Exhibiting Winning Roses: What Does It Take? by John Hefner

For rose exhibitors, the ultimate goal is to grow, prune, cut quality roses plus travel and exhibit at a national show.  Of course, your desire and plans are always determined by the show location and time of year that will allow you to present quality roses in your exhibit. The time your roses must endure traveling in a cooler plus overnight storage in your hotel room the night before the show must always be taken into your final equation.

On October 4, 2019 during our road travel to the national conference and rose show held in Franklin, Tennessee, the one-hour traffic delay on Interstate 65 which detoured us through the construction laden downtown at Louisville, Kentucky was not in our original plan and I wondered how this delay would eventually effect our roses.  Plus, for this rose show, a new and never tested method of providing water and packing roses would be used.  How far can a rose exhibitor push their comfort boundaries in order to exhibit roses on the national level?

GOALS!

Our first goal was to present an entry in the F. Harmon Saville Memorial Challenge Bowl –

  • An entry of eighteen (18) exhibition type miniature roses, six (6) or more varieties, displayed in a low bowl.
  • Container to be provided by the exhibitor and should not exceed four (4) inches in diameter.
  • Floral foam is permitted.
  • Width of entry allow: 18 inches.

The requirements in itself are indeed a “challenge” but isn’t that what challenge classes are supposed to be?  The combined effort to grow, prune, cut, condition and travel with exhibition roses requires knowledge, experience and sometime a little luck.

Varieties we used in our Seville entry were Arcanum, Ayden Renee, Daddy Frank, Memphis King, Renegade, Soroptimist International, and Swirly Pop. 

Since exhibiting roses is not an exact science, I suggest that you always have a Plan B.  Our second desire and goal was to have an entry in the Dee Bennett Memorial Trophy, an entry of twelve (12) miniature roses, at exhibition stage, without side buds.  One variety or any combination of varieties, displayed in a clear container provided by the exhibitor.  The exhibitor may use floral foam for support.

Varieties used in the Bennett were Bees Knees, Chessie’s Favorite, Daddy Frank, Erin Alonson, Hugs n’ Kisses, Renegade, Soroptimist International. We were proud that Hugs n’ Kisses a rose we introduced and named for our grandchildren was also included in our exhibit.

GATHERING SUPPLIES…

With our tape measure in hand, Donna and I made several shopping excursions to local stores on numerous days to find, select and purchase the required show containers that had the proper dimensions. This task soon had us wondering if we would indeed find the correct style to compliment our potential roses.  In the end, we did purchase five various containers in which we felt comfortable and ones that would not dominate over the roses.

As the days before the show date approached, the hope is always for your roses to repeat from the planned pruning schedule, however, weather cooperation and your experience allows you to cut blooms at the required degree of openness.

HERE WE GO…

And with my first pruning cut made 55 days before the October 5, 2019 rose show date, our challenge began.

The September 2019 weather conditions for mid-state Indiana was extreme heat with temperatures reaching 90 degrees plus each day.  This was not ideal fall growing weather for roses to develop tight centers plus lack of rain meant roses would require water. Mother Nature eventually cooperated, even though it was abnormally hot, the plants and developing stems responded for our required specimens.

Changes in strategy is required due to the opening characteristics of each bloom, color combinations required, similar size and degree of openness.

On arrival at the show site, the hope is always that the blooms have traveled well and are ready for competition.  Since staging is always a factor in challenge classes, many thoughts come to mind as how to stage an entry with multiple blooms, using bloom colors to highlight the entry.  We practiced during the month of August but did not always experience the desired overall arrangement we were trying to obtain.  We researched photos that had been published in various rose publications. 

GAME DAY…

On the morning of the rose show, we woke at 2:00 am and began our journey through the hotel’s quiet hallways and empty elevators with three extra-large coolers full of roses, buckets, grooming kit, bowls etc. only to arrive at the prep room and found no vases available – all had been reserved by other exhibitors. We had one hundred miniature and miniflora roses – no vases.  Would this be the day when we look for Plan C?  However, most of our potential roses would be placed in classes requiring multiple blooms or one container. With due diligence from the rose show chairman and 2 hours later, additional vases were transported to the prep area for eager exhibitors to use.

