Posts Tagged 'American Rose Society'

2014 Redwood Empire Rose Society ROSE SHOW


The perfect rose at the exact moment of judging is Queen of the Show.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES  This year we doubted that we would have roses – let alone a perfect rose.  But as in every year, we were shown that nature provides.    This year was very special as Honora Connelly won Queen with Brandy – her very first Queen!  Phyllis Saccani had to settle for Princess with Falling in Love.   Nice of Phyllis to share the glory this year.

No matter what the date or the weather, preparing for a Rose Show is a lot of work.  There is the selection of the theme, the naming of the arrangements (yes, they are named!), gathering of the judges and the myriad of other activities.  I have not had roses to enter since I left my fabulous rose garden in Forestville over 4 years ago but I do my contribution by preparing the judges luncheon.  This year I decided to serve tri-tip as I know that people really like it.  But I don’t know that I have ever cooked it myself.

20140520_162848I definitely do not barbeque so I was wondering how I was going to get this done.  And then there is that thing that I do not eat beef. Researching things is still a large part of my life so I began my research of either buying it prepared or cooking it in the oven.  The first stop was to the grill at Fiesta Market.  While they sell a great tri-tip (so I am told) each weekend, they do not prepare it in time for me to serve it at noon on Saturday. The second stop was the deli at Oliver’s Market.  Same answer as the Fiesta crew.    The deli worker sent me over to the meat market where the tri-tips are actually prepared.  Stop three – the butcher at the meat counter.   He said that the way to guarantee a tender tri-tip is to use a rub  and then marinate it for as long as possible in beer.  That sounded okay but a week was definitely too long to have meat in a frig.  Oh, and anyone who has been to my kitchen knows that there is not room for two tri-tips in my frig.  So the next stop was the 20140517_122804meat counter at Fiesta (I do live across the street from Fiesta).  The butcher basically explained that a rub for flavor and alcohol for breaking down the tissue to have a tender cut of meat.  He said that I could cook them in the oven.  I purchased close to 6 lbs of tri-tip and rubbed them with the steak seasoning that came with a seasoning set.  I put a lot of rub on, slipped each into a gallon baggie and drove over to Phyllis’  with the steaks and a bottle of wine.  Poured half a bottle of wine into each baggie and asked Phyllis to turn the meat each time she went into the frig.  The morning of the Show, I let the beef come to room temperature and cooked in the oven at 350  degrees after being heated to 425 degrees.  30 minutes on one side and 15 minutes on the other and it was cooked to perfection.  Along with the tri-tip was Caesar Salad and chicken pasta salad (for those non steak eaters – of which I was the only one!)   Dessert was apple cake and vanilla ice cream.   Lunch, as always, was a huge success.



My favorite part of the rose shows are the arrangements and bouquets.  Nothing is more lovely to me than a big vase of beautiful roses.   Once again, Martin Kooi won the best arrangement award.  But I loved Gail Lee’s arrangement and Phyllis’ bouquet of “left over” roses.  It was a great day and a beautiful show.




Fall Is Upon Us


P1030802This year has sailed by and I am somewhat aghast that it is November and only days until Thanksgiving.  I started the month with a party to thank all of my clients who have stuck by me through all of my travails.  It was a joy to open my new little home and share the life that I manage with friends.  The party went most of the day and at the end I was happy and very tired.

I spent a couple of days on the Central Coast this month.  It was nice to be away from my phone and not dealing with escrows and listings for two whole days.  It really seemed like a vacation.  The scenery was beautiful and the company excellent.  It was great to get away and just as terrific to come back home.

20131114_190330The weather has been very odd this year.  It is still warm during the day but very cool at night – down in the 30s.  What amazes me is all the plants that are in bloom.  I have roses in the back yard and azaleas in the front.  Last week there was a beautiful camellia blossom in front and the plant is about to burst with hundreds of bulging buds.  Usually in November I am looking to find a couple of poor examples of roses in the garden to bring a festive air to the table.  This year it has not been a problem at all.  Jan Tolmasoff of Russian River Roses fame had a rose evening in celebration of her recent published article in the American Rose, the official publication of the American Rose Society.  She discussed the pairing of roses and wine (these roses don’t look like November stragglers!) and the rose perfume and oil that she and her husband, Michael. produce.  Russian River Roses is located outside of Healdsburg and is the real thing for rosarians looking to purchase high quality bushes and visit a beautiful extensive garden.   There is a rose allee of eight 12’x12′ arches that can take my breath away.

P1030836How I know that it is about Thanksgiving is that the Joy Road Art Walk was this last weekend.  The weather was fabulous and the people came out in droves.  It was wonderful to see.  I managed to get in and out without buying anything but not because there wasn’t great things to acquire.  I am still remembering how I had too much “stuff” to fit into my new home.  That will seem even more so when I start decorating for Christmas.  I have not done more than hang the stockings for the last two years since I was off to Hawaii for Christmas – but this year I will be home and spending time with my family.

Only two more days until one of the happiest days of the year.  I have made my cranberry sauce and started buying for the Thanksgiving feast.  I plan to do my best at the yearly sock golf (yes, that has become a tradition) and not overeat.

I look back on everything I have done this month and wonder how I fit it all in.  But then I am gearing up for a busy December.


Volunteering Takes Time

Selling Roses

One of the many blooms on display

One of the many blooms on display

The last two weeks I have been in the waiting period for my home purchase.  The loan is approved – the boxes are piling up – I am picking out colors.  Long escrows are just that – long.  But I would not be able to move if I had to do it today as I have spent the last two weeks doing my volunteering.  I have friends who volunteer at the hospital – organize town meetings- coach a softball team.  I have two organizations that are such a part of my life that I am always saying “yes”.  They are the Redwood Empire Rose Society and P.E.O. Chapter AJ.

20130511_120046 (1024x739)The Redwood Empire Rose Society is affiliated with the American Rose Society.  We meet monthly for either an informative program or a social gathering.  Most meetings involve roses and food.  The roses are the emphasis of the organization but we can’t seem to do anything without food to accompany it.  May 11 was our annual Rose Show and once again I took on the task of the Judges’ Luncheon.   I served 25 people a lunch of three salads and strawberry shortcake.  I used my favorite table linens and the

A Bouquet of Julia Child

A Bouquet of Julia Child

spread was inviting.  The luncheon had become known as the best Judges’ Luncheon in Northern California and it helps attract judges for our local rose show.  The judges travel from the South Bay, Nevada and Central Valley so we must make it worth their drive!  It was a beautiful day and we had beautiful roses.  That “we” is a bit incorrect as my roses had bloomed the week before and I had nothing to display.  The Rose Show is the first or second week of May each year at the Luther Burbank Art and Garden Center on Yulupa Avenue in Santa Rosa.  It is an event worth attending.

Stocking the Boutique

Stocking the Boutique

P.E.O. is a philanthropic educational organization.  What does that really mean?  We provide scholarships and loans to fund the higher education of women.  There are international, state and local funding mechanisms.  We do a lot of fundraising – but mainly we do it within our chapters.  My chapter is AJ in Sebastopol.  Last year we celebrated our 100th anniversary (you may remember the cars in the parade!)  Last week I was at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose working the 2013 State Convention.  The main money maker for the Conventions is the boutique and I was one of three co-chairs for this event.  Wow!  What a job!  We spent a year selecting and purchasing inventory and none of the three has any experience in retail.  After spending close to $17,000 and storing items, we had a four-day selling frenzy.   I don’t have the full left over inventory but it looks like we brought in about $35,ooo.  Not a bad profit for the unskilled.

Waiting for the Opening Ceremony

Waiting for the Opening Ceremony

A P.E.O. Convention is a whirlwind of fun, activities and presentations.  I only saw the inside of the boutique this year but I am going to be the delegate for Marin/Sonoma at the international convention in Dallas this September.  This should be a lot of fun.

I am back home and getting caught up on work and preparing for my upcoming move.  I received a bid for painting the downstairs and getting cork flooring.   I am ready to start settling in and I am 12 days away from closing.  This is going to be a busy summer.

Smiling after a long day of the Rose Show

Smiling after a long day of the Rose Show

Pruning Roses in 2012

How is your garden reacting to this strange weather pattern?  I finally watered my plants in the ground last week for fear that they would dry up.  They were thankful to receive some moisture and I am thankful that we had a bit of rain and I see more in the forecast.

Pruning should be coming to the end.  I have not started mine and am anxious to find time in the next few days. Between work and the common cold, I have been having some difficulties in getting this done.  But then, I am not sure the roses realize that we have had the “cold” of winter.

The one question that has kept going through my mind is “Do I put down the Osmocote with the weather being so warm?”  I really have not come up with an answer as of yet.  The theory behind fertilizing at the time of pruning is that it is easy to spread before the mulch is put down and that it would not start releasing until the weather warmed up  –  well past the time that we would have a freeze that could damage new growth.  With the days as warm as they have been, the fertilizer should start releasing immediately.  If we don’t have any freezes, the plants should start sprouting new leaflets and we could have roses in April.  But, alas, who is to know if we will have a freeze and all of the new growth would be lost.  I keep going back and forth.  Since I will probably not get my roses done for another week, I am thinking I might go ahead with the Osmocote and cross my fingers.  My other option is to do half the roses with Osmocote and wait to fertilize the other half nearer the end of March.

Winter Bouquet

I fear that we will be seeing greater and greater variations from our known and constant weather patterns.  Right now I have hellebores, azaleas, camellias, calla lilies and roses in bloom.  Yes, roses.  Ribbons and Roses, a large miniature that I grow in a pot in the middle of my garden and Dainty Bess, also in a pot, have buds that will open in the next few days.

What is a gardener to do?  I have decided to do the best I can and let nature take its course.  Which is wise since what I do has so little affect compared to our magical planet.

Indian Summer in Sonoma County

Pears at Farr Eden

Pears at Farr Eden

Summer has finally arrived.  But is it really summer?  I have the burning desire to go out and prep for the coming days of warmth and growth.  Alas, is that the best thing for my roses when we could be into winter in six weeks?

September is always a warm month.  I remember as a child getting those new school clothes and not being able to wear them the first month of school because we had the Indian Summer heat wave.  At least one aspect of the weather is staying constant.

Raspberries Off the Vine

The raspberries have finally come in just in the last week or so and there is an abundant crop of blackberries.

I look around my garden and see that it is suffering from the move from ground, to pots, to ground (this last done at the most inappropriate time).  I am thankful for this current summer weather that will allow the roots to recover before the colder, shorter days set in.  What does one do to help their plants in this situation?

Last week I spread some compost that had been in the compost area before I even moved to this property.  I sprayed some Miracle Gro on the little bit of foliage I have and drenched the soil with what was left over in the sprayer.  I have kept things watered.  I have spent my energy on clearing weeds and cleaning up the fallen leaves that are full of fungi.  It is so much like spring that I have removed aphids from new buds.

I will not have any blooms for the upcoming NCNH Rose Show.  That was determined when I failed to keep up my compost tea spraying and went through weeks of minimal watering due to a heavy work schedule.  That is okay.  I will be working the registration area and will not have a moment to enter anything even if I had great roses.  I only have less than a dozen bushes now—and as admitted, they are not in show shape.

However, I have a miniature called Ty that is in full bloom of small yellow roses.  I was given this plant at an NCNH conference quite a few years ago.  I stuck it in a pot with one of those micro-mini roses that are sold at Trader Joe’s.  This red rose was a gift from a friend and I wanted to see if I could get it to rebloom instead of just throwing it away like I had so many others before it.  Behold, this pot of two roses that I gave little hope to ever surviving has provided me with more blossoms and therefore, more joy, than others that have had great expectation.

