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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *