Rowan Rose Society show brings out season’s best blooms
By Kathy Chaffin
Clyde Harriss usually enters the annual Rowan Rose Society Show, but this year he was too busy chairing the competition and getting his home ready for the simultaneous Festival of Spring Gardens tour.
He was pointing out the winning arrangements in the Rose Show at the Salisbury Civic Center Saturday afternoon when a woman brought a sprig she broke off of a bush in his garden at 975 Briggs Road and wanted to know what it was.
Harriss said this is the first year the Festival of Spring Gardens Tour has been held on the same weekend as the Rowan Rose Society Show, and it was because of the “Towne and Country Roses of Rowan” theme.
Doris and Baxter Morgan, longtime members of the Rowan Rose Society, were also without entries for the 50th annual show. “We were in charge of the judging,” Baxter said.
The quality of the entries was higher this year. “They’re better than I’ve seen them in 10 years,” he said. “It’s because of the cool weather.”
Harriss agreed, saying the show falls a little bit earlier in the month this year. He estimated the total number of entries at between 700 and 800 and said they were brought from all over North Carolina and a few from South Carolina and Virginia.
Winners of the 36 classes in the show were displayed on the front table.
The Queen of Show went to a Sheer Bliss pink blend entered by Barbara and Fred Wright of Shelby. The King of Show ó a Cajun Moon blush pink ó was entered by Fred’s brother, Jack, and his wife, Nancy, who live in Mooresville.
Another pink rose entry by Barbara and Fred Wright won the Princess of Show.
Rachel Ross of Fox Hollow Lane, a member of the Rowan Rose Society, claimed three titles on the winners table: Best Hybrid Tea or Grandiflora, Best Miniature and Best Three Different Varieties of Florindas Spray.
“I am not that great,” she said when Harriss walked by her a few minutes later and mentioned her wins. “It’s a miracle.”
Wesley and Joey Seamon of Majolica Road won for the Best Floating Rose.
Clyde Overcash of Salisbury won two first-place ribbons for his Oriental and miniature rose arrangements.
As for trends with roses, Harriss said more people are planting the 19th Century roses often featured in Impressionist art. “The form is quite different from a hybrid,” he said, and the blooms are more sturdy and resistant to disease.
Miniature roses are also popular, he said, because they’re not as big and don’t take up as much space. Harriss said people also like them because they can be grown in pots.
A member of the Rowan Rose Society for about 45 years, Harriss said he does not have a favorite rose. “They’re all pretty,” he said.
The Rose Show will continue today from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Civic Center, located at 315 Martin Luther King Blvd. Admission is free.
The Rowan Rose Society meets on the third Tuesday of February, March, April, May, September, October and November at 7 p.m. at John Calvin Presbyterian Church at 1620 Brenner Ave. Meetings include a program on rose care, and an annual picnic is held in June.
Members maintain the Triangle Rose Garden on West Innes Street in front of Summerset Funeral Home.
Contact Kathy Chaffin at 704-797-4249.