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!


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