Another NCNH gift rose is Ribbons and Roses.  It is not in the ARS Handbook so I don’t know for certain but it looks like a mini on a few steroids.  It has lacked in care as my other roses but does not have a sign of blackspot or any other fungus.  It is yellow and has bloomed beautifully all summer.  And then there is my Jean Kenneally that keeps blooming even without many leaves.  These minis have become my lifeline through the trauma of moving and re-establishment.  I was never a cultivator of minis.  All but a couple that I have ever owned have been gifts. (I do miss my Coffee Bean that I purchased and left at my old garden.)  I am looking forward to the talk this month at the Rose Society meeting by Rose Gilardi on minis and minifloras.  Minis may need to become my new specialty.

Abundant Harvest

For some reason the rest of the garden has done well.  I have more (and larger) zucchini than I can handle.  I left a hanging begonia out over the winter and it has surprised me with a spectacular bloom this summer.


It is time to prune those roses!

Karen Ernsberger Pruning the Rose, Renae

The rain has put a real damper on the rose pruning in my garden.  Thankfully, we did not have rain the first two Saturdays of the year because those are the days a dedicated group of rosarians prune the garden at Luther Burbank Art & Garden Center.   The Redwood Empire Rose Society not only keeps the rose garden at the Center in beautiful shape throughout the year but, also, teaches pruning techniques from 9 to 12 those two days.  In 2011 we will need to move to the second and third Saturdays to accomodate that January 1 Saturday. 

A well pruned climbing rose

The one type of pruning that gets the most questions are climbers.  Climbers take some extra care but are not all that different from shrubs.  You just need to think of the long cane as a huge above ground root with a bunch of  little rose bushes growing from it.  Tie the cane to the fence or trellis instead of weaving it in and out.  A healthy rose can destroy a fence or a wooden arbor.  Don’t even think about those flimsy trellises at the garden center because a rose will pull them apart in a season.

Right now the ground is so wet that even when it is not raining, I am sloshing around in mud.  Not to fear, pruning can be done as late as March in our moderate climate.  Yes, we are very fortunate in Sonoma County. 

If you have any pruning questions, just post a remark and I will be happy to respond.

Garden Tours Complete the Conference

Roses in the Garden

No Rose Conference is complete without Garden Tours.  At least one Garden Tour is essential and a large conference such as this one has four tours.  We skipped the trip to Huntington Library and Gardens because it was a long bus ride and we had seen the Huntington in July when we traveled to Whittier for a family wedding.   The gardens are lovely but my favorite aspect of the Huntington is visiting the library.  The ancient, hand painted books are beyond beauty with the crimson, gold and indigo inks used for accent lettering and illustrations.   I can see roses in many different places at an acceptable frequency but these works of art in the library are seldom available.

The other tours that we did not select to join were of Movie Star Homes and the Living Desert and Botanical Park.  I am sure that they were interesting and I probably missed something tremendous but we limited ourselves to one tour.  We chose the Private Home Gardens to see what the local rosarians were up to.  It was a spectacular display of roses in gardens that ranged from a courtyard off of a magnificent condominium to a large yard with hundreds of rose bushes.  I always find the different growth patterns and flower sizes of the local area interesting.  There are roses that I have not seen grown in our Northern California climate.  One mini-flora that seems to be very popular in Palm Springs is Memphis Magic.  While it is a mini-flora and not a miniature, I did not expect to find huge bushes of this rose.  The one pictured below is at least 3 feet tall and as big across.

Memphis Magic

For some reason, I thought that it would be too hot in Palm Springs for the wide array of roses that were seen on this tour.  As I mentioned, there were varieties that we don’t see frequently.  I really like Marriotta which is a mini and was a favorite both at the show and in the garden. 

