Rowan Rose Society show is Saturday

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 25, 2018

By Sara Hill

American Rose Society Magazine

Welcome to Salisbury, North Carolina. Salisbury is a spirited, southern town of approximately 34,000 people bursting its historic city limits at the seams. Just thirty minutes north of Charlotte, you’ll find Salisbury, the county seat of Rowan County. It’s a main-street kind of town with an unexpected metropolitan flavor that houses its own symphony orchestra, art galleries, three performing arts theaters, three colleges and the Rowan Rose Society and the Triangle Garden. Yes, we are a vital part of this exciting community, celebrating our own heritage of 60 years.

The Rowan Rose Society was organized in 1956 and for 57 years has sponsored a rose show that has been well attended by other rose society exhibitors.

In March of every year, our calendar of events begin with the annual pruning party at the Triangle Garden located on West Innes Street, one of the busiest streets in Salisbury. The public is invited for a hands-on demonstration with our society members. Frances Agner’s famous Blonde Brownies always show up for those who attend. She and her husband, Ben, are coordinators of the garden.

The month of May brings our annual two-day rose show, held the third weekend of the month. In June our members and special guests, basking in the success of our rose show, enjoy an ice cream social at a member’s home and garden. September brings the Rowan County Fair, where for 14 years we have sponsored a rose show within the fair to encourage the entire county to compete and to become a member of our society. Our holiday celebration dinner is in November where we install the officers for the new year.

Our membership is actively involved in the ARS on a local and district level, and some on the international level. Our vice president, Robert Myers, this year’s District Silver Medal recipient, also serves on the permanent jury for the International Rose Trials at the Biltmore in Asheville, NC and is an accredited International Judge with the WFRS. And he still manages to care for more than 800 roses at home!

In a recent survey of our 40 members of the Rowan Rose Society, we noted that our members grow from between 6 to 800 roses and have experienced the care and growing of roses for between 5 and 52 years. We are pleased that we have three high school students who assist their parents in growing roses and helping with our rose shows.

From our survey, some of the favorite roses grown with much success by our members are Gemini, Fantasy, Moonstone, Veterans’ Honor, Peace, Double Delight, Melody Parfumee, Graham Thomas, and Sally Holmes. Minifloras Conundrum and Shameless also made the list, as well as the Watercolors shrub.

One must learn to love red dirt if gardening in the Salisbury-Rowan area. This sub-soil has a high clay content, commonly called “heavy soil” which tends to have slow water movement and may remain wet for a long period of time.

Do’s & don’ts if your garden has a high clay content: Don’t add sand. It actually has a negative effect, producing a concrete-like material.

Don’t use peat. Peat behaves somewhat like clay in that it is slow to absorb water but when wet it tends to retain the water and remains wet.

Do add organic materials such as composted leaves, grass or wood bark. These materials will over time improve the structure and porosity of the soil and may enhance drainage and nutrient retention. Composted organic material added over several growing seasons will lead to a richer soil and better health for our roses.

Do add permatil, a small, sharp and gravelly stone which improves drainage and discourages voles.

Do add lime after a check of the soil pH. Clay soils tend to be highly acidic.

The Rowan Rose Society will present its 59th annual Rose Show on Saturday at the Civic Center in Salisbury from 1 to 5 p.m.  You do not need to be a member to exhibit your roses in the show.  All entries are welcomed between the hours of 7 and 10 a.m. on Saturday.

The Rowan Rose Society was honored by a request from the District Director of the American Rose Society to represent the Carolina District and the Southeast Region in providing information for the American Rose Society Magazine (Shreveport, LA) regarding our membership and activities when visiting the Salisbury/Rowan area. 

The article was written by the society’s president, Sara Hill and photos by Jack Page, the editor of the society’s newsletter “Ramblin Rosarian.”

Used with permission from American Rose Society Magazine.

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