During the time we prepped our roses, the chosen specimens were segregated for consideration for the two desired national challenge classes. These roses which had traveled in plastic water vials with pointed anchor picks were strategically placed in flat Styrofoam.  This gave us an advantage to move the roses without disturbing the blooms.  With the educational instructional assistance from our successful exhibiting friend, Satish Prabhu, South Carolina, the Seville and Bennett entries were carefully staged and our “attention getting” colored blooms that Donna and I had chosen made the entries come to life.

Satish’s verbal instructions always included careful attention to detail which became a learning experience for these two seasoned exhibitors.  It was an outstanding one-on-one educational learning experience for us from a very talented rosarian and exhibitor.

After these two national entries were completed, we selected roses to be entered in the J. Benjamin Williams Miniflora Rose Trophy (10 Minifloras), American Box (9 Minifloras), Artist Palette (5 Miniatures), Miniature Spray & Single Bloom of the Same Variety, Rose Bowl, and single blooms classes.  We truly were blessed to have additional exhibits displayed on the awards table.

FARM KIDS…

As Indiana “farm kids” Donna and I are both 10 year 4-H members.  We both exhibited livestock and various other categories that were available in the 1950s-1960s era. We grew up competing against our neighbors and close friends.

We first began exhibiting roses on the national level in 1979 at the national convention hosted by the Milwaukee Rose Society where we were awarded King of Show. We were new, unexperienced but eager to learn. I knew the accomplished exhibitors and continuously discussed roses and ask questions, then more questions.  I have learned over the years that accomplished exhibitors are always eager to help others learn about all aspects to growing and showing roses.

There really are no “tricks to the trade,” it is work – diligently working your garden and getting to know your plants.  You need to learn everything about the roses you grow and enjoy, when to cut, how they react to shading or refrigeration, how they will travel, plus in Indiana, how to get your roses to survive the brutal winter temperatures and wind. Winter snow is welcomed as it will help insulate your plants.

WHAT IT TAKES…

Exhibiting is work! Success does not come easily!  It is hard work, detailed work, diligent work.

It is spending unlimited, long hours in the garden you LOVE.

It is setting goals and doing anything and everything to obtain that goal.

It is a continual learning experience in your own garden as no two gardens are alike.

It is hours of walking the rose garden, protecting blooms, cutting at the appropriate time, and carefully conditioning and grooming.

This work plus pre-exhibiting details resulted in us successfully entering two winning National Challenge Class trophies.

MAKING MEMORIES…

After the national rose show, our two winning national rose entries spent two additional days in our hotel room then were carefully transported in buckets back to our Indiana home and all blooms were dried to make a potpourri for us to forever hold their memories near and dear to our hearts. 

These are memories that will indeed last forever!

A STRONG FINISH

Rose Friends,

If you were at the August meeting you know we are finishing 2019 strong. So many members brought in “Show and Tell” from their gardens… things ranged from what’s going right, what needs some help and our ASK THE MASTERS Team of Mark Nolen and John Hefner gave  us so many “professional” tips on growing roses in our area, and how to battle the pests that want to come along for the beautiful ride!

Sally Parsons took us through her experiment of using beneficial nematodes to battle midge and thrips. We will be checking back in with her next year! Sally also brought a vase of the most fragrant David Austin roses ever! Harlow Carr emerged as everyone’s favorite. Hope we can get some of those for our rose sale next year.

Teri Russell brought the “cutting” that she started at Rosefest when Connie Hartwood did her demonstration. New Dawn was no longer a cutting … it was 12″ tall and a strong plant. We celebrated with Teri!

John Hefner interviewed a team of our newer society leaders or what they had learned and what they still wanted to know. Out of that conversation we gained some insight into programs we might consider in the future.

Thanks to all who participated. It was a wonderful night!

Below you will read of the great things that are coming up!

See you there.
Teresa Byington
President

THE FINISH STRONG THEME CONTINUES . . .

