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I Promise You A Rose Garden (or Why You Should Come to the American Rose Society Fall National Conv

I love, love, love roses and talking about roses is one of my happy times. That is one reason I love to go the San Diego Rose Society monthly meetings. Growing and loving roses in several different geographic areas and states has given me lots of different experiences to share. When I lived in Northern California, I joined the East Bay Rose Society and learned about exhibiting roses from former ARS President Jolene Adams and others in that society.

When I lived in Medford, Oregon, I had new, and very different rose growing experiences and learned from expert rose growers in Southern Oregon. The owner of Rogue Valley Roses, Janet Inada, was a great friend, and when I left Oregon she took some roses and cuttings from my garden to propagate for her nursery.

My first experience with a national convention was in San Jose— I remember sitting at the talks and lectures in complete awe that so many knowledgeable and well-known rosarians were sharing such incredible wisdom. I remember touring the private rose gardens and feeling so blessed to see the beauty and be able to ask questions of the owners. I remember going to the very first National Miniature Convention in Fresno, California, and meeting the “Father of Minis”, Ralph Moore. I loved his talks, his poetry and his roses and I have since grown many Ralph Moore roses in all my rose gardens.

Rose people are unique in very many ways and gathering together with them at a national convention is a great way to experience this. The very first thing most anyone says about rose people is how friendly they are. It is so very true and I think a lot of the reason is the joy of talking about roses— it makes rose people happy. I also believe that rose people really want to “infect” other people and it is easer to do with kindness and a happy demeanor.

Now, I really am serious about the “infecting” part. You could also call it proselytizing or evangelism, but I am a retired nurse and it is more fun to equate it to medicine. The important thing to know is that, in this case, “infection” is not a bad thing. Being mentored and encouraged to grow amazing blooms of the most beautiful flower in the world doesn’t sound like a disease, right? The infection part comes into play when the knowledge and zeal and enthusiasm of rose people causes others to grow more roses in their own gardens.

One of the problems newer rose growers have is, how to choose and where to find the best roses for MY garden. In this world of shrinking rose hybridizers (not smaller, just less of them), fewer rose nurseries, less local coverage of anything garden related (unless it’s succulents, yuck), fewer gardeners to mentor others, and houses with much less room for gardens. Rose lovers need HELP. An American Rose Society Convention can be the very best help anyone could want. There is no better way to “shop” for roses than with a pad, pencil and camera at a rose show. There is no better way to choose what is best for YOUR garden than to talk to other rosarians with the same problems and issues you face.

I am somewhat of an introvert, truly, and it is sometimes difficult to insert myself into a group or conversation. Rose-loving has changed some of that. When I went to my first convention in San Jose, I went by myself. I never felt alone or left out though because every group I approached was talking about roses and I could just listen in and learn, or join with questions or anecdotes of my own. I was warmly welcomed!!

When the San Diego Rose Society hosted the 2014 ARS National Convention, about 100 of the attendees were attending their first convention. I think that is an amazing number and I hope we top that this year. We plan some special perks and events just for first-timers. It is so very important for newbies to feel that their presence is important. As a long time rosarian, I welcome the experiences and insights of those starting in on the love and growing of roses. New ways of doing things, new ideas about caring for roses, new eyes searching for answers to rose problems, new lovers of the flower I adore. What could be better!!

Additionally, The San Diego Rose Society feels so strongly that young people should be involved with roses, that we are offering special discounts for anyone under 20 who wants to attend or exhibit at the rose show.

The convention schedule is on the website — — so you can see all the wonderful events you can attend. Please don’t miss the speakers, you will learn so much. Do plan to attend the SAVE THE ROSES auctions, they joy of taking home a rose that nearly no one else in the country has is a really great feeling. If you like to take pictures of roses, sign up for the photography seminar, you will learn so much. Come to the open gardens—I did promise you a rose garden!! Celebrate with our own Bob Martin on his installation as ARS President.

Stay with us at the Crowne Plaza for the rate of $139 a night (unheard of in San Diego). BTW, no really good convention is complete without some “swag” and you will not be disappointed. The BAG itself is awesome, the contents amazing. One item alone is worth ½ the registration fee!! Register early and receive discounts and additional “swag” items.

Come for the bag, come for the fun, come for the sun, come for the food (sushi bar in the hotel, taco wagon at the Presidential reception), come for the learning. Come for the beauty of the rose show.


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