City Veterans Building. We hope that we can attract many others as well as our own members to step up their game and learn how to be CRs. Please think about making the steps to develop your own knowledge and skills. There is so much to learn and you learn to help yourself and many others.

October 2016 – President’s Message

By Carol Wong, President

As the oranges, reds, and yellows begin to color liquid amber trees and sycamores begin discarding their crispy brown leaves, our thoughts turn to what we have accomplished this year and what is ahead in our rose world. The fall flush is well under way. Some roses are covered in blooms, maybe scorched in their edges if you were strict in your watering budget. Others are smaller but more vibrant than the summer blossoms. Some of us want to show our roses at fall shows, and others simply enjoy cutting them for the house or for friends. Enjoy the scents which perfume foggy mornings as the roses are peaking before winter.

For the second year, we have not succeeded in finding a chairman for a May rose show which Peninsula Rose Society held annually for about 30 years. The Board spent a lot of time discussing the problems of costs, decreased participation, declining membership, and the preparations needed, especially asking judges to set aside time for our show. The Board recommended not hosting a rose show for 2017. If we are asked again by Filoli to set up a rose display, the consensus was to participate and involve even more members. With enough enthusiasm, planning, and participation we can make plans to hold a rose show in 2018! Please help us by volunteering for a rose show planning committee in 2017.

Tomoko Lee held us spellbound as she demonstrated several techniques of oriental flower arrangements using roses, bird of paradise, needle frogs, and a newly cut birch log with a square hole for a vase. Most fascinating was Tomoko’s ability to use unusual or inexpensive bowls for arrangements and use plants and materials from her yard.

The 2017 officers will be installed at the December 20 Holiday potluck dinner by our esteemed District Consulting Rosarian chairman and past-president of ARS, Jolene Adams. Historian Barry Johnson will be providing a program of photos from the year’s activities.

We are fortunate to also have: Hospitality and name tags committee, Estelle Bertolucci

and Marian Vanden Bosch. Jill Ferguson is often helped with desserts by Linda Kowalski, Janet Bohne, and Anne Quincy. These people commit to working together to carry out “the purpose of creating interest and education in the cultivation and exhibition of the rose”.

September 2016 – President’s Message

By Carol Wong, President

Bouquets of roses to Barbara Gordon who substituted for Cynthia Chuang as the speaker for the August 16 membership meeting. Barbara was able to bring an impressive assortment from half of her 170 mini roses to explain how minis were developed, how to grow them, and use them in landscapes. She showed photos of her placing minis in front, polyanthas or floribundas behind them, then hybrid teas, tree roses, and then climbers at the very back to form a deep rose border. She brought handouts describing how to plant minis in lightweight plastic pots with orchid and potting mix, and generously let people select the cuttings she had brought to share. We were so grateful for her excellent program.

Speaking of propagating, Marie Hubbell has been growing cuttings from her amazingly various collection of epiphyllum, roses, succulents, orchids and other plants for our plant table. She transports, displays and sells them to increase our income. She does not count the cost of the pots, soil, and time it takes to grow these treasures from her garden. The white epiphyllum I brought from her had a couple of 8 inch blossoms with long white petals and golden yellow centers of pollen-covered stamens. Beautiful. Try purchasing some of her offerings. She in addition to gardening and judging as a Consulting Rosarian also teaches exercise in Redwood City! Like many of you, she is versatile.

Speakers at the NCNH Conference can expand your knowledge of gardening. Cost to hear the seminars and go to the rose show on Saturday October 1 is $75. Chemical safety, beneficial insects and the plants that attract them, and Polyanthas will be discussed. Dr. James Sproul will be talking about minis and mini floras. You will be able to see old heritage roses and the newest ones being grown in our area, and arrangements of all types as well as photographs, an education in itself.

Some decisions for Peninsula Rose Society must be made in the coming months. Our Board needs an infusion of ideas and enthusiasm to plan and carry out programs, trips, speakers and events for next year. If you would like to become more involved in PRS, please call me at 650-854-6434. We would love your involvement!

