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.