DAVID AUSTIN: THE MAN AND HIS ROSES
TUES, SEPT 10, 6:30 pm

Sullivan Munce Cultural Center / Zionsville

SPEAKER: Trudy Struck (who is part of the team that manages the care for the Master Gardener’s rose garden in Noblesville!
Trudy’s program will give you insight into David Austin the man as well as showcase his beautiful creations.

We will finish the Sept meeting with the popular…
ASK THE MASTERS:
John and Mark will share tips for putting the garden to bed for winter and answer your questions!

CHILI COOK-OFF / COSTUME PARTY

TUES, OCT 8, 6:30 pm
Sullivan Munce Cultural Center / Zionsville

Our host for this special evening will be Humberto DeLuca. It promises to be FUN!

Those in the Chili Competition are:

  • Keith Oltean
  • Greg Byington
  • John Hefner
  • Mark Nolen
  • Humberto DeLuca

Everyone will have the opportunity to taste test and vote!

We will need more than chili to eat! Click here for the online form to sign up for side dishes!

Costume Party: You can come dressed as a rose or something else if you prefer. Roses go back to the beginning of time – that a lot of names! THIS COULD BE INTERESTING!

We will vote on costumes too!

Winners will receive Dammann’s Garden Center Gift Certificates!

HOLIDAY PARTY!

SAT, DEC 7, 6 pm

Annual Awards & New Board Installation
Location: Magic Dinner at Serenity Restaurant
135 S Main St, Zionsville, IN 46077
(Two blocks from where we have our meetings!)

If you haven’t been to Serentiy it is a magical place or maybe I should say haunted. Yes, it is a beautiful house with a history and we will hear about it while we are there! Read more here.

Our entertainment will be a magic show.

COST: $22 per person
Price includes a three-course dinner, non alcoholic drink and show plus tax and gratuity.

You may also buy wine at $5 a “pour”.

This is a special evening for our society and a good time to get to know people better. Who knows you might just receive an award!

For the Christmas dinner, please RSVP to Teresa Byington here.

We are excited to see you at each of these events as we end our growing year strong!

Rose friendships and rose education is a winning combination.

Our meetings are open to the public.

So please invite other to join you!

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

2020 Note:

Linda Kimmel and Teresa Byington are beginning to do research for the 2020 rose sale. While the annual Rose Sale is a money maker for our society, it is also a service to our members — giving them the opportunity to buy beautiful roses at a discount! To quote John Hefner, “the roses we get for the sale are outstanding!” This year we had a very successful partnership with Frazee Gardens in Brownsburg saving us money on delivery (they allowed us to have our roses delivered with their delivery)and their care and storage of our roses between delivery and sale was over the top. We can’t thank them enough and look forward to the same partnership this year!

Pre-sale will begin in February. Delivery to society meeting will be in April. We always sell out quickly, so be on the look out for the announcements early 2020!

 

Rose Cuttings by Connie Hilker

The Klassy Way to Root Roses (Presented by Connie Hilker, adapted from a method by Diana Klassy.)

Connie was our guest speaker for the 2019 ROSEFEST. She taught us and inspired us!

This is one of many ways to propagate roses and other plants from cuttings. It is simple to learn, and it uses materials that you may already have on hand.

Supplies:

  • Half-gallon milk jug
  • Clear 2-liter soda bottle
  • Food-quality potting media
  • Rooting hormone
  • Pruners
  • Sharp knife
  • Patience!

This method uses the bottom of the milk jug as a pot, and the top of the soda bottle to form a greenhouse.

Cut large drainage holes in the bottom of the milk jug.
Fill the milk jug with moist potting media. Water thoroughly and let drain.

The best rose cutting is a stem with a dead flower on it, with four to six sets of leaves. If possible, get the heel wood where the cutting emerges from the main cane. If you cannot get a heel, cut below a leaf bud. Remove all but the top two or three sets of leaves.

With the sharp knife, score the end of the cutting on two or three sides … cutting only through the outer layer.

Dip scored cutting into rooting hormone. (dampen cutting if using powdered hormone) Make a hole in the potting media, insert the cutting, water thoroughly.
Cover the cutting with the soda bottle top.

