Rose Speak by Joan Stoffer
LEADING LADY opened her eyes, declared that the stage lights were finally on, and took several bows. However, It was really TUSCAN SUN waking everyone to a warm and shiny day. Always slow AWAKENING, VEE MARIE yawned and wished for a cup of HOT COCOA. CAREFREE BEAUTY began to feel like a CAREFREE SPIRIT and GOLDEN WINGS was sure she could fly OVER THE MOON. Shy little MARY ROSE produced very loud GIGGLES when a bumblebee tickled her stems. THE DARK LADY flaunted her FLAWLESS beauty, sure that she would be Queen this year. There is such AMBIANCE in the spring garden, but what a CONUNDRUM – it’s only February!
HELEN TRAUBEL began an aria from her favorite opera, TRAVIATA, and RURAL RYTHYM chimed in with a chorus of Gershwin’s “I’ve Got Rythym.” SHOWBIZ, a real FANCY DANCER, did a little WHIRLAWAY with SASSY CINDY, and VETERAN’S HONOR marched to DISTANT DRUMS. LIBERTY BELL rang loud and proud. ABRAHAM DARBY, that JOLLY GOOD gentleman from GLAMIS CASTLE, reminded everybody that it wasn’t time yet for a GOLDEN CELEBRATION. The BRASS BAND played on and FOOLISH PLEASURE continued.
PLAYBOY was ready to flirt, and captivated SEXY REXY which made MORDEN BLUSH and HOT PRINCESS sputter that she was feeling totally ignored. GRAHAM THOMAS began TEASING GEORGIA but she only had eyes for THE PRINCE. HANNAH GORDON and NICOLE were still arguing over who was who, while ST. PATRICK simply prayed for PEACE. QUIETNESS called for TRANQUILITY. DAINTY BESS smiled and with a TOUCH OF CLASS, reminded the mischief-makers that they need to become FOREVER FRIENDS.
PARTY GIRL was DANCING IN THE WIND, shouting “isn’t this just the BEE’S KNEES?” THE SQUIRE gave her a sour look. JEAN KENNEALLY said her HOPE is that the sun never goes down because THIS IS THE DAY. GOLDEN SHOWERS tried to warn that OUTTA THE BLUE, there could still be a freeze. BETTY BOOP said it’s only FOLKLORE that spring can’t come this early. FRU DAGMAR complained “this just can’t be – I still have to lose my hips!! “
As MARMALADE SKIES gave way to an ARIZONA SUNSET, there was general agreement that today had been FABULOUS and such a DOUBLE DELIGHT. POPE JOHN PAUL II gave thanks and assured them that THE NEW DAWN would be SIMPLY MARVELOUS and filled with JOY and HAPPINESS.
We were not expecting much of a Fall Show this year, with the Japanese beetles plaguing our gardens to some degree right up to show day, but in unusually large numbers as late as 10 days before our show. The unseasonably hot weather was not a plus either. Although quite a few of our large roses matured a week too early, there were those last minute surprises that boosted our spirits and the quality of roses in our show.
Our show was more balanced this time. Whereas in last spring’s show, one exhibitor entered all 7 of the 1-bloom hybrid teas that were honored, this time the Queen, King, Princess, and the 4 Queen’s Court roses were each entered by a different exhibitor. It is painful when you don’t win an award you coveted, but we need to cheer this as evidence of more and better competition at our shows. The surprise of the show was the presence of a pair of exhibitors from Ohio. Richard Anthony and his exhibitor partner, drove much of the night to enter rose in our show. Richard Anthony is a nationally known expert and exhibitor of mini-flora roses. He provided our program on mini-flora roses at the last District Convention we hosted here, a few years ago. Not surprisingly, the mini-flora Queen, King, Princess, and two of the 4 members of the Mini-flora Court were won by the team from Ohio.
Congratulations to Gord and Alice Otter for winning, among other awards, the Queen of Show with Touch of Class, the Komar, and the English Box for large exhibition stage roses. I could tell by Alice’s big smile that she got a special kick out of edging out your Editor for that last award.
The Bloks seemed to be specializing in sprays, as we won the Best Mini-flora, Best Grandiflora, and Best Hybrid Tea sprays. We also surprised by winning the Miniature Queen with an entry of Joy.
The Wileys, besides winning their usual boxes, and an unbelievable collection of bowls, won the Mini King with Irresistible, and the King of Show with Olympiad. Their Olympiad entry also was judged “Best Red Hybrid Tea.”
Harlan and Kay Schumaker found the going a bit tougher than usual in the Mini-flora class, due largely to the influx of those roses from Ohio, but did better than most in the small roses. They won the two miniature spray classes, as their spray of Pierrine was judged the Best Miniature Spray. They also showed their usual strength in the small rose classes by winning numerous small rose challenge classes, and once again winning the small rose Sweepstakes Award.
Although it was not a good season for OGR’s, The Wiers won with the High-Lo Challenge, the By 2’s OGR/Shrub English Box, a Mini Court Award, and Best Open Bloom Hybrid Tea.
Congratulations also to President Joan Stoffer for winning the Best Modern Shrub award with Golden Wings. That entry was also judged to be the Best of Show.
I needed a lesson in preventative care! This morning August 8, I found I was too late. The deer had cleaned off 2 or 3 of my most promising rose bushes in the front yard. You guessed what I did next. Irma complains of the stink.