August 2016 – President’s Message

By Carol Wong, President

Our energetic Peninsula Rose Society Vice President Eleanor Rakonitz was filling vases for her blooms to display at the Menlo Park Library, for June is Library and Rose Month. She noticed that the faucet was old and leaking.

She later crossed El Camino Real to Guy Plumbing and asked, “If I buy a faucet, would you put it in for low or no cost as a favor to the Menlo Park Library?” David Guy, the second generation owner of the family-run business, said he could not install it, but he could give her a free faucet, which he handed to her. Eleanor went back to the library and presented them with the gift she had procured. They were thrilled to have it and said their staff could install it. Eleanor had seen a need and filled it.

Similarly, Priya Kamath, our corresponding secretary and rose show results reporter, has often driven members to events outside of the area. She drove members to the Spring District Meeting in Santa Rosa, to a class in judging arrangements near Sacramento, an arrangements workshop in Dublin, the field trip to the San Jose Rose Gardens, and the Monterey Nurseries Open House. To top it off, she opened her house and garden to the Society for the annual picnic. The picnic, always a summer time favorite, enabled members old and new to mingle, get to know one another, and share a delicious potluck lunch. It was a grand success.

Rosarian editor Jerry Georgette, a Consulting Rosarian, has helped new members by going to their homes and helping with rose related questions. He has also volunteered to prune 103-year-old Kathryn Williams’ roses for several years, leaving them with a top dressing of compost and alfalfa pellets. Board Member Janet Bohne purchased table decorations, and Pam Schenk bought extra plates and paper goods for our dessert maven, Jill Ferguson. Barry and Brian Johnson are always on the lookout for things to help our raffles or budget. Arrangements expert and member Cynthia Chuang made a donation to the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden during our visit, seeing that they needed many hands and support to keep the garden running. Aren’t we fortunate to have such thoughtful and generous members who spot needs around them and fulfill them with little fanfare?

June 2016 – President’s Message

By Carol Wong, President

Jim Crowther’s theme for rose arrangements this month is, “June is Busting Out All Over” and some of our roses may have recovered enough from their spring flush to be blooming once again. Please bring at least one of your blooms or an arrangement to share with us, whether or not it is in perfect shape. We love to see them! Our speaker for the June 21 membership meeting will be Barbara Gordon, who will give us excellent reasons for “Leave the Prickles on the Roses”. She always brings many examples of her topic, so you will see what she means. Our own Marie Hubbell will be judging.

As learned from the May ARS power point programs on Rose Diseases by John and Mitchie Moe, or the IPM (Integrated Pest Management) of Rose Pests by Baldo Villegas, one good way to rid your plants of diseases and pests is to remove the damaged leaves and let the plant start over. Selecting for and maintaining healthy roses was another suggestion. The new rose introductions of 2016 included many shrub roses. Jerry Georgette encouraged members to think about taking on the jobs of Consulting Rosarians.

Judging from the popularity of our display, copies of our newly revised “Favorite Roses of the Peninsula Rose Society” and postcards about our meetings, our participation in the Filoli Flower Show was a success! Kudos to Pam Schenk whose show expertise with Filoli helped us plan and execute a beautiful display.

Our field trip to the San Jose Heritage and Municipal Rose Gardens so inspired us that we are going to make a contribution to the Heritage Rose Garden to support the work of the many volunteers who work as docents and pruners. David Giroux and Mary Ann served as docents, and Cynthia Chuang accompanied us and added her own contribution. The beds of old and new roses were thrilling to see in their variety and colors.

Priya Kamath is encouraging members to go to the open houses of Monterey Bay Greenhouse Growers on Saturday, June 18. She is recommending Pajarosa Roses for hothouse roses, Kitayama Brothers as well as a succulent nursery. Use this website to plan your own carload if you are interested.