Marriotta in the Garden

The talks, show and tour in Palm Springs were all delightful.  We were happy to be a part of it and look forward to another national conference in California.  Thanks to all in the Desert Rose Society for  being such wonderful hosts.

Marriotta on the Show Table

Arrangements at the Rose Show

Bouquet of Roses

My favorite part of a rose show is usually the arrangements and bouquets.  What is the difference?  An arrangement has roses embellished with other plant material or prop while a bouquet is just roses.  I am not sure if that is a accurate technical difference between the two but it is mine!   I love them both. 

In a rose show each arrangement classification is given a descriptive name to inspire the arranger.  Themes are selected to compliment the title of the Conference or Show.  In this case, the Conference name is You have a “Date” in Palm Springs.  The arrangements were beautiful.  My favorite (always a difficult thing to say) arrangement was a dried arrangement in a standard traditional design.  I prefer the traditional designs because they use more roses but there were many lovely modern designs also. 

Dried Arrangement of Marilyn Monroe roses and dried plant materials


You can tell from the names of these roses that hybridizers like to grab the public’s attention by drawing upon the fascination with celebrities.  Deidre Hall is a wonderful rose and yes, I must admit that I have been known to watch Days of our Lives in my past.  Is she still on that show?

Entry for "America the Beautiful: Across the Fruited Plain" - Roses are Deidre Hall



This Rose Show was a national ARS event so the quality of arrangements is fantastic.  We do pretty well at our local rose show that is held at the Luther Burbank Art and Garden Center the first Saturday of May each year.  Please come by and check it out.  While I am writing of local events, the Redwood Empire Rose Society holds pruning demonstrations at the center the first two Saturdays of the year from 9 to noon.  It is a great time to learn to prune roses and we have lots of fun.  Hardy rosarians are outside pruning in the rain, sunshine or fog.  Stop by and get expert training free of charge.

ARS Fall Rose Show in Palm Springs

I promised days ago to get some pictures up of the ARS Fall Rose Show in Palm Springs.  Lots is going on in my life, real estate and family this last week so it has taken me a few days to get back to the keyboard.  My first comment has to be that it was a spectacular rose show.  For those of you who do not hang out at these types of events, a rose show is not something that just comes together without a great deal of effort on the part of the organizers and the exhibitors.  For weeks prior to the show there are preparations of what to include in the rose show and how to display all the entries.  The venue has to be large enough to handle all of the anticipated entries and provide appropriate light and room for observing.  Judges are often scheduled more than a year in advance.   A show program is developed which explains to exhibitors what is expected for each of the various classes – be they generic to a flower, a special exhibit of a rose or collection of roses or an arrangement. 

Then there are the exhibitors.  Not only do they watch their gardens for the sight of the perfect bloom but they have pruned, trimmed, feed and pampered these bushes for months.  Over a week before the show the seasoned exhibitor will be selecting which buds might hold the Queen of Show.  Any side buds are removed early so that the stem can repair where the disbudding occurred.  After all that work, they harvest their choices and pack them for transport to the show – at which time they stay up all night prepping roses and determining which ones will make it to the table.  If they happen to be arrangers, they have not only carried blossoms but vases, oasis, greenery – the list goes on.  These are people who need to sleep a couple of hours during the judging so that they will be able to recognize their blooms on the winner’s table.

Queen of Show - Cajun Moon

The honored “Court” of the show are those blooms judged to be the very best of the Section E Class 44 – One Hybrid Tea or Grandiflora Bloom without side buds.  The Court is Queen, King, Princess and 6 additional blooms of merit.  There are many other trophies and other courts but the One Hybrid Tea Bloom is considered by all to be THE winner at the Show.  The judging is done by groups.  A panel of judges is assigned to a portion of the show and they determine who gets first, second, third or honorable mention places.  From the first place winners (those that have been awarded a blue ribbon) the Court is determined.  Often (I am not certain if it is always) all the judges come together to select the Queen, King and Princess.  For a show the size of this one, there can be as many as 40 judges who have to agree!  I was feeling thankful that our little rose show in Santa Rosa only has around 10 judges.