Place your container in a protected location … outside, place it the shade (under a bush is a good place); inside, in a window with bright indirect light. No direct sunshine at this point, or the container will overheat and your cutting will die. There should be no need to water your cutting … condensation inside the soda bottle is a good indication that the cutting has sufficient moisture.

Cuttings can produce roots in as soon as four weeks, or as many as eight, ten, or more weeks. Since roots are visible through the translucent milk jug, there is no need to pull cuttings to check their progress. Remove any leaves that fall … the cutting can still root without leaves. As long as the stem is green, the cutting is alive.

When the cutting is showing strong roots, and starts to sprout new leaves, begin to harden off your new rose by removing the screw top of the soda bottle. After a week or two, remove the soda bottle completely and begin to gradually move your rose to a sunnier environment.

A Saturday Steeped in Roses by Linda Kimmel

JUDGING SEMINAR

The morning of June 8 (Saturday) started off with a Horticulture Judging Seminar in the beautiful home and garden of Mark and Cathy Nolen.  Attendees came from near and far, including Ed Yesan from Collinsville, IL, Cheryl Pettus, Champaign, IL, Howard Carmen and Paula Williams from the countryside of Louisville, Ky. We were very happy to see Renee LaFollette back up and around, as well as Barbara Stauch.

Mark Nolen and John Hefner kick-started the morning with programs on judging rose horticulture, including topics concerning exhibition stage versus exhibition form, judging challenge classes and much more. Members practiced point scoring of several roses selected from the Nolen’s garden. After a beautiful lunch prepared by Cathy Nolen, Linda Kimmel leads the group in a lively game of Old Garden Rose Jeopardy. Mark polished off the afternoon with our final program including ethics. I think everyone went home with renewed enthusiasm and knowledge for judging roses. Thank you, Mark and Cathy Nolen, for hosting the Horticulture Judging seminar, sharing your beautiful home and garden, and for being such gracious host.

GARDEN PARTY

But the party does not stop on the south side of Indianapolis, it just moved to Brownsburg. After a lot of rain, Mother Nature provided a beautiful evening at the home of Teresa and Greg Byington for a pitch-in and self-guided garden tour. We are thankful for the 40 wonderful people that attended, of which four to six were new members.

 

A trellis loaded with ‘Peggy Martin’ blooms and others covered in ‘New Dawn’ rose and Etoile Violette clematis provided backdrops for Prom-like photo opps. ‘Mother of Pearl’ rose emerged as the Queen of the Prom with spectacular peachy-apricot blooms that were simply stunning. As she strolled down the red carpet, ‘Mother of Pearl’ was photographed like frenzied paparazzi at the Oscars.

There was food galore on the tables, lovely serenity views of a gorgeous rose garden and wonderful friends with great conversation. A perfect ending to a perfect day. Thank you, Greg and Teresa, for sharing your wonderful garden and home.

One thing that strikes me while at the Byington home, you can feel the love. You can feel the love that Teresa has for her roses and garden. You can feel the love that Greg and Teresa have for each other and their family. You can feel the love they share with their friends.

 

Rosefest: Learning and Growing!

Rosefest was a big success! Thanks to all who braved rain, storms, flood warnings and a tornado warning to join us.

Rose Preservationist, Connie Hilker, who chairs the Heritage and Preservation Committee of the American Rose Society, inspired us and encouraged us to get busy and be a part of the solution of sharing roses and their stories. DOWNLOAD CONNIE’S PROPAGATION NOTES HERE.

 

People of all ages were working like bees to learn Connie’s proven technique of rose propagation and left with their own cuttings from Peggy Martin or New Dawn from the beautiful Master Gardener Rose Garden. 

 

Teresa Byington, IRS president and grower of more than 200 roses from Hybrid Teas to Old Garden Roses and everything in between, shared her top 10 Easy Breezy Roses to an enthusiastic group who are eager to add more roses to their garden. One eager young man of 10 asked, “what is a ‘breezy’ rose.” It was fun! 

Andrew Fritz, Urban Agriculture Conservationist for the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District, gave a presentation on Backyard Composting. He shared tips on what to compost, different types of compost bins and how to keep critters out!