May 2016 – President’s Message

By Carol Wong, President

Have you ever made a BIG Mistake? Well we almost did not have a May membership meeting due to my neglect, but alert members corrected the omission, so please plan to COME to the May 17 membership meeting at the Veteran’s Building. The program will be power point programs with membership input. As there is no speaker, there will not be a dinner ahead of time at Harry’s Hofbrau. Instead, PLEASE COME BY 7 P.M. if you are showing any roses or arrangements, as it takes time at the tables outside the hall to check your entries before bringing them into the room for correct placement.

Roses should be in their own clear glass bottles, groomed to be free of bugs, and with a filled-out ARS label showing the section, class, variety, and your name and address. We will have the labels and the show schedule available for you to pick up and take home for the next show. If members are not showing a rose and you know the rules for showing, we would appreciate your stopping by the work tables to see if someone needs some help in preparing their show roses. Your mentorship will be highly appreciated! It takes time to learn how to prep roses to show at their best. All entries and arrangements should be in place before the 7:30 start time in order to give the judge adequate time for judging.

Many members participated in April’s first monthly rose show, making the stark room a rainbow of colorful roses, arrangements, and raffle prizes. The multitude of blooms showed that the winter’s rains were much appreciated by our plants, and it made a glorious sight. Jolene Adams gave a fine program on classic shrub roses, which expanded knowledge of these hardy roses including rosa rugosa, kordeseii and moyesii. Cynthia Chuang, ably assisted by Priya Kamath, not only judged the blooms and arrangements, but also gave brief critiques which could help us improve. Thrilling though this first show was, we hope everyone will make the effort to bring roses to share or create an arrangement! Isn’t this why we joined other rose lovers?

Preparations for our exhibit at the Filoli Flower show are ready. Please call and bring your show-ready blooms to these people so we can include them: Priya Kamath, Pam Schenk or me for Thursday, May 5 by 8 a.m., Eleanor Rakonitz on Friday, May 6, Jerry Georgette by Saturday, and Anne Quincy by Sunday, May 8. Janet and Russell Bohne have offered to help dismantle the exhibit on Sunday at 4 p.m. If you go to the flower show, do check out our exhibit.

April 2016 – President’s Message

By Carol Wong, President

It’s April and the rose bushes sport reddish new leaves and buds in singles, doubles, and more. Those who can bear to experiment with their blooms can finger prune side shoots to produce a bigger single blossom, or snap out the biggest bud to form sprays that will open all together. You hope they will peak during the week you want them to show or share but you’ll have a beautiful bloom or spray anyway.

This is the first month of our Monthly Rose Shows at the membership meeting. Please consider sharing your roses by exhibiting them or try your hand at an arrangement! Use the new “Monthly Rose Show Horticultural Schedule” to decide how your blooms should be identified on the card which should be hung on each clear bottle. Jim Crowther suggested the theme of “spring” for large and mini rose arrangements. Perhaps find a vase or tool to suggest a modern (shiny, angular) arrangement or gather some complimentary mini roses for a spiraling line arrangement. We’d like a roomful of blooms!

We will have a table set up in the hallway outside the Goldstar meeting room for people to check their roses. Volunteer mentors can demonstrate or advise on grooming, propping roses with wedges, answer questions about filling out the entry cards and help as needed. When your entry is ready, place it by class or section in the main room. No matter how your entries do, it is always a learning experience for the next time. I’ve made many a blunder, and I am willing to make more. We want to see your roses, whether or not they are show-ready, so please bring whatever you have. The over-all effect should be uplifting for us all.

You should know that our annual Rose Show in May is cancelled for this year, but we will be displaying our roses at the Filoli Flower Show May 5-8. Let the following people know if you have roses to contribute by 7:30 a.m. for these dates: Pam Schenk, Priya Kamath, and me for Thursday, May 5, Eleanor Rakonitz for May 6, Priya Kamath for May 7, and Anne Quincy May 8. These people are setting up or refreshing our display and would like to have the participation of as many members as possible. The name of the rose, its date of introduction and your name as the grower are what we need for each rose.

Please send in the names of your favorite roses to Jerry Georgette so we can update our 2011 list. It can help us select roses for our gardens.