Mini Wings - MiniatureRose

 This lovely Mini Wings specimen only received a red ribbon (second place).  I was stumped as to why as I think it is a darling rose and petals so  perfectly spaced.  It is a very new introduction and is not found in the 2010 Handbook for Selecting Roses (yes, this is my rose bible).   Once I was able to look it up on the internet, I learned why it only got a second.  This rose is to have between 9 and 16 petals.  The specimen is not “representative of the variety” which is the criteria on which it is judged.  So while I am fascinated with this bloom, if I bought a shrub, it probably would not come out like this one!

Another post on the arrangements will be added later today.  It appears that I may have found a limit to the pictures I can put in one post – maybe not – maybe I am just blogging challenged right now!  Check back later for some fantastic arrangements.

Visiting Gardens south of Sonoma County

During Shari-Lyn’s visit, we not only visited gardens in Sonoma County but took in a few south of there.  If you have not read my September 29 post to learn about Shari-Lyn and our Sonoma County garden visits, check it out.

Carolyn's arrangement of Hi, a micro-mini available from Vintage Gardens in Sebastopol

Carolyn's arrangement of Hi, a micro-mini available from Vintage Gardens in Sebastopol

Carolyn Parker is an artist and writer who lives in Lafayette which is east of Berkeley.  She is best known for her lovely book, R is for Roses, which takes the reader through the alphabet of wonderful roses.   Shari-Lyn and I had a great visit and roamed Carolyn’s home garden.  Carolyn’s esthetic sense comes through in her garden design and airy, inviting home.  You can learn more about Carolyn at her website:

Shari-Lyn Safir at Carolyn Parker's - the lovely rose is Lady Hillingdon, a fragrant tea rose.
Shari-Lyn Safir at Carolyn Parker’s home – the lovely rose is Lady Hillingdon, a fragrant tea rose.
An unidentified rose cascading over the wall of Morcom Rose Garden

An unidentified rose cascading over the wall of Morcom Rose Garden

Traveling through Oakland we rendezvoused with Jolene Adams, Vice-President Elect of the American Rose Society.   Jolene befriended me at the first District Rose Society meeting that I attended.   She is a serious rosarian who is a lot of fun to be around.   It is no surprise that she is popular throughout the rose world.  In the midst of her busy life, she took the time to have a wonderful lunch with Shari-Lyn and me at Jack London Square.   We then jumped into the car and headed to Morcom Rose Garden.   This rose garden was build in the 1930’s and has a wonderful history.   In current times the garden has been given a new life and the East Bay Rose Society has been a part of it.  Jolene is writing a history of the garden.  Check out the website

Rock Animals

Rock Animals

 At the entrance to the Morcom Rose Garden is a personal garden which is sculpted from rocks.  It has animals. mushrooms, daisies, cacti and trees – all made of granite.    The antithesis of roses but, oh, so delightful. 

 Annie’s Annuals (  is an incredibly beautiful nursery in a very scary part of Richmond.   Annie’s 4″ pots are found in most nurseries in Northern California.  I remember seeing them for the first time at the San Francisco Garden Show some multiple years ago.  I did not know that they had a retail outlet but Shari-Lyn did.  Fortunately we were driving by Richmond and had 15 minutes to drop in.   I was like a kid in a candy store. 

Asarina scandens 'Joan Lorraine'

Asarina scandens 'Joan Lorraine'



I left with only one plant, asarina scandens ‘Joan Lorraine’.   I think it will look wonderful on my front trellis with Mme. Alfred Carriere.   Of course, I went back for the weekend sale on Sunday.  I now have all the plants to turn my front yard into a  low water, Mediterranean landscape.  Look for a future post on the final result.


Looking across the flats at Annie's Annuals

Looking across the flats at Annie's Annuals


September 2021


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