Members brought roses from their gardens to exhibit and guests voted on their favorites. 

 

We saw relationship building, note taking, idea sharing and enthusiasm for the Queen of Flowers making Rosefest a huge success for our society!

Thanks to Teresa Downham, Carolyn Lloyd, and Trudy Struck, for their work on the Hamilton County Master Gardener Rose Garden. It is the perfect place to have Rosefest!

 

 

2019 Rosefest

TIME TO MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR OUR ANNUAL ROSEFEST!

SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 9 am – 3 pm

HAMILTON COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS

2003 PLEASANT STREET, NOBLESVILLE, IN

FREE / OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Whether you are just getting started with roses or have been growing for years, this is a day of rosy fun, information and inspiration!

  • SPEAKERS (See below)
  • HANDS-ON WORKSHOPS
  • ROSE SHOW DISPLAY
  • TOUR HCMGA ROSE GARDEN
  • ROSES & ROSE RELATED PRODUCTS

Qualified for Master Garden education hours and Consulting Rosarian credit.

DOWNLOAD THE SCHEDULE HERE.

DOWNLOAD CONNIE’S PROPAGATION NOTES HERE.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

We are happy to announce that Rose Preservationist, CONNIE HILKER, will be our Main Speaker for Rosefest and will lead a workshop on propagation.

Connie Hilker chairs the Heritage and Preservation Committee of the American Rose Society. A lifelong gardener with over 600 varieties of roses in her personal collection, she manages the documentation, preservation, and restoration of the historic rose collection at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia, and is the rose consultant at the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants at Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia. Connie is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Heritage Rose Foundation, and Old Garden Rose Chair for the American Rose Society Colonial District. She can often be found collecting roses from cemeteries and old home sites, teaching classes on rose history, care, and propagation, or tending to the roses in her garden.

Connie’s overall message is that ‘roses are not rocket science’ and she strives to show that anyone with a basic knowledge of gardening can choose appropriate roses and grow them well.

 

Here is Connie with American Rose Society President, Bob Martin, who named Connie chairman of the Heritage and Rose Preservation for the ARS.

 

BACKYARD COMPOSTING: ANDREW FRITZ

Andrew Fritz is the Urban Agriculture Conservationist for the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District. Andrew provides technical assistance to small farmers, backyard gardeners, and community gardens to help protect soil and water health issues, pest management, and more. Andrew’s position with the SWCD also helps to develop initiatives to address food insecurity in Hamilton County. Andrew has an educational background in geography, geology, and telecommunications with a graduate degree in landscape architecture. Among all things in the garden and in life, the process of decomposition is his favorite.

10 EASY BREEZY ROSES: TERESA BYINGTON

Teresa loves to dig in the dirt and gets plenty of opportunities to do just that as she cares for her large cottage garden that consists of about 200 roses and a host of their companions. She is a master gardener and a member of the Indianapolis Rose Society where she serves as President. Teresa is also a member of the American Rose Society where she currently serves as editor of the ARS newsletter, Roses & You and as Director of the Illinois & Indiana District. In addition, she serves as a juror at the Biltmore International Rose Trials and co-host of the Rose Chat Podcast.

JOIN US APRIL 9!


 

PROGRAM

Some of the rose topics that we get the most questions about are planting, pruning and growing roses in containers. John Hefner is going to make masters out of all those who come! We are open to the public so come and bring a friend.

ROSE SALE

At this meeting, it is also time to PICK UP THE ROSES you have ordered or bring your checkbook for the ones still available. Pick up Roses from 6:00 – 6:45.

If you want to preorder, contact Linda Kimmel HERE.


ASK THE MASTERS

Tool Talk– Our “Masters” will bring their favorite tools to talk about and will be available to answer your questions.

 

ADDITIONAL DETAILS

TUES, APR 9 / 6:30 pm (see rose sale time below)

Sullivan Munce Cultural Center / Zionsville

SPRING ROSE CARE
PROGRAM: 
Planting, Pruning & Growing Rose in Containers: John Hefner
John Hefner is one of the leading rosarians in the country – winning most every award we have! We have so much to learn from him.