How To Read The Rose Show Schedule

April 20, 2018

Most Local Rose Societies hold a rose show at some time during the year. It is a fun event that stimulates the members who enjoy competition, the coordination required brings members of the society together in like-minded work groups, the public gets to see beautiful roses at their peak of perfection, and the members of the society can talk to the visiting public about roses and why they are passionate about them. There is also the opportunity to sell roses and rose-related products to benefit the treasury of the local society.

When you go to a rose show, try to pick up a Show Schedule. This booklet (sometimes just a small handful of xeroxed sheets) is the “Bible” of the Show. It gives the names of the people/officers of the society responsible for each activity, the Rules of the Show, a description of the classes available for entering your roses, often a list of the Trophies and Certificates to be won, and the time table for the show. Often a site map is included so you know in which rooms or where to find certain types of exhibits.

 

 

Divisions of the Show

 

The Show is divided into Sections for:

  • Specimens – these are the usual horticultural entries of one stemmed roses, sometimes vases with 3 stems and also the sprays.

  • Challenges – these are more complex entries, using multiple stems and containers in various ways.

  • Rose Arrangements – here is the wonderful world of flower arranging, but with roses.

  • Novices – a special section for the beginners so they can compete against each other without worrying about “the big guys”.

  • Special Classes – usually where Juniors, Non-members, etc. can find classes for their roses.

 

There might be other Sections that are unique to a local society. All shows differ slightly from society to society, region to region.

 

Classes

 

In a typical ARS-sanctioned show (that means the rules follow the ARS Handbook for Judging Roses and the ARS Handbook for Judging Rose Arrangements) that follows the varietal format (all roses of a type are staged on the show bench in alphabetical order), you might find these classes that are for

 

Hybrid Teas and Grandifloras:

 

Section I – Specimens

 

HYBRID TEAS, GRANDIFLORAS, AND THEIR CLIMBING FORMS

  • Class 1 – One bloom per stem, grown disbudded. Cultivars with less than 15 petals not eligible.

  • Class 2 – 3 stems, one bloom per stem, grown disbudded. Cultivars with less than 15 petals not eligible.

  • Class 3 – Spray, one stem, two or more blooms per stem.

  • Class 4 – Three sprays, two or more blooms per stem.

  • Class 5 – Single form (less than 15 petals), one bloom per stem, grown disbudded.

  • Class 6 – Single form (less than 15 petals), three stems, one bloom per stem, grown disbudded.

These six classes explain to the exhibitor what kind of entry to make. They all require the rose to be a Hybrid Tea or Grandiflora. From there the classes try to give a selection for all types of entries; one stem, multiple stems, sprays, one bloom per stem, etc.

 

The other classifications of roses follow the same general format. Floribundas would have classes for one stem, multiple stems, sprays, one bloom per stem, singles. Miniatures would also follow this format. Shrubs can be subdivided into Classic Shrubs and Modern Shrubs, with all the different classes following. Climbers are usually shown as one stem or three stem entries of one bloom per stem and also the sprays. Polyanthas are most often shown only as sprays.

 

Old Garden Roses

 

Old Garden Roses are sometimes shown in the same format. Another format for the Old Garden Roses divides them into their own sub-classes (Chinas, Bourbons, Gallicas, etc.). Old Garden Roses are segregated according to their known Date of Origin. The ARS uses the date of introduction of La France, reputed to be the first commercially available Hybrid Tea as the dividing line for the Old Garden Roses. Specimens in Classes that were introduced or known to be in cultivation before 1867 are considered “dowagers” and are eligible for the Dowager Queen Certificate. Specimens of these Classes which were introduced in 1867 or after, or with no known or provable date of introduction are considered eligible for the Victorian Certificate. A sample “varietal” show schedule might look like this:

 

Section I – Specimens

 

OLD GARDEN ROSES Cultivars Introduced Before 1867

  • Class 800 – One stem, one bloom per stem, naturally grown or one spray.

  • Class 810 – Three stems, one bloom per stem, naturally grown or one spray. Cultivars Introduced 1867 or After

  • Class 900 – One stem, one bloom per stem, naturally grown or one spray.

  • Class 910 – Three stems, one bloom per stem, naturally grown or one spray. Alternatively, the Old Garden Roses might compete in this manner:

Section I – Specimens OLD GARDEN ROSES Cultivars Introduced Before 1867

Alba

  • Class 800 – One stem, one bloom per stem, naturally grown or one spray.

  • Class 805 – Three stems, one bloom per stem, naturally grown or one spray.

Ayrshire

  • Class 810 – One stem, one bloom per stem, naturally grown or one spray.

  • Class 815 – Three stems, one bloom per stem, naturally grown or one spray.

Boursault

  • Class 820 – One stem, one bloom per stem, naturally grown or one spray.

  • Class 825 – Three stems, one bloom per stem, naturally grown or one spray. (And so on, for all the OGR classifications – 24 of them this year)

Genesis Roses

 

The ARS has also added a Genesis Certificate for the Species roses. A rose that is classed as a species rose (and marked with Sp. in the Handbook for Selecting Roses) competes here. If the society does not offer this class, the species roses compete for the Dowager Certificate. Be sure to visit a rose show, walk around and see how the show is laid out, ask questions, find out why things are done the way they are. And then come back next year with your roses, and enter them in the show!

 

Showing roses is an excellent way to learn more about roses, their cultivation, how to combat disease and pests – and a great way to meet other rosarians.

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